iPhone 5 Disconnect: Expectations vs Deliverables

Apple iPhone 5Apple’s iPhone 5 grabbed attention as one of the newest and coolest smartphones right now. But let’s talk about what users expected and what Apple delivered with this new iPhone.

As the photo suggests, the new iPhone looks almost the same as the previous two versions(4 and 4S). Apple just made it a bit taller, slimmer and lighter than what we are used to. The new design is sleek and elegant and makes you feel that you are using a high-end device.

Unfortunately, some people expected an iPhone full of new innovations and are feeling a bit disappointed. I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they will buy the newest Nokia Lumia 920, instead of the latest iPhone. People are also talking about snapping up a Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, or that they’d wait for the next Google phone, rather than buying the iPhone 5.

You don’t have to be an expert to realize that this new phone is not a big leap forward from iPhone 4S. This is because Apple already made the leap two years ago with the iPhone 4, when they announced a new design, the retina display, a faster processor and so on.

What people wanted

Reading the tech blogs this week, I saw that people wanted new things from Apple:

  • An NFC chip inside, which would support mobile payments or file sharing, just like the Galaxy S III.
  • A wireless charger, similar to the Lumia 920.
  • A better camera, capable of shooting great pictures even in low light conditions, Something similar to what Lumia 920 calls Pureview.
  • A display that exceeds retina value of 326 ppi, though I don’t think this is necessary. Lumia 920 has 332 ppi, so maybe that’s why people expected more (if Nokia can do it, why can’t Apple, they might think).
  • A better speaker experience. Something like Amazon did with the Kindle Fire HD — stereo Dolby Surround Speakers or something similar to what HTC was doing with Beats.

What Apple delivered

Working “secretly” in their labs, Apple managed to add some new things:Apple EarPods

  • A new design: taller, lighter, slimmer.
  • A new iOS with not that many improvements, but with tweaks here and there just to make everybody happy (e.g. Facebook iOS integration, Passbook app, Safari with iCloud tabs, synchronization between different iOS devices, new Map application, FaceTime through cellular network and more Siri features.
  • A faster processor and 1 GB of RAM. Although no one knows for sure, my guess is that the processor should be a 1.5 dual-core A9 (Update: benchmarks say the processor is a ARMv7 clocked at 1GHz).
  • LTE network, dual-band Wi-Fi chip (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and Nano Sim (which is patented).
  • A new smaller connector and new Apple EarPods (Remote and Mic). So the sound will not be that bad actually, if you use these new EarPods.

The only thing that bothers me is that we knew about this iPhone 5 design since the end of May, when it was leaked online. Even these nice new EarPods leaked on the Internet a few weeks ago, so maybe that’s why Apple’s announcement was not a big surprise. I guess Tim Cook and his guys need to really double down on secrecy in the future. The event was like watching a movie hours after you saw the trailer of the same movie. Spoilers ruin everything, even in tech world.

Still, I don’t think Apple has reasons to worry and to answer my own question, I think this will be successful as usual. This weekend, people will pre-order millions of new iPhones, just like they did with other models and maybe they will set a new record, maybe not.

The thing is that iPhone has become a brand that’s so big, only a big failure could make it go backwards. To be honest, this is the phone that started this crazy smartphone revolution, where phones are being released week after week and in which consumers are investing money continuously.

 

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