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Which iPhone 4 Should You Buy?

June 14, 2010

It’s decision time:  16 or 32?  Of course, I am talking about whether you should purchase the $199 iPhone 4 with 16 GB of flash memory space or will you need the 32 GB model and pay Apple $299?  The answer to that question depends on how you anticipate that you will be using the new device.

First, some background. It is my belief that the iPhone was never developed to become someone’s everyday iPod.  If this were true, iPhones would have included at least equal hard drive space as its most featured iPod models, which it does not. The most space you can buy on the iPhone 4, for example, is 32 GB compared to 64 GB on the iPod Touch.   The iPod Classic, on the other hand, comes with 160 GB of space or ten times the amount of space compared to the entry level iPhone 4! As I see it, the iPhone has always been about adding the most popular parts of your iTunes library, but leaving the rest on your Mac or PC (or iPod Classic).  In other words,  the iPhone carries your favorite or newest music and just enough video for your kids to be content in the car on the way to a family vacation destination. However, thanks to iPhone 4’s ability to record videos in HD 720p, an additional factor needs to be taken into account.   While I am excited about this added ability, I don’t anticipate that I will suddenly be leaving my digital camcorder at home for my next cruise or trip to Disneyworld. As I see it, the videos taken on my new iPhone 4 will include short-clips at my daughter’s soccer games or perhaps a quick clip at the next family picnic and nothing else.  And, once these events are finished, I will quickly transfer the files to my Mac for further use.   The larger videos will still be taken by the camcorder, which still offers more features (and quicker download times to my Mac), than will the iPhone. However, if I am in the minority here, so be it and read on.  According to this post, if you anticipate taking four hours or more of video at one time (or plan to keep an equal amount on the iPhone for the long-term), the 32 GB model is probably more appropriate for you.  However, if the recording of little clips is more your style, save the $100 and buy the 16 GB model. Still, consumers need to recognize that even the 32 GB model has its limits and will still not allow you to film or maintain a large music or video library.  That, in my opinion, is what the iPods are for and not the iPhone. [Photo: Apple] Note - Article updated to reflect the fact the iPhone has flash memory and not hard drives.

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