Advice: Should you Buy the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c? [POLL]


It has been two days since Apple announced the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c and as expected, reactions are mixed (doesn’t this sound familiar?).

Screen Shot 2013 09 12 at 12 21 15 PM

The iPhone 5c, despite originally being rumoured to debut as a ‘cheaper’ or ‘lower cost’ iPhone is nothing but cheap. It’s the essentially the next iteration of the iPhone 5 and is being marketed ahead of the iPhone 5s right now, as seen in our previous coverage of how every single Canadian and American carrier website shows these colourful models first and foremost.

Hands-on testers such as AppleInsider’s Daniel Eran Dilger describes the build of the iPhone 5c as beyond just a plastic feel:

Rather than feeling “plasticky,” the new iPhone 5c has a rubberized feel and rigid body, without the cheap flex or warp of common devices made of plastic. The backing is also treated to give it a shiny gloss, which further enhances the brilliant colors it’s available in.

The iPhone 5s can be seen as the new ‘pro’ or premium iPhone, for users that demand the latest and greatest technology from Apple, such as the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, 64-bit A7 chip and the improved camera.

With $99 and $199 prices on two year terms, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c puts new users in the classic Apple proposition: which one should I buy?

Here’s our advice for iPhone owners:

  • If you own an iPhone 3G/3GS right now: get the iPhone 5c. Why? The fact you’re still using these legacy models tells me you’re not a keener for yearly upgrades, so the jump to the iPhone 5c will blow your mind. The iPhone 5s would be…overkill.
  • If you own an iPhone 4/4S right now: get the iPhone 5s. Your patience has paid off.
  • If you own an iPhone 5 right now: if you’re on contract, you probably won’t be able to upgrade. If you’re using an unlocked iPhone 5, your phone is most likely already on Craigslist, Kijiji, eBay or has been sold, at about a $100-$150 loss, depending on your threshold. You’re getting the iPhone 5s no matter what.

If you sold your 16GB unlocked iPhone 5 for $575 (at $125 ‘depreciation’), you had the joy of using it for 34 cents per day (assuming 365 days). Consider that the cost of ‘leasing’ the latest and greatest iPhone, free of the headache normally related when dealing with the Big 3. Is 34 cents per day worth it to you? In a world where some people pay $5 for a latte every day–it might be.

Of course, selling an iPhone online in the open market can be a pain but if you include clear pictures of your phone, box and accessories, you’ll find reputable buyers. Just make sure you ignore the ridiculous ‘lowballers.’

Okay, so that was a bit of a rant. Let’s get onto the poll question: Are you going to buy the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c? Vote below (if you can’t see the poll you’ll have to visit the site to vote):

At the end of the day it’s just a smartphone so some argue we shouldn’t buy these new iPhones at all.


  • Supacon

    I think it’s pretty obvious that the kind of person who frequents a site like this isn’t much interested in the 5c. But to the general public (who can’t tell the difference between an iPhone 5 and an iPad Mini), the iPhone 5c will be an appealing device, I suspect.

  • Yep, early votes reflect that.

  • Al

    Re 3G/3Gs… “The iPhone 5s would be…overkill”

    That’s just a totally invalid assumption to make.

  • reformcanada

    I am getting rid of my iPhone 4S and have determined that the new iPhones just aren’t worth it. I am going to try to get an iPhone 5 at a discount!

  • Al

    4s people are still under contract for a year. You can attempt to sell it, or spend an additional $200 (in my case). Not very appealing to add $200 to the cost of a new phone.

  • Chrome262

    don’t sometimes they offer early upgrades? Thats if you are going to stay on contact.

  • Chrome262

    I think if you have a 5 already then the 5c is the same phone but a different back. sure you will get more bands, and that could be a good reason. but other then that its not really worth it, and if you want to upgrade then 5s makes more sense. If you have a 4s or a 4 then 5c would be a great upgrade. And hell if you are a kid it looks more fun. Also its cheaper on contract, and if you are getting more than one, like in a family plan the 5c would be better. Its all about what situation you are in.

  • Simon B

    If I were to upgrade, I would definitely go with iPhone 5S but I’m sticking with my 4S for now. It still feels new-ish despite being almost 2 years old. Plus, it will get ‘revitalized’ to some extent by iOS7 for at least another year. I prefer not being tied down for 2 more years but also can’t justified shelling out $600-$700 for an unlocked version. I could likely get a refurb’ed or pre-loved Macbook Air (better bang for the buck) for that kind of money. Also, for my next upgrade, bigger screen is on top of my priority list so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what Apple has to offer next year.

  • Any upgrade from a 3G/3GS would be huge, since those devices are slow as molasses.

  • Sarge

    I have an iPhone 5 unlocked and am sticking with it.

    My mom has a 4S that’s just over a year left. I’m upgrading her to a 5C on contact. She doesn’t care about Touch ID/Camera improvements and she feels her 4S is even fast enough for her.

    She really wants the bigger screen and LTE, and aside from that she loves the Blue colour on the 5C

  • Chrome262

    True, but how can the getting a new motion detection system and finger print sensor be overkill. Unless your mind is easily blown lol

  • K3

    You might need one of those sleep talk recorder apps to hear yourself debate yourself late at night.

  • K3

    About to do it and looking forward to the 64 bit.

    …Hopefully pairing it with the Intuos Creative Stylus wont be a problem.

  • asdsads

    Apple is dead now. My next phone will be Android.

  • In my mind I was referring to casual iPhone users (who would be ones using an iPhone 3G/3GS still). They don’t care about those features. People like my mom only text, talk on the phone and FaceTime with some light email.

  • Can’t wait for the 64-bit Samsung Galaxy S5s.

  • Magrat22

    So I got the 5 last year on a three year contract with Rogers. I have what they call a flexitab (which you can check under myRogers, view/pay phone balance). So I’ve $313 to pay if I want to upgrade to the iPhone 5s. Thing is I can hand in my 5 and get $310 for it as part of their ‘trade-up’ program. I then have to pay $3 and whatever the cost of the new phone on a two year contract is. Anyone else thinking of doing ths?

  • James

    and you’ll feel like you’re dead too when you use Android… hahahaha..

  • Al

    Sorry man… still too presumptuous. Other scenarios exist.

  • Al

    Holy crap! I had no idea that existed! I’d be in a similar situation with my 4S. hmmmm… This may change things.

  • Al

    Just noticed that. Very intriguing.

  • Chris

    What, why no option for the 4S?

  • Magrat22

    Are you from the past? Welcome to 2013 where the new phone is the one that most people are interested in 🙂

  • Hidden


  • Chris

    It’s a poll, the 4S is an option, and you just admitted that some people will want it. Maybe not many, but I guess we won’t know since it’s not an option in the poll.

  • Chrome262

    Iphones in general are great for non tech heads, so anyone of them would be great for them, but yeah I see your point, it would be wasted on them for sure. Hell siri is wasted on my wife, I guess its because we don’t drive so she never uses it. I on the other and use it for as much as I can lol

  • Chrome262

    I am torn, I don’t want to continue with contracts but its two years now and this is a nice phone. ugg

  • Sly

    When will we know for sure if we can pickup a 5S unlocked at the apple store on the 20th?


  • Magrat22

    You can’t, they are going the same route as with the 5 and you have to buy and commit to a carrier. The unlocked ones I believe are going to be available only online. This is to stop people buying multiples in store for resale and depleting the stock for people who want them for themselves. You will eventually be able to buy it in store but if it’s following the 5 timeline it will be end of November

  • Magrat22

    Yeah I’m with you, I have the 5 I really don’t need to upgrade because it’s not that big a difference but I’d really like the better processor. Decisions, decisions.

  • K.

    I have a 5, the wife has a 4. We’re all staying put.

  • Jesse

    They did let you buy it outright at the apple store just that it was locked to the carrier though. I did that last year then phoned Fido and got them to unlock my phone and then they said they would charge me 50 bucks on my next bill the funny thing is I think they forgot to put it on haha so i guess I got lucky.. I’m just hoping in the states that they will sell it unlocked right from the apple store as thats the rumor thats going around since T-Mobile is in the game now

  • Magrat22

    His question was when can we pickup the 5s unlocked and that’s what I replied to. I also mentioned that it would be locked to a carrier, not sure what your point is 😛

  • Hasan Choudhury

    Yah, I picked up the white 5 yesterday from the fairview mall apple store for 599, with taxes 679! :S still better than the 5C in my opinion, so better pick one up before stock runs out. I calculated the price of the 5S after taxes with the genius who was helping me, that comes around 820$ (inc. taxes).

  • dash

    Stylus? My god.

  • Mark

    Did they have any black models left? And was it a 16 gb model?

  • Hasan Choudhury

    Both were there on Wednesday morning, not sure the situation today though. Try going early and remember to ask for the 1700/2100 band (newest model) cause the genius was telling me they also had the older iPhone without those (AWS) bands – which isnt a good deal.

  • Mark

    Thank you.

  • Flaxx

    iPhone 3G is slow as molasses. I got rid of my development iPhone 3GS only a couple weeks ago and though slower than my 5, it was by no means frustrating to use. The iPhone 3GS is definitely my favorite iPhone!

  • Biggy604

    Nope I always skip the S’s,

    Started with 3G, skipped the GS, got the 4, skipped the 4S, got the 5, skipping on these ones no matter the “jawdropping features” as it will be on the next iphone (6) with even more enhancements.

  • HelloCDN

    Yes! I made a mistake of switching from 4S to Galaxy S4 (I wanted to try new things lol). But in the end, even a really great screen cannot compensate the experience…
    Also, to everyone who considers contract or not, keep this in mind: TELUS, Bell, Rogers let you save $20 a month with BYOD. Calculate the 2 year savings ($20X24), and you have $480. Not bad, considering that the device will be unlocked and you will have a freedom to switch to a better plan if you find one 😉