/ Technology

The new iPhone 5 – will you buy it ‘blindly’?

iPhone 5 logo

Our survey found one in five iPhone users intend to buy the iPhone 5 – even though they haven’t seen it yet. Is this blind devotion wise? Or are we being brainwashed by brilliant marketing and Apple’s ‘cool’ factor?

It’s almost that time of year again, excitement is building, shops are laying on extra staff to deal with the rush, everyone’s saving their pennies…

No I’m not following the high street example of starting Christmas in September, I’m talking about a day even more important to some – the iPhone 5 launch day.

Don’t try before you buy

As has now become custom for the last few years, we are hearing more and more rumours about the next iteration of the iPhone and what it will bring.

Will it have a bigger screen, will it be cheaper, will there be two different versions this year? But, regardless of what features it has, the iPhone 5 is almost guaranteed to be a big seller.

In a survey of Which? Members we found that only 3% intended to buy the iPhone 5, but when we broke the figures down into iPhone users, that number grew to 20%. That means one in five iPhone users are intending to upgrade to the latest version – and that’s before they even see the specs, what it looks like, or even know what it will cost.

With competing devices getting better and better and coming out all the time, this seemingly blind devotion to Apple makes me wonder if it’s the features of the iPhone that make it so popular – or simply the marketing?

iPhone 4 wasn’t perfect

The iPhone 4 suffered from a lack of reception when you held it in a natural way – which is a pretty big flaw for a mobile phone in my mind – yet it still sold by the bucketloads.

Some argue that Apple’s ‘it just works’ philosophy coupled with their design ethos is what keeps customers coming back – but having to wrap your mobile phone in a rubber case to get it to make calls pretty much negates both arguments.

For me – a bit like Christmas – the iPhone launch day is one of those times where the hype has outgrown the event.

Are you one of the people who is willing to buy the next iPhone before you even know what it will bring? Is it the iPhone’s famous user interface that keeps you coming back, or is it just Apple’s cool factor?


I think it’s silly, buying a product you have never seen so have no idea if you’re going to like it is just odd. I’m thinking about getting a tablet PC but I always pop down to currys to have a look at them and then order 1 online since their always cheaper then in store. I dislike Apple products because their the same as other devices but yet Apple charge a arm and a leg or in China’s case a kidney to get hold of 1.

Does it have to be charged every day or can I swap the battery for a fresh one?

Is it showerproof?

I’ll buy an iPhone (maybe not entirely blindly, since I do follow developments) when Apple resolves these and other practical issues. Unfortunately, other manufacturers of smartphones are not doing much better in these respects.

Andy Seal says:
26 September 2011

If a restaurant that you have frequented for the last 3 years had proved time and again to have great customer service and excellent food, would you consider it ‘blind’ to say that your going to spend your money there again even if there’d been a menu change? Sure, there are other good restaurants.
I have a 3 yr old MacBook pro and 2+ yr old iPhone 3GS. Customer service frm Apple has been outstanding in that time and the tech has worked well. Sure there’s other tech that’s good. But it is neither marketing or blindness, nor totally features or coolness to return to a source that has personally proven trustworthy.

Steven says:
26 September 2011

As a new Apple customer – and previous PC devotee, I do have to agree with Andy (above), Apple’s customer service is amazingly good. The design and build quality of their products now far surpassed any of the other manufacturers. Expensive, yes, but you do get what you pay for and whilst not blindly purchasing, I’ll be very interested to see what the next model of phone is (be it 4GS or 5).

Unfortunately up until a few months ago I would have been one of those who bought in to the “Apple Aesthetic Value & Brilliant user interface” and gone out straight away to buy one.
However after recently discovering the Evil side of Apple in its poor customer service and general flagrant arrogance when you have a problem with one of their products I will be taking an overly cautious approach to them and any new product they bring out in the future.
Still owning the Iphone 3gs I am in no rush generally but It would be nice this time if Apple tried to make the phone better value for money since I would say we generally pay double for any Apple based product because of afore mentioned values and not because it has better technology inside !

I had excellent customer service twice in the last four years. On both occasions it was excellent.

HarryMonmouth says:
26 September 2011

When these people say they are going to buy the new iPhone there is an implication within the statement that they will buy the new iPhone as long as it shows the kind of improvement that has been shown by new iPhones in the past.

I can guarantee you that if the new iPhone comes out with identical specifications to the current iPhone then there will not be 20% of iPhone users rushing to upgrade to it. This is an obvious fact, I don’t see why so many journalists don’t have the wit to recognise it.

Julian says:
26 September 2011

I will get two the day it is released!!

what works? says:
26 September 2011

I’ve held off buying a replacement mobile phone although my is on the blink. I’m waiting for the iphone 5. I don’t like the hype or the highway-robbery prices. Especially since the product is made in China, as someone else has commented. But what are the alternatives? Really. Having used Sony Ericsson mobile phones, and Sony, Dell, and HP laptops, I’m really fed up!!! I’ve had enough of laptops and phones that don’t work as long as they should. And I’m really disgusted with Microsoft. So I’ll be forking over my cash for Apple products. Not because they’re worth the ridiculous prices. But because I just want something that works!! And Apple products seem to work marginally better. I would be happier if they were manufactured in Europe though. Especially at that price.

tonybear says:
30 September 2011

Just over a month ago I changed from an iPhone 3GS that I had owned for 18 months to a Samsung Galaxy S2 and I couldn’t be happier. I no longer have to wait until Apple allow me to do something on a product that I have paid a lot of money to own in order to do it, in the words of Nike I can now “just do it”! It’s got a bigger screen, it’s lighter and thinner than the 3GS and is easier to use.

Daniel Foreman says:
26 September 2011

You are all insane! The iPhone can’t fail! Jobs is a god. Apple is my mother!! I will sell my grandmother to get one!

* foams at the mouth and giggles *

Back in reality. I go for HTC normally, I’ve been using the Touch2 for a couple of years, battery life is still great, but the OS is out of date (yeah it’s a windows mobile 6.5). I buy phones based on the best price to feature ratio I can work out. The HTC Touch2 was cheaper than the rest, and while it’s not pretty WM 6.5 has apps dating back to 2002 much of which is free. Sure it might not be centrialised around a single store system and the apps are ugly as sin. But the thing has worked, and it’s survived all the punshment I’ve thrown it through.

Based on specifications and features, I’m likely to go for a Samsung Ace next, it’s cheap, looks like an iPhone and runs android apps. Though I do alot of youtube work so I’m also tempted by the HTC Evo and LG 3D Phones just for the camera’s and 3D screens. There’s no sign of apple doing this!

Having said that the app store for apple devices is epic, I own an iPad and an iPod Touch (so I really don’t need an iPhone anyway) on the other hand I do own a ton of apps and I could install them to a new iPhone.

But the biggest thing that puts me off iPhone is that many companies sell plans with reduced minutes. I buy a phone to talk and text, I want the best value possible. I’m not sacrificing nearly half my talk time just because apple overprice their devices.

So apple can go jump, the iPad is great, my iPod Touch means I don’t need to drain my phone battery, and having an Android phone means I have access to flash content. So no, I won’t be buying an iPhone 5, not when I could get a 3D screen and camera instead.

Sammshine says:
27 September 2011

My current iphone (8gb 3g) is on its very last legs (cracked screen with chucks missing & no sound) but yes I will be buying the iphone blindly because their products work. The condition its in is down to my flagrant abuse of the phone – but it STILL works. I have loved the ipod for many moons & the iphone comes a close second in my affection. Currently working on persuading my beloved to buy me an ipod2 for my upcoming birthday 🙂

I find it funny, We’re supposed to be in a economical crisis and countries are in massive debt and about to default and yet people are still able to afford a rather expensive phone rather then going for the cheaper alternatives. I will always be baffled by the people who go out and buy the iphone 5 for probably £100 and then pay £50 a month and then they complain that food, fuel, clothing etc is so expensive, of course it’s going to be expensive since you just spent £1300 on a phone for 2 years. Please note this is just an example I have no idea how much it will cost

The iPhone 4 is STILL £500 on PAYG contracts – such a lot of money! Will be interesting to see how much the new version is…

My money’s on £499.98 Hannah lol

There are clearly Apple lovers…and others, like me, who think everything they produce is the work of the devil. Why would I buy a phone where I can only buy apps that have been pre-approved by Jobs and his cronies, and where the rate of production of new apps has fallen seriously behind the apps appearing on Android? Why would I buy a phone where if the battery gets low I can’t swap in a fresh one? Why would I buy a phone (or tablet) which won’t run flash simply because Jobs doesn’t like it?

So no, not for me. And I guess it’s that whole ‘I’m going to buy it without seeing it just because it’s Apple’ thing that makes me think the whole set-up is flaky.

Pe-approved apps are MUCH less likely to crash, cause problems and lead to a poor user experience.

Android is playing catch-up, so obviously the rate of production of apps is higher.

I’ve owned mobile phones for nearly 20 years and have never, ever, had a spare battery. Nor do I know anyone amongst my hundreds of friends and work colleagues who has. A non-replaceable battery gets rid of that awful, flimsy, plasticky back cover.

Flash is a memory hog and is full of bugs = poor user experience = not allowed.

But, and this is a massive, huge mega-big BUT… If you don’t like it buy something else. Seen or unseen.

There. Everybody happy.

If people don’t want to buy the new iPhone then each to their own. I do know that I’ve had other cheaper smartphones and have ended up wishing I had forked out the money for an iPhone. Call me stupid but I liken buying an iphone to being on the property ladder. Once you have an iphone it then becomes much easier getting a new one because you sell the old one (I ended up only having to pay (£40 for a new iphone 4 when I upgraded from my 3gs). Also, with the cloud and iOS5 coming out it’ll link all my apple products together making it (for me) far superior to anything else on the market…

Ken Rock says:
30 September 2011

I purchased an iMac some time ago because I was so frustrated with hardware and software problems; I later purchased an Air because it seemed silly to produce great presentations that lost impact when shown in a non-Mac environment. An iPhone to match seemed a good idea and I have not regretted that decision (I keep it in a case so the antenna was never an issue). The few problems/issues that have troubled me have been quickly sorted at no cost by visiting the Apple Store or e-mailing Apple and having a phone call from America; their customer service has been superb.

Will I buy an iPhone 5? Yes, if the specification grabs my attention; if not, I’ll wait for the iPhone 6!

Have I become an Apple Fanboy? Yes, perhaps because their designs are the best on the market but mostly because “they just work.” I consider the loss of some flexibility is easily outweighed by the ease of operation. Initial cost is certainly higher but I suspect lifetime costs will not be so far adrift of less integrated tools/toys.

On the other hand, I have, so far, resisted buying the iPad; doesn’t the Kindle Fire look good value?

John McC says:
30 September 2011

I’m a bit bi-polar about Apple. I resent their overpowering marketing and inflated prices. I DROOL over their products lol. However on the balance scales, their CUSTOMER AFTERCARE is soooo good that I’m going to upgrade my phone to an iphone when I get bored with my Samsung Tocco Ultra. I’ve heard so much good stuff about the way Apple look after customers and their products that other premium companies should benchmark them (take not S@ny)

Dr Roger says:
1 October 2011

I’ve an iPhone4 at the moment & no problems at all with reception. I may upgrade BUT it will depend on the specification improvements-? new shape, 8 meg camera, faster processor etc.
I still have an iPad1 & will only change it when the rumoured iPad3 is released next year.
With Macs (not iPhones or iPads) there is a substantial discount if you are a student or can borrow one for the purchase! Applecare is essential & the support is brilliant-advice over the phone or repair or complete replacement-collection & delivery by courier free. Apples just work or if/when they malfunction they get sorted for nothing.
I had PCs & Windows smartphones for years & would never go back-run Windows 7 on my Macs when I have to!
You get what you pay for & what you get is style, performance, reliability & peace of mind. Try getting any sense out of staff at the computer multiples when your PC malfunctions.