The iPhone is inspirational. Would-be users will beg, borrow or steal to get their hands on one. Yet here we are worrying that the new 4S is a disappointing upgrade to the one-year-old iPhone 4. Order statistics give the lie to this. The 4S is stunningly successful, just a week after the launch announcement.
But the real hero is the old-hat iPhone 3GS. Familiar it may be, but it was top of the tree less than eighteen months ago. It is still a great phone and the styling remains fresh and lustable. It represents Apple’s trump card because it can be supplied free on contract. No longer is the iPhone (and by that I mean the Apple ecosystem) the preserve of the moderately rich. Now anyone can get into Appledom without a hurtful downpayment.
I see the 3G becoming even more successful in its dotage. It will bring tens of millions of new fans into the Apple world. They, once infected by Apple magic, will soon be lusting after a 4 or even a 4S. Not to mention a second-hand iPad or, even, a MacBook Air. Once captured, once the owners of several apps, they’re hooked.
For the first time, Apple have a full family of phones from the free 3GS to the relatively expensive 4S. Even the 4, right in the middle, is still an excellent choice unless you are a must-have-the-latest type of geek. And, unlike in the Android world where there are countless variations of software and manufacturer-specific foibles, you get the latest iOS 5 operating system whether you own a 4S or a 3GS.