Five reasons to put off buying the new Apple iPhone 5 - East Valley Tribune: Business

Five reasons to put off buying the new Apple iPhone 5

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Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012 6:45 pm | Updated: 4:07 pm, Wed Sep 12, 2012.

Anticipation is building for the new "iPhone 5," which is expected to be announced Sept. 12, amid signs it could be the biggest-selling mobile phone Apple's ever introduced.

But there may be reasons to hold off on getting the new device.

The iPhone 5, or whatever it will be officially called, will be going through a major overhaul. There will be plenty of reasons to get one -- it will be faster with quicker connectivity, have a bigger screen, perhaps better battery life and more.

But some of the changes might not be welcome by all who want one. Based on what we know so far, here are some reasons to hold off getting one right away.

-- Screen: The good news is the new iPhone screen will finally grow from its humble 3.5-inch beginnings. By today's standards, compared with such monstrous screen sizes from Android phones such as the 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S III, the iPhone's screen looks puny. The new iPhone could grow to 4 inches diagonally. It's not much, but Apple sees the need to compete with those bigger Android screens.

The bad news is the screen also is rumored to change its aspect ratio, or its width in relation to its height. It will go from a more squarish screen now to a longer screen that will have a 16-by-9 ratio.

That's going to be better for viewing movies because many films are shot in that ratio. But it also means current iPhone apps, which were designed for the older aspect ratio, probably will run on the new iPhone with black bars on the sides to fill in the extra screen space. People who always hated watching letter-boxed movies with black bars on the top and bottom of the screen will know how annoying that will be. Or there might be a mode to stretch the image horizontally to fill the screen, which will result in objects appearing fatter than usual.

Eventually, developers will have to re-code their apps to fill the screen, so you'll have to wait for updates to your favorites in order to see them run full screen as intended.

-- Connector: The new phone probably will have a new, smaller connector to connect it to a computer, doing away with the standard 32-pin connector that has been the staple for Apple's iPhones for years.

As a result, any accessories you have that use that connector -- such as docks, stereos, special add-on devices and more -- will no longer be compatible with the new phone.

Yes, Apple will probably release a new adapter that goes from the new connector to the old connector to help mitigate problems, but it will cost extra. And it's not going to necessarily work with docks for stereos or clock radios.

-- Cases: The new phone is going to change its size and shape because the screen is getting longer. So you'll have to buy a new case or any other accessory into which you put the phone -- another hidden cost.

-- Bugs: We've come to realize that Apple makes major changes to its phone about every two years, which brings us to the new iPhone. And when changes this big come, we can expect more bugs than usual.

Remember when the iPhone 4 came out and there was a huge issue with the external antenna when the device was in a user's hand? Apple finally fixed it with the next version, the iPhone 4S, but with every new iteration, there are growing pains. Expect them this time, too.

-- 4G: The new iPhone will have to include 4G LTE connectivity to compete with Android phones. That's the faster wireless data technology that is a follow-up to 3G and is on most new phones today. Apple has always said it was waiting for 4G to become more widespread, and now it is.

But there's one problem. AT&T has not yet launched its 4G LTE network in some areas, and it might not until the end of the year.

If AT&T isn't able to act sooner and you're an AT&T customer, you may not be able to use the 4G receiver that's expected to be built into the new iPhone. What good is one of the new phone's key advancements if you can't use it?

Contact reporter Vince Horiuchi at vince@sltrib.com.

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