My Venerable iPhone 4S

iPhone Screen in Vintage Mac styleI was one of the last people in my clique to get a smart phone. Back in 2011, I still had a little Samsung flip phone. When the iPhone 4S same out, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade. I really wanted an iPhone, and this was the first one available on Sprint. (I really liked Sprint at the time, something I can’t say now.) My phone bill went from $50 to $90 a month, but it was worth it. But as much as I loved that little phone, I never could have believed I’d be using it four years later.

My New Phone

The big feature of the iPhone 4S was Siri, the voice recognition assistant. Siri was a lot of fun at first, though I “played” with her less as the novelty wore off. However, the novelty of playing around with the touch screen never seemed to get old. I loved the way that, when you reached the bottom of a web page, the scrolling “bounced” back like a rubber band. And just like everyone else nowadays, I grew to view my phone as an extension of my hand. So when my 2-year contract expired in 2013, I didn’t really feel the need to upgrade to the new and shiny iPhone 5S. I thought about it, but it just wasn’t that high on my list of priorities.

Middle Aged

A year later, I was seriously thinking about upgrading. With the latest version of iOS, my phone was getting pretty sluggish. Moreover, I knew I was paying too much for my phone bill. I was on a two-year contract, and price of my phone was factored into my monthly payment plan. But Sprint didn’t lower the cost of my bills once my plan ended. So I was still paying for my iPhone 4S even though I had more than paid off the original cost. I decided to upgrade to the iPhone 6 when it came out.

Life Gets In The Way

I was fairly impressed with the iPhone 6 when it came out, though Samsung had some decent Android alternatives. Meanwhile Sprint’s network was running at 2011 speeds. And I was kept paying for my already paid-off phone. I thought about buying an iPhone 6 outright and then getting an off-contract plan. Just as I was about to make a decision, life got in the way. I got laid off, and getting a new phone dropped to the bottom of my list of priorities.

One More Year

By the time I got a new job, I was halfway through Apple’s upgrade cycle. I decided to hold out to an iPhone 6S, even though I didn’t know what features it would have exactly, or even if it would be called a 6S. Meanwhile my iPhone 4S was still hanging onto life. After three and a half years, I still hadn’t managed to scratch it or break it. But after four years, it was time. I bought an iPhone 6S and retired my old hand-extension to a drawer. There it still lies. I’m not a very materialistic person, and I know I should let it go, but for some strange reason, I still have an attachment to my old iPhone 4S.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at

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5 Responses

  1. February 6, 2017

    […] there will be a huge market for the older models, like the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S. I bought my first smart phone, the iPhone 4S, about a year ago. For the most part, I like it, but like anything else, it has its […]

  2. February 6, 2017

    […] had a lot of fun with Siri when I first got my phone, but after a few weeks, I discovered that she/it was pretty useless. Siri works pretty well for […]

  3. February 8, 2017

    […] to notice this polarization a little while ago, when I traded in my little flip phone for an iPhone 4S. So far, I like it. Except for one thing: the ribbing from Android fanboys (and occasionally […]

  4. February 8, 2017

    […] 4+ years of this, I finally got seduced by the iPhone 4S. Maybe it was the fact that it had finally come to Sprint, or maybe it was the death of Steve Jobs […]

  5. March 11, 2017

    […] with the new NextStep-based operating system, Mac OS X. Everything Apple did after that, the iPod, iPhone and iMac, rested on this foundation. Perhaps Apple would have survived without Microsoft, but they […]

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