I’ll start this by being honest with you, I am a massive Apple fan, I mean, a huge Apple fan. Ever since my parents bought themselves an iMac at the end of 2009, I have been absolutely infatuated with the looks and speed of the thing. Last Christmas, I saved up and purchased myself a MacBook Pro. I love it. A couple of months ago, my mobile network in the U.K. offered me the same upgrade price for the iPhone 4S or the 4. It was a Hobson choice and I obviously went with the 4S. While its main feature, Siri, is not something I use every day, the camera and speed of the thing amaze me constantly, especially in comparison to what was already a fast iPhone 4 with very good photographic abilities.
I’ll come right out and say it here, the iPhone 5 does not impress me, not one bit. It seems that Apple has gone right from being the dominant player in the game to being the one that now follows trends. Steve Jobs once said that he would never change the iPhone screen as he was afraid of creating a gap in how the apps would run on the various devices, he didn’t want a fractured eco-system of Apple products using different screen ratios. When the iPhone was released in 2007, it was a world-changing, truly mind-blowing product. I remember watching the Keynote address live and gasping along with the rest of the crowd as he dragged his finger effortlessly along the screen in order to unlock it. This is something we have now become completely immune to as we half-heartedly watch the words ‘slide to unlock’ glint across the display that we blindly bat at in order to get to the home screen. We’ve become a race which expects so much more of our phones, and largely thanks to Apple themselves.
Yet it seems now that Apple has lost its charm. Still, two million iPhone 5s were ordered in the first 24 hours after its release. This makes it the most successful iPhone launch to date. Nonetheless, the iPhone 5 is still being hammered by the competition such as the Android. What is quite interesting is that when you look at global market share, the iPhone is roughly half that of Android, yet iPhone users browse the internet a lot more and use their phones a lot more. As a counter-argument to that, you can say that people who are going to spend a lot more on their phones will use their phones more, but the lack of use of Android devices, despite their proliferation of the market, is a constant Apple attack point.
So what is it that does not impress me about the iPhone 5? It shows Apple’s first shift from being ahead of the change to being a part of the change.
Let’s be completely objective and take a step back here: it’s thinner, lighter and faster, like any new iteration of any technological device always is. They’ve improved the front facing camera slightly and added a new microphone for more audio awareness during a call, so the phone knows what background noise to ignore whilst you talk. It has 4G networking (which is really just an extremely expensive and power hungry way of browsing the internet which still isn’t available in most parts of the country). The screen is bigger. Analysis over.
They still set the gold standard in terms of build quality and ease of use, but they’ve lost the quantity war by not just a yard, but a complete mile. I’m not sure they can regain ground.