Apple rolls out the iPhone 5

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Apple has unveiled the iPhone 5 and by their telling, everything is better, better, better. But will it be meaningful to your life?

Among the new, improved features are a bigger screen, better battery life, a new operating system (iOS 6), and a new backbone for iTunes.

Apple has also kicked Google Maps to the curb and is going with a better proprietary mapping program. In addition, they’ve done away with YouTube as an embedded app in the iPhone 5. Both Google Maps and YouTube will be available in the App Store, but they’ve been removed as embeds in an effort to get you deeper and deeper into the Apple ecosystem.

As you probably know, all iPhone apps have to make it through Apple’s vetting process. That continues the trend with Android and Google being open platform, while Apple is a closed system, albeit one people find extremely appealing.

The iPhone 5, which is priced at $199 with a 24-month contract, runs on the LTE network through AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon.

For me as an American, the thing that’s appealing to me is Apple will soon be exporting the iPhone to 100 countries around the world.

That import business will help our balance of payments, it will generate company revenue, and it will boost our national economic growth by one quarter to one half of a percent, depending on which economist you believe. That’s a meaningful boost.

Having said that, stock investors responded to the iPhone 5 announcement with a yawn. That’s typical for high value tech companies. No matter what run-up in value we saw prior to the announcement, there wasn’t enough bang today to get people to think values needed to be higher still.

So to me, the iPhone 5 represents incremental improvement. It will be eaten up by Apple fans and may have enough draw to pull you in if you’re on the fence.

One thing I’m particularly excited about is the spin-off effect of all those people who will want to dump their iPhone 4 or 4S now.

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Amazon is offering Amazon gift cards if you trade in a fully functional iPhone. They’re paying $85 in gift cards for the iPhone 3, and up to $500 for a well-preserved iPhone 4S.

The marketplace value of a used iPhone is high enough to cover a contract break fee with one wireless carrier so you can go to another and keep your number.

This is your chance to exit from AT&T for iPhone service that is too costly and too unreliable!

Or you can take an unlocked iPhone to a no-contract carrier and lower your monthly costs by about 50%. For example, you can buy a SIM card from Straight Talk and use an unlocked iPhone on their network for $45 a month with the service being provided by T-Mobile or AT&T.



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