It’s Official, Apple Announces the iPhone 5

Well, I took a break from blogging over the summer and what better time to get back into the mix than with yesterday’s announcement of the iPhone 5 by Apple. Those that know me understand that I’m quite a gadget junkie, and even though my addiction began way before the iPhone, in the past few years the iPhone and IOS devices have garnered much of my attention. So, what’s my take on yesterday’s announcement? I can safely say that it’s the best iPhone ever made. But, I don’t think it’s the best smartphone anymore. Let me explain.

Yesterday’s announcement was disappointing for me, and I think it might have been because most, if not all, of the rumors floating around before the launch proved true, and because there were really no new surprises, it just felt very “meh”.  I won’t bore you all with the specs, they’re plenty of tech blogs out there that go over them, but basically it comes down to these main points that most people will care about:

  • It’s faster than any iPhone before it. Apple touts twice the speed of the iPhone 4S!
  • It’s got a bigger screen, half inch taller, enough room for one more row of icons, and is now a true 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • It’s LTE, so if your carrier has it in your area, you can rock to mega-awesome browsing and streaming speeds.
  • Improved front and rear cameras, so now you don’t look like ass when using FaceTime, and the rear camera is better than ever, even in low light!
  • All that awesomeness is crammed into a thinner shell without any hit to battery life!
  • New Dock Connector, so be prepared to buy accessories all over again, yay!
Bundle all the above with the upcoming IOS6 features and you have the best iPhone ever made. Why the fuss then? Well, It’s hard for me to describe. I held off from writing this article because I wanted to sleep on this news and figure out why I felt so disappointed. I think it comes down to the fact that even though this is the best iPhone ever, it doesn’t bring much to the table in regard to making it the best smartphone ever. In fact, Apple has allowed their competition to catch up or even surpass it entirely, and when you look at the iPhone and IOS in comparison to the upcoming Windows Phone 8, and Android’s Jellybean phones. Apple isn’t the definitive choice anymore. I’ll even say this has been the case since the release of the iPhone 4S. Now, this is entirely my opinion, and it might be that I’ve come to expect too much or I’ve outgrown IOS, but I don’t seem to be alone in this sentiment.  Engadget has an interesting article that compares the new iPhone 5 to the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the upcoming Nokia Lumia 920, and you’ll see how this competitive edge seems to have vanished.
Apple likes to tout how magical their devices are, but if you think about it, their magic is fading, and their revolutionary has become evolutionary in comparison to their product line. I might feel differently if they had say 2 or 3 flavors of iPhone, so there would be choice, and not compromise. Why not make a second iPhone and cross the gap between a mini-iPad and a larger iPhone? Apple floats in more cash than most countries, you’d think they could take a chance and do something interesting like that. 
The last sticking point for me is the connector, yeah, I know Apple hasn’t change their connector in about 9 years, and I suppose they would have to do it eventually. But it doesn’t lessen the sting and besides being small doesn’t revolutionize anything other than their wallet. I would have been much happier if they would have just adopted microUSB like the rest of the industry, but once again the dock connector is another proprietary connector. So, now I need a whole slew of new accessories to buy, or buy Apple’s bulky adapter, which will probably cost about $20.  
So there you have it, my take on the iPhone 5. It’s Apple’s safe upgrade to their lineup. Will Apple lose anything with this tiny step forward? Maybe a little. But let’s not forget that the iPhone’s success has little to do with Apple, and more with the developers out there. The iPhone wouldn’t be what it is today without the wealth of apps that are available, and this area is where Apple will dominate until the others catch up. 
Lastly, the question of upgrading, is it worth it? If you have an older iPhone, say a 3GS or even a 4, then definitely; especially if you’re happy in Apple’s ecosystem. If you have a 4S, maybe not so much… You’ll be getting the new features of IOS6, just not the hardware. Will I get the upgrade? I’m not sure… I’ve already invested heavily in IOS and I may upgrade out of necessity, since Apple still remains the most profitable and popular platform to build applications for. But I’m most excited for Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform, and the Nokia Lumia 920 is looking to be quite an attractive phone. So, maybe I’ll wait to see how that turns out before following the rest of the iSheep. Thanks for reading, and I’ve included some links about the iPhone 5 below that you might find interesting.
Links of iPhone 5 Interest: