technology, amateur radio, scouting and me

iPhone 5S? – No thanks

It’s time to get off the continual upgrade treadmill for a while


For as long as I’ve had a mobile phone, I’ve always been on a contract. In the past this has been great as it meant that I’ve been entitled to a regular upgrade. However, this entitlement has come at a cost and I’ve now decided to change behaviour.

The contract that has just expired was an iPhone 4S from Vodafone for 12 months at a cost of £36 per month. When I last upgraded, from an iPhone 4, I was able to sell the ‘4’ for more than I needed to put up front for the 4S, but it still locked me into paying £36 per month. That’s £432 per year.

I know there’s been the iPhone 5 out for some time, and now there’s the ‘5S’ but do you know what? My ‘4S’ is all that I need. So, I’ve decided to let the contract lapse and move on to a SIM-only contract at £9 per month: a saving of £324 over the year. Even if I only do this for a year and then go back on a contract, or buy a new phone outright, I’ll still be better off given the likely resale value of the ‘4S’.

The only current unknown is being able to tether with a SIM-only contract. Advice is varied on this. Vodafone CS says no, but says yes. We’ll see.


The upgrade has completed and was completely invisible. I thought I’d need a new SIM, but apparently not. Also, tethering worked without me needing to do anything other than enable it on the phone. I used it to prove it did work. That’s removed the sole remaining reason for jailbreaking the phone now.

Image courtesy of blakeburris and Wikimedia Commons

3 Responses to iPhone 5S? – No thanks

  1. Gwyn

    I think the innovation curve for new smartphone features is flattening, and therefore the annual upgrade is a real luxury. I think unlocked phone + SIM is the way I am going to go.

    Oh wait, the iPhone 6 specs have just leaked…..

    • Gareth

      Sorry about the name…… excuse is too long to type but involves two coaches at our rugby club (London Welsh)

      • No problem, John. Thanks for the comment.

        I was quite surprised at what I could get for £9 per month: especially as I’m not a heavy user. I never got anywhere near my monthly iPhone contract allowance.