Apple unveils a new iPhone lacking in imagination

The new iPhone from Apple will be called iPhone 5. I wonder how much thought was put into that branding decision.

Apple unveiled its latest smartphone in San Francisco on Sept. 12 and there is no doubt fanboys will flock to Apple stores everywhere to purchase the new toy. But what will they be getting that is so great.

After the launch event the big new features for iPhone 5 are a taller screen, a new dock connector port, LTE support, and Retina display capabilities. I have to say I was underwhelmed. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it had to be more than just a taller screen and a thinner phone made of glass and aluminum? That’s great for those users who want a smartphone that weighs less (112 grams) than others. But didn’t Apple know people can get allergic reactions to aluminum which could lead to a rash. So now Apple is cutting off users with aluminum allergies with this product.

The big question I have after this launch is “Where’s the revolution?” Apple has produced a product that stretches the screen, is slightly thinner and weighs less. Sure with LTE it’s faster. Other products have LTE so what’s the big deal there?

The iPhone 5 is taller. That’s as revolutionary as when beer company Schlitz introduced the tall-boy back in 1954. OK, it’s a tall screen and now you can add another row of apps, but it’s not the tallest nor is it the widest screen available on the market.

Apple did make the processor, battery and camera a lot smaller. And, maybe there’s where the true innovation is. The A6 processor is twice as fast as the iPhone 5 model. The battery maybe smaller but it will last a lot longer; up to eight hours for talk in 3G. As for the camera, eight mega-pixel shooter will be protected by a sapphire lens cover, which should make for crisper images.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said the new iPhone 5 smartphone is the most beautiful product the company has ever made, bar none. True to his name, Mr. Schiller has to say that. But, is it true? Beauty, as the say is in the eye of the beholder. And, I don’t think customers will be buying the new iPhone on looks alone. They might! Pre-sales estimates for the Friday sale have gone as high as six million units, which would be more than a 50 per cent bump from the iPhone 4S opening weekend of sales.

I would agree that style points are necessary but it’s not the overwhelming factor in a smartphone purchase. I think this product will leave a lot of customers scratching their heads. What’s the big deal here? Have we not seen bigger screens? Have we not seen LTE?

Apple is falling into a rut that many other vendors seem to get caught in. After blowing away the marketplace with a very special product it becomes hard to make a dramatic sea-change each and every time a new product is announced. Sure they can make incremental improvements and I believe Apple has done that here. What I did not see with the iPhone 5 is sweeping new innovations and I don’t think we should expect that from them each and every time.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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