This question may be particularly important for 4S owners with Verizon service contracts. Since Apple's current smartphone was released this past October, if the next edition comes out within a year owners may not be eligible for an upgrade. This means that they have no choice but to purchase the phone at full price with no rebate.
Regardless of contract issues, Apple devices aren't cheap. The iPhone 4S offers an array of features, from the artificial intelligence software Siri to HD video. What groundbreaking characteristic could Apple possibly use to entice audiences with its next smartphone?
There have been speculations about what the gadget will offer based on previous releases and what has been enabled on the new iPad. Some rumors include a wireless charging feature and a gorilla glass interface.
But is that enough to convince users to drop a few hundred bucks?
Reardon continued to write that Apple is expected to reveal some dazzling additions, but it may not be worth ditching the previous model.
But I don't think the changes will be so drastic that people who buy an iPhone 4S now because they need a new phone will be kicking themselves over their purchase, she said in her advice column.
The most basic iPhone with 16 GB of memory costs $199, and the most expensive 64 GB model is sold for $399. The iPhone 5 will probably be priced at the same rate. First weekend sales for the iPhone 4S amounted to more than 4 million.
It is unclear whether or not the next generation smartphone will yield the same results, but users may benefit from purchasing a reduced-price iPhone 4S than a brand new iPhone 5.