iPhone: Why I'm not buying an S this time round

Posted on by Mike Evans

I sat on the sidelines when the original iPhone was introduced by Steve Jobs in June 2007. At that time I had been a Mac convert for just two years but, already, I was thoroughly fed up with the flaky synchronisation between Palm or Windows mobiles and the Mac. Despite this, I decided that the original iPhone wasn't ready for prime time.

 iPhone 6S: A temptress but not quite seductive enough

iPhone 6S: A temptress but not quite seductive enough

Soon after I espoused Apple in 2005 I mention on one of the community forums that Apple ought to make a smartphone. I was shot down in flames by dozens of fan boys who told me unequivocally that there would never be a phone from Apple.

So in the middle of 2007 I was among the prime target audience for the iPhone when it was announced. The reason I didn't buy? Because it couldn't handle 3G communications and I couldn't face this about turn in data speed.

A year later, consequently, I was first in the queue for the 3G. Since then I have religiously upgraded every year—3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6 Plus. Yet, for the first time, this year I decided not to spend my money on the iPhone 6S. Yes, I know it is faster, has force touch and other useful upgrades. But it's not enough to sideline the 6 Plus that has been delighting me since launch. I have decided that it can carry on delighting me for another nine months or so until the iPhone 7 arrives. This is an unprecedented display of abstinence on my part. Even I can't quite believe it.

Battery life

One of the main factors in persuading me to hang on is the better battery life of the 6 Plus. When new, the phone had a truly outstanding battery life and even now, after 18 months' heavy use, it is about on par with an iPhone 5S when new. Life is not as good as it once was, but acceptable. I reckon that by the autumn of 2016 the 6 Plus will be severely wanting in daily oomph, but I am resigned to carrying around an external battery charger for a few months in the summer. A secondary part of my reasoning was because I was dithering between the smaller and larger phones. Ought I to ditch the large Plus in favour of the smaller 6S? 

This second dither was settled when I really got down to analysing my use of the 6 Plus. It has been my phone and my tablet, replacing the iPad mini as an everyday companion. If I went back to the smaller phone (almost entirely for its easier pocketability) I would inevitably find myself adding another iPad mini to my bag. More expense and yet another device.

Then came the Apple Watch last Summer. With the Watch handling notifications, especially text messages from Apple and What's App, I found myself dragging the 6 Plus out of my pocket far less frequently than before. I even took to using the Watch for phone calls, answering them and and chatting to my wrist. Odd, but it works. Most people think I'm bonkers anyway.

I suspect I am not alone in remaining with the iPhone 6. Although the 6S and S Plus is selling extremely well, it could have done better if the 6 and 6 Plus had not been so well-sorted and right for the job. All this points to a tremendous latent demand for the new model when it is launched in September 2016. If I am right—and many of my friends have also stuck with their 2014 phones this year—the iPhone 7 will be a big winner for Apple. For the first time I am looking forward to a big upgrade experience, not simply to an interim boost in performance.