iPhone 5 - 5 reasons not to buy one

Don't reach for that credit card until you've read our reasons not to buy the latest iPhone

21 Sep 2012

Page 1 of 2iPhone 5 - 5 reasons not to buy one

Apple stores across the country were flung open today for the first eager customers wanting to pick up an iPhone 5. There's little doubt Apple's latest phone is an impressive piece of technology, and anyone that buys one will probably be very happy with it, but it's certainly not the second coming some were expecting.

With that in mind, is it worth buying one at all? We've thought of a few reasons that might convince you to save your money.

5. You’ve already got one

Own an iPhone already? Then you can get pretty much every one of the iPhone 5's new features by updating it to iOS 6. Passbook, Facebook integration, improved Siri and iCloud Safari tabs can all make the jump to existing iphone owners at the push of a button. Even the new panorama photo mode will work on the iPhone 4S, so if you're still tied into a contract you don't have to feel like you're missing out.

iPhone panorama

iPhone 4S owners don't miss out on the new Panorama photo mode

Aside from the larger screen and slightly faster processor, there's very little actual innovation here. Even the so-called "new" design is relatively unchanged, with a metallic rather than glass back being the only noticeable difference.

4. You’ll need to buy adaptors for all your accessories

Apple introduced a new docking connector with the iPhone 5, which it dubbed Lightning. It's significantly smaller than the old 30-pin connector, and is reversible so you don't have to worry which way round to plug it in. However, it also means that all your existing iPhone accessories will no longer work.

Lightning adaptors

Want to keep using your now-obsolete speaker dock? It'll cost you

If you've been using an iPhone for any length of time, there's a good chance you've amassed quite the collection of speaker docks, external batteries, cables and other accessories that will require an adaptor if you want to continue using them. Some, which require video signals from the device, won't work at all - the digital to analogue converter (DAC) built into the adaptor can't process video, so many in-car entertainment systems and gaming-related accessories will be completely incompatible with the iPhone 5.

You'll also have to buy those adaptors yourself, as Apple doesn't include any with the phone. They cost £25 a time, so if you have multiple accessories you'll be looking at a hefty bill if you want to equip them all.

3. It doesn't support NFC

Almost every new flagship smartphone now includes a near field communication (NFC) chip which can be used to connect to accessories, pair equipment wirelessly, set up file transfers and make payments at smart terminals. It's already appearing in coffee shops and train stations, and support for the technology is expected to grow astronomically over the next few years.


Keep your cash and cards handy with an iPhone, because it can't do this

However, if you buy an iPhone 5, you won't be able to experience any of these things, as it lacks an NFC chip. Quite why Apple decided not to include the technology is a bit perplexing, as it's pretty standard stuff now. HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and Sony all have NFC in their flagship phones, and accessory manufacturers are using the system to make things like wirelessly docking to a speaker as simple as a tap.

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