Why I’m not getting too excited about the (new) iPhone 5

Why Im not getting too excited about the (new) iPhone 5
So we’re just hours away from the biggest product announcement of the year. Make no mistake, whatever Apple announces this evening will be talked about and scrutinised for the next several weeks. It will sell in enormous number that will put every other device firmly in the shade. We all know how much money Apple makes, and a massive 60% of that profit comes just from the iPhone.
That said, I’m keeping my expectations firmly on the ground. I still remember the general disappointment that followed last year’s announcement of the iPhone 4S. I’ve no doubt we’ll see a great product tomorrow. I just don’t think it will be an exciting one. Apple have found an extremely successful formula and it doesn’t seem like they’ll stray from it very much.
All the leaks and rumours build a picture of an iPhone 4S with an aluminium back, an elongated screen and a mild spec bump. There’s likely to be an A5X SOC inside but without the crazy graphics power, as it simply isn’t needed and is a massive battery killer. There’ll also likely be an improved camera, but given how good the current one is we’ll have to wait and see how much better they’ve made it. So, very solid hardware and an odds on best seller, but just nothing that really rocks the boat. Will 4S customers be dying to upgrade? Perhaps, but it doesn’t seem like the jump from the 3GS to the 4.
To be honest, I’m not even sure what else Apple could do. Smartphones have developed so quickly and become so powerful that it feels like we’re already reaching a point of maturity. The iPhone 4S is already more than powerful enough, with an amazing display, best in class camera and solid battery life. It’s difficult to make a massive leap forward when the bar is already so high. I’d actually be more excited about a new Nexus because the hardware has so much more room for improvement. The screen on my Galaxy Nexus is average, the camera is lacklustre and the battery life appalling. Apple’s hardware is already just so much better.
And barring the odd feature, we’ve already seen most of what iOS 6 has to offer. Again, iOS is already a very good mobile platform. I use it every day and appreciate it’s features, stability, performance and ecosystem. Apple hav e been working away over the last six years to slowly add missing features and polish everything to a spotless shine. But while iOS 6 seems like a decent update, from what’s been revealed so far it looks more like a point release than a massive jump forward.
I’m not trying to rain on Apple’s parade. I’ve no doubt that whatever is announced tomorrow will more than match up to the competition. I just can’t see it being exciting in the same way that the new iPad (3) was or the Nexus 7. The retina display on the iPad and the brilliance of the Nexus 7 despite its low price really made them standout products in my mind.
Still, I’d love to be proved wrong and be pleasantly surprised. Either way, the wait is nearly over.
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  • Anonymous

    I tend to agree with most of this. However, somehow, I’m kind-of excited. This is mainly because I’m quite looking forward to upgrading my iPhone 4 (I’ve held on for two whole years now, a record for me).

    Given the resources Apple has though, lately I’ve been a tad disappointed with what they’ve come up with. Really, they should be streets ahead of everyone else. What I do like about Apple, though, is that they tend not to release anything which doesn’t work really well. It’s like back when the original iPhone was released, I’d had a 3G phone for quite a while, and thought to myself ‘how can they possibly release a 2.5G phone in this day and age?’. The phone itself worked very well though, and actually the poor data speeds were slightly less apparent on the iPhone than they were on other handsets.

    To me, the slightly bigger screen doesn’t bother me. I like the form-factor of the current iPhones, and I think the convenience of the size outweighs the great display of my HTC One X, for example. So really, if all Apple are going to announce are a bigger screen and a bit of extra oomph, I’d class that as a huge disappointment. Even if the phones are 4G, doesn’t really make a lot of difference to us in the UK at the moment.

    These are the things that I’d really like to see;

    1. NFC. No reason this shouldn’t be implemented.
    2. That protective covering which was rumoured a while back, so the phone can be completely submersed in water and still work perfectly.
    3. Fast charging batteries. The current line of iPhones charge up quicker than any other phone I’ve ever had, but any improvement would be a big deal. I’ve always said that short battery life isn’t so much of a problem if you can charge it up quickly.
    4. Simple method of data transfer between phones without relying on WiFi. Surely it’s about time Apple implemented File Transfer on Bluetooth (and/or NFC)?

    These are all nice innovative features that I’m sure most people would like to see – to allow the iPhone to be a more practical every-day tool that you take everywhere and use all the time.

    For the price of the thing, it has to be something special. The iPhone 4 was the first iPhone released that I actually wanted, and I think Apple are struggling to match that release.

    I will return, and bemoan the fact that none of these features have been put in the new phone, and inevitably buy one anyway. More fool me!

    • Anonymous

      The iPhone 4 was also the first iPhone that i actually wanted to. Before that I just felt that the iPhone was more form over function. Cool UI and style ahead of actually being able to do things. And way underpowered for what you were paying.

      But the 4 was outstanding. Great design, great camera, great performance and the firsts version of iOS that was actually usable (IMHO).

  • Anonymous

    Solid battery life? Hmmm….