On the surface, the iPhone 5 turned out to be everything that we expected. A 4” screen, new dock connector and improvements all round popped up with absolutely no surprises at all. Even the memory capacity is still constrained to 64GB maximum.
By the time the event started we knew that we could pre-order tomorrow and that it would be shipped next Friday, but that is still an impressive achievement. To have so many countries covered so quickly and to get them in the hands of users in a matter of days is remarkable and will no doubt only help sales of the latest and greatest iPhone.
iTunes will be getting a much needed update next week alongside the release of iOS 6 as well and that is about all you need to know about the new iPhone.
The days of being surprised by iPhone announcements are over with so many people involved in manufacturing them, so many websites desperate to offer new iPhone rumours every single day and millions of people happy to play along and eat up anything with ‘iPhone’ in the title. The thing is that the launch of the iPhone 5 would not have been surprising even if not one rumour had surfaced. There is nothing here that is not available in a different form on other high-end smartphones. Serious Android phones will be rubbing their hands together and enjoying every moment of this, but people like me will be buying the iPhone 5.
You see, it isn’t about the specifications or the clever features that make people stand up and think “Ooh that’s great!” and then never use them once they buy the phone. It’s all about the experience for me and the little touches that make the iPhone 4S so damn useful every single day. From the audio quality of the external speakers and headphones to the complete lack of lag when opening apps and doing complex things. From the incredibly intuitive usage to the familiarity that has grown over the past few years, why would I not want all of that to be even faster in a slightly larger space? It makes no sense to pay so much money for what seems like minimal upgrades, but when a device is used multiple times and for many hours each day, why would I not?
None of the above is said without some reservations. Something in the back of my mind believes that Apple is falling behind in the smartphone market, but then I consider that it is still way ahead in the areas that count. The sheer quality of the hardware and each component are still ahead of the rest in my opinion and in some areas they are moving further forward. I have to make decisions based on my usage and purchasing a different phone on a different platform just because it has a huge screen and lots of novel features makes little sense. One thing really struck me- the comment that Apple made the iPhone better rather than changed it completely for the sake of doing so. You may think the simplistic icon layout is old hat, you may think the lack of widgets hampers efficiency and you may smirk at the lack of change since the original iPhone. What you cannot do is suggest for one minute that all of that does not work because it surely does.
I find myself in the unusual position of writing about phones every day, being seriously geeky about all things mobile yet quite content with what I am using and just as content with a simple step up.
Apple will market this as the most amazing thing ever, it isn’t, and some will believe that it truly is because they are deluded Apple fans. Others will criticise it for a number of reasons just because they are obsessed with Android and hate everything Apple does.
Well, I hate Apple as a company and I also have similar hatred for Samsung, Google, Microsoft and the rest. These are huge organisations that are all the same deep down- not to be trusted. However, only Apple is making a smartphone that truly fits me and my life every day. That doesn’t make it better than the competition. That makes it right for me. At the end of all of this, I find myself somewhat irrationally disappointed by the iPhone 5 yet I am still buying it. The rational side of me realises that the iPhone 5 is the perfect step up for someone like me who relies on their iPhone 4S so much. I am not swallowing any of Apple's bullsh*t when I buy it, I just like it and feel that it is worth the money.