Lawyers Do Not Need the iPhone 4


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Around these parts, I am known as very mac-friendly, to put it nicely. I absolutely think the iPhone, or any smartphone, is a great tool for lawyers to use. As for the new iPhone, though, lawyers are wasting their money if they think it will add a new dimension to their practice.

Reception issues = no-no

If you use your mobile phone as your office, or even just use Skype with your iPhone, then the new model is definitely not for you. There have been countless complaints about reception issues because of the location of the antenna. The last thing you want is for your phone to drop calls with a client, a potential client, or whoever else you are talking to.

The new features are not worth the price

I admit, I like the way the new phone looks. But it cannot do much more than the iPhone 3GS. It has a much better camera, which is great, but not all that useful for lawyers.

Facetime, the feature that allows video calls, is not all that appealing. For one, the other person needs to also have an iPhone 4. Two, you can only use it over Wi-Fi. Three, I do not see the appeal, especially for attorneys and lawyerin’ work.

The new screen is very appealing, but I do not think it is worth the price of a new phone. I do a fair amount of reading on my phone, but not enough to justify spending the money for the latest version.

The multitasking is pretty neat, but you can still do that on an “old” 3GS. In other words, the iPhone 4 looks nice, but the new features are unlikely to add much to your practice. In fact, given the reception issues, it may actually cause more problems than it solves.


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  • Bryan

    I agree that I wouldn’t pay the $300 out of pocket if I already had a smartphone, but for those with upgrade eligibility and the ability to sell an old phone, I think it’s worthwhile. I sold my iPhone 3GS on for $305. That was enough to convince me to make the upgrade–even if I had to enter into another 2 year contract!

  • Ryan

    I mostly agree due to reception complaints…although I wonder if a case remedies the issue.

    On the other hand, the new camera would improve JotNot scans. The biggest draw to me is the high res screen. Your eyes are worth it.

  • Chris Skerik

    I upgraded from a 3G and have 0 reception issues, not one dropped call, not one calling issue yet. in fact I have much more reception at places like my home, with this than my old phone. To tell people to not buy due to this seems very shortsighted. At worst, you add a case, if the “death grip” thing is an issue for you. The benefits highly outweigh any potential issues. YMMV

    And for lawyers, the screen can make a big difference, I use my ipad to bring along a client’s file, as the old phone just was too difficult to read in a situation like that. This screen is so incredible, I think I could get away with it now and for reading, it is just stunning.

    As for the camera and lawyers, get yourself a copy of scanner pro, take a picture of a document email it or drop it in a dropbox account. Even if you do not think you need the higher resolution, the led flash will be hugely beneficial, as the times I’ve used it, lighting could be an issue.

  • Having just acquired an iPad yesterday, I’m certain that I don’t need to pick up an iPhone 4. For one thing, I’m a lawyer who doesn’t use the cell phone that much. I never have. My iPhone 3G takes care of my calling needs when I need that feature. I think the iPhone 4 is a terrific piece of technology, and I expect that when my iPhone 3G gives up the ghost, I’ll upgrade. But until then, I’ve not seen anything compelling that makes me anxious to get the iPhone 4.

  • Randall Ryder

    I think the improved screen is awesome, but with the reception issues, I plan on waiting to upgrade.

    @ Chris – you raise some good points, but I have never had problem using my current 3GS to read docs in Dropbox, or during client meetings.