Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 on 12th September and for many it was somewhat of a let down. The main reason being, most of what Apple revealed was leaked on the internet in the lead up to the event. There was even a clairvoyant in the mix in the form of Dan Lyons.
This is what he had to say in a piece for the BBC:
This week it’s the iPhone 5. Everyone pretty much accepts that Apple will introduce it, and there have been so many leaks that everybody pretty much seems to know what it’s going to be. Word is it will look a lot like the last two versions of the iPhone, except a bit thinner and a bit taller, with upgraded guts and a refreshed operating system.
I imagine Steve is not happy. First of all, he’d be furious about the leaks. Steve liked surprising people.
Of course, Steve Jobs would not have been happy. How do we know this? One of the biggest leak took place under Steve Jobs’ watch as CEO. Can someone say Gizmodo (I wonder, if the site is still barred from Apple’s press events). We all know how this turned out, and his subsequent comment on the situation at the AllThingsD event clarifying his position on the matter. The reality of this situation is that Apple’s products are big news. Getting leaked info on upcoming products is a blogger dream. As a result, people are now prepared to go to great lengths to get it. Tim Cook will find that cutting out leaks will become nigh impossible as Apple popularity soars, especially in Asia.
One thing though, Steve would have probably put a nice spin on the leaks like he did the last time.
Another contentious issue with the iPhone 5 is its similarity to the iPhone 4S. From my experience of owning an iPhone 4/4S and reading various reviews, the design of the iPhone 4S is viewed as a great. Apple should therefore be applauded for taking a taking a great design and making it excellent. However, some people clearly doesn’t share this view.
Mat Honan, writing for Wired had this to say about the iPhone 5 hardware and software design:
It’s a weird paradox. The iPhone 5 can simultaneously be the best phone on the market and really, really boring. And that has almost nothing to do with Apple and everything to do with our expectations.
Jony Ive and his team put in the time and effort to redesign and refine the current iPhone to create the iPhone 5. The promo video shows you the level of care and dedication that was given to the product. This level of commitment seems to be overlooked by those obsessed with wanting change for the sake of it.
[pullquote]Liquidmetal technology would have advance and will be use in future iPhones[/pullquote]
I’ve said previously that creating revolutionary products takes time and lots of resources. I’m of the opinion that in the next few years the Liquidmetal technology would have advance and will be use in future iPhones. In the meantime, Ive and his team have given us the best they got, which is all we can ask for. Right.
If not, there are Samsung products for those who are keen on a new design every year.
Here is what Ron Amadeo of Android Police had to say about the built quality of the Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet:
This is a Samsung device, so you just know things in this department are going to be bad, but I never expected they would be this bad. Sure, there’s the usual, tame stuff. You get, for instance, the same nasty looking corner construction I complained about in my Galaxy S III review. But this time, Samsung went all out and invented a new, even more horrible form of plastic.
The Note 10.1 is wrapped in the trashiest, most awful, cheapest-feeling plastic I’ve ever experienced. Sure, the finish is Samsung’s usual glossy-plastic junk, but this plastic isn’t even rigid. It’s squishy.
I’m aware they are other well designs product on the market like the Nokia Lumia smartphones, but we are talking about Samsung here. This is meant to be the Apple’s biggest competitor in the mobile space.
Samsung smartphones are not labeled as boring (ugly sometimes) from the press because the design of their products generally change every year. But given the design philosophy of the two companies, I would rather have a refine Apple product than a radically new design Samsung product.
Steve Jobs was often quoted as saying that Apple will only enter into area where they can make a significant difference to what already there. I believe the same can be said about Apple omitting NFC and wireless charging.
This is what Phil schiller had to say when grilled the topic AllThingsD:
On NFC –
Schiller said, “It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem, Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.”
On Wireless Charging –
As for wireless charging, Schiller notes that the wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into the wall, so it’s not clear how much convenience they add. He said, “The widely-adopted USB cord, meanwhile, can charge in wall outlets, computers and even on airplanes. Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated.”
These are interesting takes on the most have feature of all the new smartphones coming out. I’m aware that Apple has patents on Wireles charging docks, hence the jury is still out on what they in this area.
However, with NFC Apple is definitely planning something big that will fit into their iWallet plans. The reason why it’s not included now is anyone’s guess. It can be argue that by omitting these features current products are not future proof. On the other hand, Apple would like you to upgrade to their latest offering in the next year. Making their products future proof with immature technology is not good for business.
To conclude, we are luck to have a company like Apple with brilliant engineers and designers who are constantly looking to innovate and delight consumers. Just remember that the alternative could be products with squishy plastic. Consequently, bashing the Cupertino company for leaks, lack of immature technologies and not creating a completely redesign iPhone every year is a bit shortsighted in my humble opinion.