Yes new is better, almost always some of the time. The thing is better is not the same as best. It can be depending on your point of reference but that is limiting. The iPhone 5 was the most anticipated phone unveiling ever! I don’t think I’m blowing this out of proportion. Even if you aren’t part of the Apple ecosystem you still knew, or heard, what today was and was on some level curious. Lets get to question of the day: Did the iPhone 5 meet the hype?
The iPhone 5 is the best phone hardware Apple has ever produced. Lets make that clear. A more powerful processor, better graphics power, better camera, bigger screen, thinner, lighter and equipped with true LTE.
- A6 Processor
- 8 MP iSight Camera BSI Sensor
- Worldwide LTE (3 different models to achieve this)
- Retina Display (325 ppi)
- Talk Time up to 8 hrs on 3G and LTE
- Comes in 16/32/64GB options
- RAM unannounced but 1GB is a reasonable guess.
When viewed from the standpoint of what the non-techie consumer will feel this iPhone will be awesome. It will have the best features that Apple has to offer and should move along in a snappy fashion. To the techie crowd this is a catchup lap, at best. The inclusion of the A6 chip was a very recent leak and a surprise. You would think that Apple would utilize the A5X or A5 chip to power such a small screen but no. I think this indicates that the unannounced iPad Mini will be debuting with the A6 chip. One commenter on Twitter commented that it looks like Apple took the iPhone 4/4S, grabbed a bowling pin to the phone and simply rolled out a thinner, taller phone.
iOS6 has proven to be a nice, evolutionary update to iOS5 To be clear, I feel the iOS5 update was a much bigger deal. It brought Siri, Notification Center, Game Center and a few other social integration bits. iOS6 is like Apple’s admission that they’ve begun to hit the wall on how far they can take the user experience of iOS. They replaced Google Maps with their own native mapping solution. There are over 200 new features in iOS6 but thus far people are having a hard time finding them. It was thought that most of the big user features were being withheld because they were iPhone hardware specific. As it turns out iOS6 is what we thought it was. Bummer.
Key Software features:
- Siri: Your favorite “personal assistant” gets a major upgrade and is now out of beta. Can now open apps using Siri & set reservations using OpenTable integration among other things.
- Passbook: Passbook keeps things like airline boarding passes, movie tickets, and gift cards all in one place.
- Maps: Gone are Google Maps as the native solution and enter Apple’s own mapping solution. Beautiful 3D maps, free turn-by-turn directions and even a 100 million deep point of interest database.
- Safari & iCloud: iCloud Tabs shows the web pages you have open on all your devices, so you can pick up browsing wherever you left off. iCloud saves your bookmarks across all your devices, too.
- FaceTime over 3G: Now you can use FaceTime while consuming your data plan, if that’s your thing.
- Panorama Mode in Camera: Yes, the ability to take a panorama photo natively in your camera app is now available.
Apple had the chance to shut the door on every OS not named Android. There has been so much pent up demand that I could see 100 million iPhones being sold in the next 6 months easily. Did they capitalize? No dice, they whiffed! In a world where Google is rapidly polishing Android (Jelly Bean anyone?) and Microsoft is bringing their game up several notches with Windows Phone 8 Apple needed to bring some kind of leap ahead feature that would cause their competition to chase their tails for the next product cycle. Instead I walked away from the event thinking about how every single thing Apple announced today was a catchup move. Moves were made to get them back to “all things being equal” position and letting the lock-in of their ecosystem and brand name value win the day for them. There was no NFC, no wireless charging, not even a suped up camera. There was absolutely no “take my money now” feature announced.
Samsung debuted some progressive, innovative software solutions with facial detection and their answer to Siri. Nokia last week delivered what may be the most innovative phone bringing along with it wireless charging, NFC, Pure HD+ screen that exceeds the ppi of the iPhone 5’s retina display, innovative camera tech and bold colors. When compared to these two beautiful phones the iPhone simply comes up short. Yes the iPhone 5 will be the most popular selling phone of all time. This is more to do with Apple’s brand and marketing then the hardware and software accompanying it. The iPhone 5 failed to meet the hype and that’s sad. I, as a techie, want to see Apple make the other guys push harder and faster than they ever have before. Trust me, it’ll be better for everyone when Apple gets back to that.
Speaking on a purely hardware/native software point of view the iPhone isn’t the best anymore. That battle is up for grab between the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Nokia Lumia 920.