The Problem with the iPhone 5
That seems to be almost everybody's reaction to the annoucement of the new iPhone 5. Lol.
But, before we talk about that, let's summarise the changes:
Larger (Ok, fine. Longer) Screen
A change from a 3.5" to a 4" screen by LG. No change in the width, but it has an increase in height. It's actually quite a good move considering how often we use the phone upright with the keyboard in the way, giving you more visual real estate as while you type. Also a great for wide format videos, a boon for mobile movie buffs. The phone is probably gonna look a little weird at first though.
New Design that's Smaller and Lighter
18% smaller and 20% lighter. Pretty good numbers if you ask me. Also, it's nice that they didn't use the cheaper approach of using 2 seperate chips for their network connectivity around the world. Using 1 chip is more expensive, but it saves space and is more efficient. For the sharp eyed, I believe that combining the touch panel into the LCD not only reduces its thickness, but it could also improve its visual quality, given that there's lesser material for the light to pass through, reducing distortion.
I must also say, the new design? Quite similar to the old, but just a little bolder. This might be the first iPhone that I'd not put a skin on.
The new A6 chip promises up to 2x more performance then the previous phones. Keyword is 'Up To', but even a 30-50% real life increase would be pretty good. Then you have 4G, or LTE connectivity. Not unexpected, but it's about time I should say.
It's smaller and it connects both ways. Some people have issues with proprietary connectors, but the real problem with them is compatibility and availability. It's not like some companies (*cough*sony*cough) where they have different cables for different products and it's hard to find even in their own stores. The new cable will definitely be used in all upcoming products and will be made available everywhere. The fact that it connects either way is also a tiny, but cool and appreciated touch.
Facebook integration, Apple's own map app and Siri. Facebook integration will be convenient, while the effectiveness of their own map app will need to be tested to see if it's really any better than Google's. Siri, well, until it's actually tailored for Singapore, it's kinds useless. The only use I can think of for Siri is handsfree messaging. When it's accurate.
The Problem with the iPhone 5: Expectations
As far as I can surmise, it's a pretty good evolutionary update.
The problem is however, everybody seems to be expecting something out of this world everytime Apple announces something. In a way, its good because it shows that Apple has had a history of making out of this world changes, hence it has become the norm. But then, really, has anybody asked this question?
What else can they do?
Expectations Part 1 – Perception
The first part of this problem is that a lot of the improvements are becoming less and less obvious. The first truly revolutionary leap was the introduction of the iPhone. Everything after that is evolutionary gravy, but a lot of it was pretty obvious, like the screen resolution and network speed from the iPhone to the iPhone 3G, so lots of people still went 'wow'.
A lot of the newer improvements now however, are not as obvious. The switch to the Retina Screen for example, I bet most people can't really tell the difference. As for speed, because most of the apps are pre approved to work anyway, when apps created to take advantage of the more powerful system, the change in user experience is minimal.
Then you have a lot of changes that are under the bonnet, like new manufacturing designs and techniques. For example, parts that are so finely crafted that they have to be measured and then matched with components to account for a few microns in difference. These tolerances are usually required for making precision instruments!
However, because most of these things can't be perceived by the average individual, it sorts of 'doesn't matter'. It's a bit like a job well done by a cleaner that goes unoticed by everyone in the office until he or she is gone.
Expectations Part 2 – What Else?
Glasses free 3D – Not ready
Holographic Display – Check back 2025, if we live past this year
Mind Control – Check Back 2030, if we live past this year
Unlimited Power – Check back 2020, if we live past this year
Built in Projector – adds bulk, micro projectors not ready
Smell Detection and Production – wait for april fools
etc etc etc.LOL. I bet if you ask everyone what they expected the iPhone 5 to have to make it 'out of this world', they wouldn't even know how to answer that question.
It's kinda funny. I remember the time when the iPad was launched, half the world went 'BOOOO! It's an iPod with a large screen!'. Now even they paid for the iPad so that they can droll over it. Shows what they know eh?
Then you have the fandroids. heh.
Have you guys checked out the difference between the Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3? Not much improvement yes? And yet, there doesn't seem to be as much hate going around…is it because people don't expect as much from the S3?
It helps that disappointment means that the resale value of the previous phone doesn't go down as fast, which is great especially when because I can recontract every 12 months. When I sell it, the cash usually ends up paying for the phone + a couple of months of my subscription, so it's a always an upgrade for me when a new one comes up. Either that, or I may give it to my dad this year. We shall see.
Anyway, give it a go when the demo becomes available and try it out for yourself. Listen to the whines but understand where they come from (which in this case, is usually 'nowhere') and then form your own opinions.
Oh, and the new iPod nano design? And that apple logo on the backs? WTF. Seriously.
I can already feel Steve turning in his grave lol