So, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of days, you should know that Apple announced the iPhone 5 yesterday.
As usual all kinds of reviews have been published in the last 24 hours. I thought I would take this chance to go over some of the finer points of the release, and to offer some of my own thoughts.
But first, a quick recap on what you may have missed: (Full keynote available here)
The iPhone 5 is 18% thinner and 20% lighter compared to the now ‘vintage’ iPhone 4S. It will ship with Apple’s latest mobile operating system: iOS6. For the first time since the introduction of the iPhone, Apple has increased the screen size from 3.5″ to 4″. This increase in real estate has without a doubt been brought on by emerging trends in the smartphone market this last year. This offers a taller display, and the addition of a fifth row of icons on the home screen. They have also added the A6 chip, offering roughly twice the speed as the iPhone 4S. Apple has also (finally) introduced LTE wireless speeds offering a theoretical maximum speed of 100 Mbps. This is another feature Apple needed to add in order to catch up with their competition.
As you can see from the picture above, the iPhone 5 has also received a complete re-design with a two-toned aluminum and glass plated design.
So, this is certainly a solid smartphone, by any standards. So why are we seeing mixed reactions with the words ‘underwhelming’ and ‘ disappointing’ coming up so often?
Well, this year at the D10 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple would be ‘doubling-down’ on secrecy in order to prevent future product leaks. The problem is that in the weeks following the D10 conference, Apple fans witnessed an abundance of leaks of the iPhone 5. The design was leaked, revealing the new two-toned backing, the new dock connector, and even the chips inside the phone were made public. As you can imagine, this didn’t leave much to imagination for developers and engineers, who were able to understand the function of the guts of the iPhone at a glance.
I think what we were waiting for was a ‘one more thing’ moment. If you’re unfamiliar, this is the phrase Steve Jobs often used when unveiling a dazzling feature or product when he hosted keynotes. It’s the introduction he used to show the world the first video call ever done on a consumer device via FaceTime.
The problem is that right now, technology is moving so rapidly, the margins for revolutions are shrinking. I don’t think we’re anywhere near capping the possibilities of what we can do with mobile devices. But for now, we probably won’t see a holographic keyboard any time soon
So, should you buy it?
The iPhone 4/S upgrade was a tricky one. With the introduction of Siri and few other features, it put a ton of customers in the grey area of upgrades. However, I can say with confidence that the iPhone 5 is a far greater leap for an upgrade than the 4 to the 4S ever was.
Factor in LTE speeds. Think about the A6 chip and the smoothness it offers to the experience. The re-design. Marginally longer battery life. A bigger, better display. Better call quality with three microphones built into the phone.
Anyway, that’s what I would focus on. I won’t be upgrading due to a student budget and not being able to afford the luxury of a new $700 phone ever year… for now.
But, to close:
Will this ‘disappointing’ launch of the iPhone affect the longevity of Apple’s flagship phones? Absolutely not. As many publications have already noted, Apple has once again put itself in a position to break records for this coming holiday season.
Do you intend to pick up the new iPhone? Do you plan on boycotting Apple altogether after this launch? What’s your opinion?