Is an iPhone 5 upgrade necessary? Maybe it depends on where you begin. Ben Lormon writes:

Hello, Chris!

My question comes the day after Apple’s shares dropped below $500/share for the first time in almost a year. As I’m sure you know, this is due to uncertainty surrounding the cuts in component orders on the iPhone 5.

So here is my main question. Do you think that an iPhone 5 upgrade is really necessary? I thought about it and realized that, throughout my observations, most people still used the iPhone 4 and 4S over the 5. Do you think that Apple jumped the gun and created an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” situation?

I’ll be keeping an eye on TLDR; I’d love to hear your feedback!

Is an iPhone 5 Upgrade Really Necessary?
Is an iPhone 5 upgrade really necessary?

An iPhone 5 upgrade can be seen in the same way as an iPhone 4S upgrade was seen the year before by some — unnecessary — but it really depends on where the user begins. An iPhone 5 upgrade would be massive for someone still using an iPhone 3, for instance, but someone with an iPhone 4S probably won’t notice much of a difference at all. Apple releases upgrades every year, and the differences are usually fairly incremental. We talked a little bit about this very thing the other day at LockerGnome in Will Next Generation Devices Make Mine Obsolete? and Smart Phone Upgrade: When is the Time Right?

The short version: Apple is not trying to leave any of its faithful customers behind by releasing a new version of its famous iPhone every year, but what would you rather have: a company that sits on its innovations until they’re considered passe by the ever-changing standards of technology, or a company that shares them as it dreams them up?

Either way, “too much” and “not enough” are relative statements that are more founded in opinion than fact — in just the same way that “better” is a relative term. Unless you’ve got money to burn and you’re concerned about appearances and the status of being associated with only the latest and greatest — if your iPhone 4 or 4S does what you want/need it to do — then why would you need an iPhone 5 upgrade? I reckon that many people have decided that the iPhone 5 doesn’t add anything that the iPhone 4 or 4S doesn’t already do and haven’t upgraded. When the next version — or even the one after that — is released, these same people may notice enough of a difference in the hardware and features to make the jump more worthwhile for them.

The iPhone 5 was exactly what it needed to be, and yesterday’s rumor that led to market fluctuation (which Apple cannot verify or deny due to hard SEC laws related to publicly traded companies) could very well be an illustration of stock manipulation.

Image: iPhone 5 Unboxing, 10-10-12 by Brett Jordan via Flickr