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What would it take for you to buy an iPhone 5?

Late last year I finally made the switch to an iPhone 4. It was a few weeks before the launch of the Windows Phone and I was satisfied enough with the leaks to know that the device was not where I needed it yet for me to purchase. I had just sold my HTC HD2 (sniff, I still miss that device) and was looking for a change. Mobility Digest has always been stronger in Windows Mobile and I knew that we would have great coverage from our team on Windows Phone. I am locked to AT&T and I was really not happy with the offering they had on Android devices. The Captivate was the only thing worth looking at but I was pretty pissed to have to settle for that when Verizon had all the HTC and Motorola hot rod Android devices that were the top of their class. So that only left the iPhone. I had never owned an iPhone, never used an iPhone for any length of time, so I headed on down to Best Buy (I hate our local AT&T store) and checked one out. I knew enough about it already, it wasn’t a meet and greet or anything like that. If the feeling hit me, I would buy it.

In my opinion, the iPhone 4 has the best overall look and feel of any device constructed in the Mobile Industry. You cannot pick one of these up and not immediately be wowed with it’s build quality. I was wowed, but I knew that there would come a point when I would inevitably have to turn the device on, make phone calls, and interact with the apps. I was pretty satisfied with it the device after playing with it for a while at Best Buy and I decided to buy it. Hell, I could return it if it really sucked for phone calls or sell it on Ebay.

After 30 days of using it, I was so sucked up into the App Store and how well it connected with my friends (yes all of them have an iPhone) that I was having a blast with it. The iPhone does social media beautifully. The games and the apps are a lot of fun! Got an OtterBox Defender for it as well as a bunch of other accessories and things were looking good. Except for one small thing, phone calls suck on the iPhone. It’s not as bad as iPhone haters would make you believe, but it is not good either. I drop calls, I cannot make a phone call connect from the recent calls list, and it generally hates my 3G Microcell. WiFi, BT, are very good. Data is okay, slower than other devices I tested, but call quality was not good. Oh, by the way, Safari was really nice and fast, and what ever flash video I wanted to see, Skyfire handled beautifully.

It’s been 9 months with the iPhone 4 and I am starting to get bored with the device. The biggest problem I have with getting bored with the iPhone is not the iPhone itself, but the iPad. I really like the iPad 2. All the apps that I have on the iPhone 4 for the most part were available for the iPad and now I use the iPad 2 the majority of the time and rarely fire up my iPhone or Laptop at home.

So this is where I am today. AT&T after months of taking their time is finally going to release a device I am interested in, the HD7s. My problem is that even though it has NoDo, and will eventually get Mango, why would I want to get that now and not wait another 3 months? The Mango update for the HD7s will likely be a huge fail on AT&T’s part and be released well after the launch of the new Mango Devices which might even be dual core devices. I don’t want to wait for AT&T to get their act together and update Mango on the HD7s. There is another problem too. The iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 is heavily rumored to be launching in September. Even though Apple is several months late from following their typical yearly device update cycle, I am pretty confident we will in fact see an Apple device this year. What can we expect in the iPhone 5, or iPhone 4s as many have guessed? From a hardware standpoint , we can count on the new A5 dual core processor already kicking ass in the iPad 2. (I love the iPad 2 by the way). We can look for some slight cosmetic changes, Cameras, antennae update, and possibly the new iOS 5.

So here it is another year and I am faced with the same decision. Windows Phone or the iPhone? We have already been made aware of what Mango will have in store for us and the treasure trove of new capabilities that many would argue that Windows Phone should have already had. It is also appears that Windows Phone will be getting a hardware boost too. I am actually very excited to see these new devices and look forward to the group texting and email features that Mango devices will have. Yet I keep finding myself looking over my should and wondering what would Apple have to do to earn my business for a second straight year? I thought it through and here is what would do it.

First, I have to have a larger screen. If the iPhone 5 does not have a larger screen, it is game over no matter how good iOS 5 is. Second would be a major antennae update which it is still heavily rumored to receive. I am pretty happy with the cameras now, but any updates here would be very well received. I take tons of pictures and videos from my iPhone 4 and like the results. And then iOS would have to show me some new and exciting changes. I think Apple’s greatest claim to fame about everything always being about the apps is getting old. I think the easy to use user interface is excellent, and they should not move away from their playbook that got them here. But there are lot’s of intuitive things like what Microsoft did with Live Tiles that Apple should incorporate natively and not require a jailbreak or and app to handle. Ringtones, Lock Screen interaction, Live Icons, and swiping between sub menus would be a huge hit. I would also like to see group text messaging without the need of an app. I don’t want to have to insert everyone’s phone number manually, and reply all every time after to group text. Also, notifications really needs to be addressed. These are some of the things that would put the iPhone 5 over the top for me to purchase it for a second straight year. Mainly, I got to have a larger screen. I can no longer tolerate the 3.5 inch mini screen. Granted the retina display is amazing, but I would much rather have less amazing with more real estate.

The question I thought I would ask all of you over the weekend is, what would it take for you to buy an iPhone 5? I realize Steve Jobs and the whole Apple culture greatly disturb some people, but let’s just keep it about the devices and forget Steve Ballmer and Steve Jobs run these companies.

Have a great weekend everyone!