iPhone 5, why it isn’t that great

Apple, a company known for making beautiful looking and innovative products are equally known for entrapping customers in their ecosystem and releasing incremental upgrades that you “have” to buy.  The iPhone 5 is exactly that, an incremental upgrade that honestly is not that great.  Why?

Let’s start off by getting the facts out of the way.  Apple has the largest app collection on the planet, top-tier developer support, recurring users and devices that look like they should be walking down the runway.  On the other hand, with all of these facts that they can tout; they still do not have the highest global market-share like Google’s Android.  When Apple releases a product things are greater than “big”, they are gargantuan.  The press loses its mind, there is leak after leak and fan-boys worldwide almost pass out as the new device is unveiled.  However, things just were not the same with this release.  Apple not only released this update to the phone because the iPhone 4S had been out for a year, but because they had to play catch up with the market leader.  To prove a point, these are a few of the upgrades to the iPhone:

  • 4G
  • 4 inch screen
  • Faster Wi-Fi
  • Thinner
  • Battery improvements
  • Call screen options (such as: send a text to the caller letting them know you are in a meeting etc.)
  • Panoramic photos
  • Can captures pictures will recording video

Now, with these “upgrades” in line, let’s debunk them.  4G LTE is a technology that practically every high-end device released in the last year and a half has taken advantage of, the iPhone should have included it in the 4 or 4S, but it did not.  As usual, the company forced it’s customers to wait on a technology that, at the time, was already advanced enough to go into their phone.  The part that is even worse is that the buyers of the phone accepted it; which I will never understand.  The iPhone has had the same size screen since it’s “revolutionary” debut in 2007.  Why?  The screen size of 3.5 inches should’ve been discarded with the iPhone 4 iteration, imagine if they debuted their retina display on a 4″ or 4.5″ display — that would’ve been truly resolutionary.  Honestly.

The rest of the list of “upgrades” are things that older phones have had for a while.  On the other hand, when Apple releases these same features they are treated as if they are brand new and unbelievable. Whether you love the iPhone or not, it is hard to say that these additions weren’t a long time coming.

Bottom line:  I watched the keynote, not to climb on an anti-Apple perch; but, to honestly hope to see something great and new.   I saw something good, the iPhone 5 is a beautiful looking device, perhaps the best design on the market.  But when you pair a list of improvements that aren’t new with the same stale OS from 2007 – it just isn’t that great; but Tim Cook had the audacity to say, “It is the biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since the iPhone.”