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10/17/2013
11:21 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Why I Returned My iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s is a fine smartphone -- but it's not much different from the iPhone 5.

iPhone 5c, 5s: 10 Smart Design Choices
iPhone 5c, 5s: 10 Smart Design Choices
(click image for larger view)
After using the iPhone 5s for 25 days, I returned it to Apple. Apple graciously accepted the return with no trouble, as I was just within the 30-day limit. I liked the iPhone 5s, but I had several reasons for sending it back.

I recently described what it was like to live with the iPhone 5s for a week. Those observations haven't changed. I stand by all those statements.

Some background: I paid full price for the iPhone 5s because I didn't want to extend my contract. That means I spent more than $900 on the device including Apple Care and an upgrade to the 32-GB model. That's a lot of money. I already own an iPhone 5, which I purchased last year. The iPhone 5 runs iOS 7, which is the same operating system on the 5s.

The biggest reason I returned the iPhone 5s is because it didn't offer a different experience from the iPhone 5. Aside from the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, there was no obvious change in how the device performed. Sure, the 5s has a slightly better camera and faster processor, but the difference in performance is hardly noticeable. If you look at it from this angle, I spent $900 to get a fingerprint sensor. Let me tell you something: I don't need a fingerprint sensor on my smartphone. At least, not right now.

[ More iPhone shopping advice: 5 Questions To Ask Before Buying A New iPhone. ]

Also, the iPhone 5 offers several things the 5s does not. For starters, it is free of bugs. iOS 7 runs flawlessly on the iPhone 5. iOS 7 on the 5s was a bug-ridden mess. Apps crashed constantly, and the 5s was prone to random reboots. Reboots are rather inconvenient when you're speaking to someone on the phone. Speaking of the phone, the call quality on the iPhone 5 is slightly better than on the 5s. It has a warmer sound that I prefer over the 5s.

Another gripe I have is Apple's entire concept of keeping the same design for its smartphones for two years. The 5s is identical to the iPhone 5 in size, shape and basic appearance, save for the color. The iPhone 4 and 4S were identical, as were the iPhone 3G and 3GS. I find this approach to be lazy. Don't get me wrong -- I fully appreciate how much work goes into designing smartphones and all the engineering needed to make everything fit into such a tiny space. One look at Apple's competitors, however, and it's hard for me to digest Apple's strategy.

Samsung brings dozens of new smartphones to the market each year, all of which have their own design. Samsung makes iterative updates to its products too, but when you look at the progression of hardware such as the Galaxy Note, Note 2 and Note 3, you see marked improvements year over year. Same with the GS4 and other Samsung devices. The same can be said of LG, Motorola, Nokia, HTC and other phone makers.

Surely Apple could create a unique phone each year. It simply chooses not to. I understand its thinking and strategy here, but as a consumer and as a tech journalist, I want to see Apple do more.

If I am going to pay between $500 and $900 for a smartphone each year, I want it to be different from the one I had before. With the iPhone 5s, there simply isn't enough of a difference for it to be worth the money. If you're upgrading from an iPhone 4s, it's a big step up. If you're coming from an iPhone 5, it's more of the same. If Apple decides to make an iPhone with a bigger screen or some other major alteration to the hardware, then perhaps I'll buy it and stick with it. From now on, however, I plan to skip Apple's "S" years.

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kdiuedyekdi
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kdiuedyekdi,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/22/2013 | 11:55:45 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
Please don't forget about Ken Thompson who is perhaps more directly responsible for the development of UNIX. Dennis Ritchie developed the C programming language which is the system programming language of the OS http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/dm....
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
10/22/2013 | 4:58:32 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
95 comments (and counting) on a phone review? Really? I remember when InformationWeek was about computer and networking stuff. What's next, 3D television reviews for these people to fight over?
Compatibles2
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Compatibles2,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/22/2013 | 10:05:07 AM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
So we live in a world where anybody can buy, or should I say try, a $900 high tech product, just to return it because one "feels he spent $900 to get a fingerprint sensor?" Maybe it's because I am from the generation that is used to think and consider the pro's and cons of expensive gadgets BEFORE we buy them......but I would consider this behaviour a good reason to be locked up for a long time, for being a person without any common sense left. But maybe this is what becomes of "reviewers" that obviously don't get a phone for review purposes from the manufacturers anymore.
blackhatt
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blackhatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 10:40:46 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
blackhatt
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blackhatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 10:40:14 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
Wow, you're easy to please.
blackhatt
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blackhatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 10:38:01 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
Keep deleting and moderating the comments asshat. Journalism at its finest.

You're up to a whopping 90 comments so far...unless you're deleting more as we speak! Mission accomplished! Might I suggest you purchase a new iPad next week and then return it for some bullshit, trumped up reason. Maybe the black color isn't black enough for you perhaps?

HIT WHORE AWAY!!!
blackhatt
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blackhatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 10:16:05 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
"Morally wrong"?? Uh...ok. So I need to consult some higher power (or you) to determine what I should spend my money on?

Or how about this instead. There are people out there with the means and income to spend money on things that may be outside and beyond YOUR means and ability. Thats perfectly okay and absolutely nothing wrong with it. If it somehow bothers you, might I suggest you not worrying what the F other people do with their money.
blackhatt
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blackhatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 10:10:36 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
Or they have more money and sense than you. Thats another possibility.
blackhatt
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blackhatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 10:10:17 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
Eric, the accusations were that you bought the phone with EVERY intention of returning it and only purchased it to write some hit whore article about Apple.

Admit you basically work in an industry that rewards hit whoring gossip more than actual journalism and factual based reporting.
blackhatt
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blackhatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 9:57:40 PM
re: Why I Returned My iPhone 5s
Bryan I see you work for "banktech.com". You know when I look for advice on technology related matters I usually turn to the banking industry because god knows banks are leaders in innovation and bleeding edge technology! And your background is a reporter in municipal courts!?! Oh tell me more about what I should and shouldn't purchase in consumer technology. (Hope you are sharp enough to recognize sarcasm).

So lets address your accusation on brainwashing/marketing. I love asshats that think that everyone purchasing the latest Apple product is some mindless fanboi idiot. What if there is just one feature in the new phone that I've decided I want and have the means and money to buy it? Does that make me brainwashed if I want it? The truth is there may be any number of reasons someone gets a new phone and who the F are you to say they are just being brainwashed? Using your logic, we all just need to purchase just one car our entire lives because they all basically do the same thing huh?

p.s.
Really strange your banktech website uses the EXACT same layout, backend and template as information Week. How original. Are you friends with Eric? You both have a lot in common.
<<   <   Page 2 / 11   >   >>
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