Wednesday, September 12, 2012

iPhone 5, Apple Should Have Done More

Well by now you probably know that the iPhone 5 has made it's official debut. There was really no unexpected details as Apple somehow managed to leak nearly every part of the phone before launch. This significantly zapped the energy of the launch and I feel may be the signs of a giant in the mobile industry beginning to lose it's touch. I am an Android user, but I will always tell someone that the iPhone is a great choice because it is. In my opinion not the best, but in general you can't go wrong with it. So what did I really think of the newest iPhone? Read on to find out!

I am not really going to focus on the software much because while there are minor tweaks inside, the user experience is still going to remain unchanged for the most part. The camera app got some useful upgrades like panorama and taking still photos while shooting video that catch the iPhone up to the Android and Windows phone camera experiences. The key theme with software is "catching up". iOS 6 was launched some time ago and many of the features added where to catch up. Siri got some needed upgrades that Google played catch up to a short while later with Google Now, but other than that, most things have been seen on other devices before.

Overall Hardware
The phone looks little different, but overall it is still the same, just bigger. I would have liked to see them do something a lot more different with it as the look has sort of aged. I like that they went with a metal back, something I would like to see other companies do, although, I'm sure Apple would sue them for putting a metal back on a phone. The phone is also thinner and lighter which is always good for a mobile device, although their claim of it being the thinnest isn't really true (Motorola Droid Razr is 7.1mm to the iPhone 5's 7.6mm). The best upgrades to the hardware had to do with the screen and connectivity.

Apple finally decided to put a larger screen on the iPhone bringing it closer to its competition with 4" of real estate to work with. My complaint about the screen is that, while they went with a 16:9 aspect ration making HD possible, they failed to upgrade to HD resolution. They essentially just added more pixels to the bottom of the 4S's screen to make it bigger. They should have bumped the overall resolution in my opinion. Their fusing of the touch sensor and the screen into one unit to improve accuracy and quality is the only innovative thing they actually did to the phone.  Now if only they would license it to other companies for a reasonable price so we, the consumers, might gain something.

Wireless connectivity is greatly improved with LTE even if the 4S should have had it last year. Apple made the jump to LTE, something nearly every other smartphone manufacturer did nearly a year ago. I give them props for getting qualcomm to develop a radio that has nearly every cellular technology still in use today on it, but LTE is sort of old news already. Of course, LTE may prove to be a drag, if they haven't managed to pack enough juice and power efficiency inside of the smaller package. They have a disadvantage over phones like the Galaxy S III which have the radios integrated onto the CPU die which provides much more power efficiency than separate chips.

Also dealing with connectivity, the new dock connector, or "lightening" as they call it, is the worst thing they added. Sure it helped thin the phone down and save space, but why not just add microUSB and accomplish the same thing while allow consumers to use chargers and accessories for the other millions of phones out there. The answer to that is really greed, but that is just how they work. Putting a new connector on it requires more accessory license revenue and new purchases by consumers to fit their new device.

The iPhone 5 is not a bad phone,but it just doesn't have a lot of substance in it's added features. Apple is one of America's greatest business success stories, but I'm afraid they may be losing their edge. Sure the iPhone 5 will sell millions, but it will not win many people over from Windows or Android, and it may actually cause them to start moving to the other platforms from iOS. The phone is still great, but there are so many out there right now that are better and I am almost 100% positive that more will come shortly.

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