Pre-orders are here, but should you buy the iPhone 4S, or wait for iPhone 5?

Whether or not an iPhone 4S purchase makes sense for you will depend on a number of factors: are you currently under contract with an earlier iPhone model or other smartphone? Do you have the now last-generation iPhone 4, or the even older iPhone 3GS model? Are you hankering to switch cell carriers?

Read on for some advice on whether or not the iPhone 4S would be a good purchase, depending on which of the following camps you’re currently in. The ultimate decision is all yours, and of course a very personal one: let us know what your gameplan is in the comments!

Current iPhone 3GS or earlier owners

If you bought the iPhone 3GS when it first came out back in June of 2009, or are still rocking either the iPhone 3G or the original iPhone, you should be clear of the 2-year contract you signed then, making the iPhone 4S a very sensible upgrade for you. In fact, Apple knows full well it needs to craft its phone hardware strategy around this typical 2-year cycle, and the arguably less than earth-shattering upgrades between the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and now the 4 and 4S, were actively designed to appeal to consumers two generations behind (you can check out a feature comparison of the latter three devices here).

If you picked up the iPhone 3GS sometime after it was released and are still under contract, you’ll want to check out your current upgrade status — especially since new iPhone launches often prompt AT&T to “massage” your eligibility. You can do this by visiting, dialing *NEW# (*639#) from your phone, calling customer service at 1-800-331-0500, or visiting a retail location.





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