Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 07 April 2012

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phoneleadpic1If your old cellphone won’t let you do much of anything except make calls, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. If you’re carrying around the mobile equivalent of a dinosaur, you really need to take a look around at all the new smartphones available now, and the even newer ones coming in the next few months.

First, do you want a smartphone rather than just a cellphone? Of course you do. Even if your last phone wasn’t very “smart,” the smartphones are taking over the market at a rapid rate. A recent report from Neilsen shows that almost half of U.S. mobile users have smartphones, and more than two thirds of those purchasing new handsets in the last three months chose a smartphone.

They made a wise choice, since the smartphone has become the Swiss army knife of mobile devices. Besides making calls and texting, the smartphone can replace your digital camera, alarm clock, compass, GPS device, stopwatch, music player, calculator, landline phone and many other gadgets. Give it the right apps and it can do most anything except make coffee—and Apple is probably working on that one.


Speaking of Apple, do you want to pick up an iPhone? Probably, but more to the point, do you want to pay for an iPhone? Plenty of people do, which is why the iPhone 4S has been moving as many units as all other phones combined on some of the wireless carriers. They look cool, they do all sorts of neat stuff, but they don’t come cheap.

The shiny new iPhone 4S comes in black or white with a super fast dual-core A5 chip, an 8MP iSight camera and optics, iOS 5 and iCloud, plus FaceTime and the Siri digital assistant. In addition, you get access to the bazillion apps available at the iTunes App Store. For all this, expect to pay $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB or $399 for 64GB—with a two-year wireless contract from AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. A contract-free handset goes for $649, $749 or $849.


Besides the price, there’s another downside to buying an iPhone right now. It could become last year’s model just weeks after you bring it home. The iPhone 4S went on sale in October 2011, and is basically an upgrade rather than a totally new model. That new model, tentatively dubbed the iPhone 5, is expected later this year. How much later? Most likely, in the fall, but rumors have been circulating that the next iPhone could make its appearance as soon as June. Consider this possibility before forking over the big bucks for the iPhone 4S in the next few weeks.

While Apple still controls the lion’s share of the smartphone market, the Androids are staking out a claim. Google’s latest operating system can be found on a wide selection of new phones that are ready to compete with the iPhone on its own turf. Currently, 48% of smartphone purchased in the U.S. are running Android.

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