Millions of people across the world, including several of my friends, were waiting impatiently yesterday for the introduction of what everyone thought was going to be the IPhone 5. In the normal Apple timeline, a new IPhone was overdue. The iPhone 3 came out in June of 2009, the IPhone 4 came out a year later. So seventeen months after the launch of the IPhone 4, Apple fans felt it was time for the next generation, or the IPhone 5. But what we got yesterday instead of the rumored larger screen and lighter weight of an IPhone 5 was what Apple calls the IPhone 4S, an IPhone 4 case with a few additional cool bells and whistles.
From a business standpoint this makes sense in a way. Using their existing hardware Apple can provide people with IPhone 3’s a new phone with more functionality than those of us with IPhone 4’s. From a public relations standpoint, the announcement was a dud.
The first “Post Steve Jobs” announcement should have been something groundbreaking, something major. There were already fears that Tim Cook couldn’t bring the sort of techie wonky aesthetic and comfort that Jobs could. Cook is a bean counter…a really good bean counter, but whether he has the tech savvy to sell the IPhone 4S to disappointed Apple fans is the big question. After viewing the launch video, my opinion is that he doesn’t. Jobs could have sold the IPhone 4S because people would have trusted him that the IPhone 5 would be even more amazing, but that this launch was amazing enough to get us through until then.
So let’s look at some of the options the IPhone 4s is touting. Before I start, I will have to say that I haven’t seen one or used one, I’m just pulling this info from their website.
While the IPhone 4S has the A5 processor that’s used in the Ipad 2, the storage size is the same and the screen size is the same as before. The screen resolution is also the same as the IPhone 4.
The antenna, which has been a problem with the IPhone 4 has been upgraded to one that can automatically switch between two antennas…it sort of seems like instead of actually fixing the problem they put a band aid on the problem…not good.
The camera takes 30% sharper photos. It also includes red eye reduction. I have always thought the IPhone camera was not as good as my old Blackberry camera.
One of the biggest selling points for Apple’s IPhone 4S is the new SIRI voice recognition system. It remains to be seen whether Apple will be able to make voice recognition, which is notoriously hard to do effectively, work.
One reason I hate my iPhone as opposed to my blackberry is that the battery sucks. The IPhone 4s, if possible, is worse than my IPhone 4. The IPhone 4S has 200 hours of standby time while the IPhone 4 has 300 hours (I think both of these numbers are grossly inflated) The IPhone 4S has ONE, yes ONE more hour of talk time than the IPhone 4 (8 as opposed to 7). The 4S has 6 hours of 3G browsing as opposed to 4 hours on the 4, and 9 hours of WiFi as opposed to 10 on the IPhone 4. One of the biggest problems with the IPhone seems not to have been remedied.
Apple missed a huge opportunity to show consumers that their loyalty is not misplaced. Is this the beginning of the end of the love affair with Apple products?
Is this how Apple is going to end? With a whimper, not a bang? Let’s hope not.