re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
All - Thanks for taking the time to read and join the discussion. Just a few comments from me.
Some have suggested that I could have sold my iPhone 5 and kept the 5s. That is true, though my 5 is pretty well used (i.e., slightly dented in one corner) and I may not get top dollar for it.
I agree that it was my choice to pay full price for the phone, but even if I had signed a new contract with AT&T, I would have saved only $200. My total out-of-pocket expense would still have exceeded $600. As I noted in the article, for people upgrading from an iPhone 4 or 4s, it's a nice jump to the iPhone 5s, especially at the on-contract price of $200. I'm done with contracts, though. I won't sign any more for wireless service.
Some have suggested that I should have known the experience would be the same. Yes, of course I did. However, I had to purchase the phone in order to review it. Generally I keep review units that I purchase myself, especially iPhones. This is the first time I've returned an iPhone, however, and it is for the reasons stated in the article above.
Given the nature of what I do, I don't stick with any one device for very long. I have about a dozen or so devices that I cycle through regularly so that I can test apps and services on different hardware running different versions of the four major operating systems (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone). Same goes for tablets. The iPhone 5 will remain in my rotation until next year when Apple shows us something different.
As for Apple's device strategy, it is what it is. Look at Apple's other hardware. Its MacBooks barely ever change in their design and usually see only iterative updates each cycle (with the exception of the Retina Displays). This is simply the way Apple wants to run its business. It works for Apple. The company sells plenty of gear each year. I think most of you will agree with me, however, that smartphones are different from laptops/desktops. The space is incredibly competitive and some of Apple's rivals are outpacing it in terms of technology and innovation. I don't think you can argue this point. But it's a free market, and Apple can make - and live by - its own choices.
Again, thanks for reading and sharing your own thoughts.