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Opinion: iMeh – why i’m disappointed with the iPhone 5

Iphone 5 announcement

Before we start, I’d like to insert the disclaimer that I’m not a fanboy. I love gadgets regardless of their manufacturer or operating system as long as they’re good. I’ve owned an iPhone, iPad, HP veer, HP Touchpad, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, Nokia Lumia 900,  HTC HD2, and the list goes on.  Apple has been a trail blazer in the tech industry for years now. They continually set the bar and then everyone else tries to catchup. This is true with their laptops, desktops, and tablets… however, its no longer true with their smartphones. Before you flame me let me tell you why.

With the iPhone 1st gen through the iPhone 4, Apple wowed us with incredible new features in a Wonka-like fashion. We would all spend months trying to guess and speculate what they would come up with next, only to have our theories and conceptions completely knocked out of the park. There was the famous “one more thing” at the end of every event… that curve ball… that extra mile that made the general public drool with excitement.  It was often imitated by Samsung and others, but never was that magic replicated.

The iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 lack this quality in my opinion. Are they stellar devices? Absolutely and I’m sure Apple will sell a record number of iPhone 5 units and rake in a ton of cash.  Ultimately though… they are resting on their laurels and rather than everyone trying to catch up to Apple, it now seems to be the other way around.

Let me show you what I’m talking about. We’ll start with the hardware upgrades and compare them other devices on the market.

The iPhone 5 features a 4 inch screen which is something we’ve seen before and is certainly nothing to write home about. The Samsung Galaxy S was released mid 2010 and featured a 4 inch screen. The Iphone 5 display resolution has been upgraded to 1136 x 640, which isn’t even high defintion. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus (released in October of last year) features a display larger by a half inch at a resolution of 1280 x 720. The camera is improved in terms of capture speed and quality, but still sports the same 8 megapixel resolution. HTC’s Titan 2 was released Q1 of this year and sports a whopping 16 mega-pixel sensor. The iPhone 5 now has LTE, which is certainly a great upgrade, but when you consider that the HTC Thunderbolt on Verizon came with LTE onboard in March of 2011 (over a year ago), you find yourself again slightly underwhelmed.

The iPhone 5 is also missing a few things that many users were hoping for. Most noteabley is the absence of NFC (near field communications). This allows you to quickly and securely share info between wireless devices. For instance, with an NFC enabled Android device, you can use Google Wallet to make purchases at many businesses. This is a very cool, useful, and hip feature, yet Apple chose not to include it.

The other thing folks were hoping to see was a larger storage option. Data isn’t getting any smaller these days and while 64gb of max storage is certainly enough for most folks, there are others who would like to use more. My entire music library is 90gb in size and it would be awesome to be able to store all of it on my mobile device. Tim Cook stated that we are in a “post pc era”… I’m inclined to disagree if I still need to keep my PC around to store my music.

Now we’ll move on to the software department.

iOS is a very solid mobile OS, but it doesn’t do anything that hasn’t been done already. The inclusion of turn by turn navigation is no longer impressive, in fact its laughable that it wasn’t included a long time ago. Turn by turn navigation is available on every major smartphone OS on the planet as has been available on Android since 2009. The native ability to take panorama photos is certainly a great addition, but again lacks the “wow” factor since its been done before and it isn’t “new” to mobile.

Again, I like Apple. I think they make quality products and their contributions to our current tech world cannot be understated. They blaze a trail with every product they release except for their smartphones as it stands now. What people were expecting today was some magic, some showmanship, that “One more thing”, and what we got was what I feel the iPhone 4s should have been. Apple did not define the state of the art today… they simply caught up to the state of the art. They did not set the bar, but only met it.

Maybe I’m crazy, maybe this is the best smartphone on the planet and I’m really off base here. Sound off in the comments and let me know how you feel. Were you disappointed by the iPhone 5 or do you think it lived up to the hype?

 

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Ethan Cathcart

I agree. I was really disappointed with the new iPhone since we already knew everything about it. I don’t think Apple will be staying on top for long if they keep on going like this.

Michael Sobieszczyk
Michael Sobieszczyk

Well there’s… nope. You covered that. Then there’s… nope, you covered that two. Ok. I got it:

“Oh, ONE MORE THING: you now get FIVE ROWS on the home screen!”

Apple has always been the company that puts out the product that does stuff you never even thought of and didn’t know could be done. Innovation and elegance. And COOL. Now they simply fit a fifth row of icons on a home screen that has looked the same since 2007.

Disappointed is an understatement.

Al
Al

I agree with this article 100%. Apple has a lot of people down today. It is amazing how they pretty much started the smartphone era and now they are barely playing catch up.

Jimmy
Jimmy

(In my opinion) the iPhone 3GS was a solid phone, it was amazing. But the newer iPhone’s (4 and the 4S) have well… been a disappointment. It’s not like they were revolutionary, they (like you said), simply caught up, which Android phones seem to have set. The iOS is a really good OS (don’t get me wrong here) but it seems to have lived out its lifespan, the new Android OS (ICS) is amazing, Android gets a new, fresh feel each update, the iOS just doesn’t do that any more.

npco543
npco543

I agree on all counts. Truth be told, the iPhone 5 doesn’t even fully catch up to the competition, it may be housed in a slick, hip case, but it’s largely last year’s technology by today’s standards. This is very bad for Apple, since the competition, who’s already ahead, now has another year to extend their lead.

I suppose the good news in all this is that it should spell an end to all of Apple’s law suits. Since they’re not creating any new innovations, they’ll no longer be able to claim other companies have stolen their innovations.

Rioser
Rioser

Apple makes the exact same phone year after year with slight modifications, i don’t know why people still get hyped over these phones anymore its THE EXACT SAME THING.

AMcD
AMcD

But hey, hold on a minute. I guess all I can say is that all of these other, “better than copies” wouldn’t even exist without the original. Oh well.

Jesse
Jesse

I have an upgrade coming up soon, and was considering an iphone 5, just to see how the other side lives. I think I’ll hold off based solely on the stupid proprietary connector.

Kaizen_2012
Kaizen_2012

Simon, the first smartphone was introduced in 1992, Blackberry 1999, Handspring sets 2002, Blackberries , first all touchscreen smartphone the LG Prada December 2006, iPhone January 2007. Not exactly the first one to start the smartphone era, but they did hit a home run with the Appstore, can’t deny that

Piccio
Piccio

There was not much in the way of hype leading into the presentation yesterday. In fact, I was prepared to be quite underwhelmed based on all the leaks. Now that I’ve held the device, and have had a chance to put it in action, it is my favorite phone on the market, and that before adding in all the extras that come with iCloud and the attendant relationship with my other Apple devices.

It fits my hand. I like how it feels. Solid, highly refined. It’s light, thin, with a beautifully proportioned display.

Not HD? I can’t tell the difference.

The phone is fast. Very fast – even running the most intense editing apps. I don’t mind that my entire music collection can’t fit on the device itself – all my stuff (music, apps, books, films, etc, etc) is available to me wherever I have a connection.

16mb vs. 8mb camera? Doesn’t matter when the lens is so fast and the processor is able to make the data make sense. I prefer this camera to the Titan’s which I tested for a week earlier this year.

I use Siri. It’s getting progressively better every month. And another big step forward with iOS6.

The only thing I’m doubtful about is battery life running LTE.

This phone will not be everyone’s favorite aesthetic choice, but there’s no doubt that its size, range of features, their integration, and the great battery life would a tremendous phone.

Apple again is able to make a device that you can really use in your daily life that does a huge range activities incredibly well.

This is the phone I’m going to love using over the coming year.

lpmat
lpmat

iphone was powered by sir steve jobs. Actually we are not fans of iphone or apple but the one who made it. I really missed him this 12th of september. He could never be replaced!

Jason
Jason

I completely agree. The iPhone hasn’t been amazing since 2010 when the 4 came out. I mean sure, they upgrade software, cameras, add Siri, and things like that, but they haven’t made me look at the phone and say, I have to have that. I was really looking forward to the 5 because I was sure that since they knew they disappointed people with the 4S, they would give us a kick ass phone. No, the iPhone 5 is nothing more than a bigger iPhone 4 with Siri. That’s it. Apple also has to realize they can’t depend on the technological advantages. The iPhone is a statement to have now, and a majority of people couldn’t care less about if Apple updated the Maps on their phone. They HAVE to change the design completely to get the effect they had with the iPhone 4. All in all, I’ve been extremely disappointed since 2011 with this company.

Jason
Jason

I think what he was trying to say is that smartphones didn’t become what they are today until the iPhone was introduced in 2007.

Jason
Jason

I honestly think that it’s Tim Cook. Apple fell off once he got in charge.

peter farell
peter farell

I agree with your technological assessment, but 1000000 units sold preorder in one day is a crusher to the relevance of your article.

[anonymous]
[anonymous]

I seriously would have been un-wowed with NFC. In it’s current state, I find it useless. The only place i have even seen support for it was Macy’s! How many people are even going to trust a digital wallet? After that time iCloud was hacked, we should all know that these things are not so reliable.

phreezerburn
phreezerburn

Seriously? So I guess tires are what they are because if Firestone so next time you’re needing rubber, think of the iPhone and purchase without regard for all those who make a better tire.

Marcus Kent Hamson

I have never really understood the whole iPhone craze. I bought a Nokia E62 back in 2006 that had features that Android or Apple didn’t introduce for another 2 years. Every phone I have owned since the first iPhone was released was more durable, more business friendly and had much better features. I have yet to break a Nokia phone, even after 4 years of abuse, they just keep going.

Ric
Ric

Every time a new iPhone comes out someone writes this same exact article. Yes, those features the new iPhone 5 comes with have been released before in other phones, but they will definitely be more stable and better looking on the iPhone. Bottom line is the general public doesn’t really cares Apple didn’t bring anything new to the table with the iPhone 5, it will still be the most sought after phone out there, the way it has always been since the first iPhone came out. End of story. Thanks.

Spectoral
Spectoral

“Tim Cook stated that we are in a “post pc era”… I’m inclined to disagree if I still need to keep my PC around to store my music.” <– SO TRUE

Nicholas Gatewood

“Apple has been a trail blazer in the tech industry for years now. They
continually set the bar and then everyone else tries to catchup. This is
true with their laptops, desktops, and tablets… however, its no longer
true with their smartphones. Before you flame me let me tell you why.”

Apple is not a trailblazer in the tech industry, they haven’t even been impressive in two years. Their laptops and desktops are the WORST values in the industry, offering way worse performance than a comparable Windows laptop and inferior “wow-ness” compared to an Ultrabook. There isn’t really any Apple device that’s better than something else on the market at the moment, even when the iPod was a big deal Zunes and cheaper MP3 players were better. They weren’t as cool and trendy, they didn’t have mass-appeal advertising, they were just better. That hasn’t really changed at all since the introduction of the iPhone. Samsung’s phones are consistently miles above Apple’s offerings, smaller companies like HTC “just” have better phones with more innovative features and Apple’s walled garden sucks. Apple uses litigation to fight competition in the market while Android phones stand for convergent innovation and the open-source movement. Android pretty much surpassed iOS a year or so after its initial release, that’s laughable considering Apple has more R&D money than all the Android phone makers put together.

So yeah, screw Apple. They’re for people who don’t know about technology and need to be told what to purchase, people who need to have trendy commercials full of hipster douchebags talk about how Windows computers are for people with jobs and Macs are for cool people who are “artists” and crap. Apple is a terrible tech company and right now they’re only holding back technological progression in the fastest-growing technology industry in the world. They’re the Nintendo of the phone industry, always a generation behind and never truly, truly innovative.

Nicholas Gatewood

Steve Jobs was a terrible man, get your facts straight.

S. LeBeau Kpadenou
S. LeBeau Kpadenou

Well, wallet is just about the least interesting use for NFC. Google “smart tags”.

phantomx
phantomx

Don’t buy an iPhone 5 if you love your 4 and 4s so much and don’t see a difference. It’s really not that hard a concept.

My gf bought an iPhone 5 cause its wayyyyy better than her iPhone 3GS. That’s the point.

Boy do you sound whiny. Making a problem when there isn’t one. The iPhone 5 is the best iPhone out there. You can’t whine away that fact. Apple isn’t forcing you to throw away your 4 or 4s to buy the 5

donburi_3233
donburi_3233

off yourself please. Dolt

j main
j main

Don’t be so unkind. It’s not like he is wrong.

j main
j main

I am not ready to write him off just yet. The Ipad is still the best selling tablet out there and we’ll see if he can move into another area of tech and dominate….

j main
j main

People who really love phones don’t really exist. They are shills for the cult of Apple.

Robert
Robert

I’m so pissed about the screen. They increased the length of the screen by 1 centimeter?!?!? WTF?!?! They didn’t increase the diagonal dimension just the length, not the width?!?! The screen has been the same size for 5 years and when they FINALLY increase it, they make it look goofy as all get out by just increasing the height of it? *pulling hair out* I’m over the iPhone, I’m getting the Galazy Note 2 when it comes out next month.

nick
nick

While the overall point of the article is absolutely correct, I think you’re missing some key insight into this.
Overall, a pretty nice article though.
Thanks for the read.

Tom Stevons.
Tom Stevons.

Seriously. Next month I’m getting a Lumia 920. I beleive that the Iphone5 does not have the wow factor. Apple is having a ton of problems with the phone itself. Now I was a gigantic Apple fan and I have the 4s, but the 5 is not impressive. It’s standard. So in going to give the 920 a try. Windows phone seems interesting to me.

jimmy
jimmy

your entire comment was great until the very last line. ”They’re the Nintendo of the phone industry, always a generation behind and never truly, truly innovative”
have you been hiding under a rock for the past 20 years?
nintendo= first company to have a buttoned control pad, shoulder buttons, analog sticks, internal memory, rumble feature, motion sensing and now fully integrated 6.2 inch LCD in monitor in control pad. and your telling me nintendo arent innnovative?

i suggest you stick to talking about phones as your general lack of knowledge on home consoles is garbage.

Michael
Michael

I’ve owned an iPhone 1, 3GS, 4, 4S and now the 5. The 5 is unquestionably the nicest phone I’ve ever used–subtly better in every way. Apple makes choices about what the best phone possible is for a given design cycle, and it’s generally a reasonable collection of trade-offs between power, network support, weight, thinness, battery life, cost, ergonomics and aesthetics. If you disagree with those choices, the Android world has all kinds of alternatives, but it also tends to have more pitfalls–LTE phones with crappy battery life, phones that get orphaned on old Android versions, uneven quality control, etc.

When hardware gets this refined, the action necessarily shifts to other areas: apps, cloud services, data synchronization, hardware ecosystem.

Eithel
Eithel

Nokia Lumia 920 pre-ordered already!!! 🙂

Guest
Guest

bahh! bahh!
Where’s Mary to get this sheep in back in her herd!

Eithel
Eithel

Lol…I know anyone who raved about the iphone stated they didnt care about all the innovations, they just like the look and feel of a phone….
Many androids ahve the same look and feel…so if you don’t care about innovation go buy some cheap $10 phone

Eithel
Eithel

bahh! bahh!

Where’s Mary to get this sheep in back in her herd!

Naveen500
Naveen500

I am going to support Noka and Windows Phone. The more competetition there is in the market, the better things get and the faster technology evolves. The Lumia 920 Looks extremely promising and I think it has what it takes to compete with the iPhone. I am referring to sales of course, not product quality. Because in terms of quality and performance, the Lumia 920 is light years ahead of the iPhone 5. It’s just a shame that there will be 10million brainless sheep who do not know a thing about benchmarks or performance that will mindlessly wait in front of the Apple Store every year thinking they are getting the best on the market. When in reality, other phones on the market, such as the Lumia 920 and the Galaxy SIII are light years ahead of it.

Naveen500
Naveen500

Oh might I add, you may want to hurry up in getting your Lumia 920 before Apple tries to leech another billion dollars from Nokia for creating a device that is rectangular in shape.

Naveen500
Naveen500

Hmm.. Have you heard of the new Nokia Lumia 920. I think it might be for you since you like Nokia

Naveen500
Naveen500

Check out the Lumia 920

CustomX

You’re the sheep for jumping on the Apple bashing bandwagon.

MajorRockStar
MajorRockStar

Marcus, I can’t believe there is someone else out there that stuck with Nokia for the same reasons I did. As a person who had to have access to internet I got the Nokia N75 in 2006 so I could tether my laptop anywhere there was a cell signal. At that time the Motorola Razr was king. But I wanted the mp3 feature, the office programs, 3megpixel camera and the additional 8gb microchip that were only available at that time on a very expensive HTC device. It was around that time when I first heard of the smartphone, and it turned out that I had one in a flip style. When the iphone 3 came out in 2009 I was scheduled for an upgrade and was going to get the iphone, but it didn’t offer the office system, pdf making, printing options, and tethering options that I had on the N75. The office options, pdf reading were later available as apps, but you still can’t make a pdf on the iphone. So I ended up with a Nokia E71x just to make sure I could do what I needed to do and get 3g service. Last year, I was up for an upgrade and heard about the iphone 5 so I waited, but when I went to look at it at the store there was a line, so I went to play with some of the other phones like the Samsung S3 and Note, by the time I got to the iphone I was completely underwhelmed. I had looked at the Nokia 900, but hated that screen with the arrow at the top, but the phone had all the options I needed and moved fast. The OS was different than Symbian, but I knew I could adapt. I’m waiting for the Note 2 and Nokia 920 to come out before I make my decision. I’m in no rush because my Nokia E71x is built like a Mac truck and still looks brand new and is still doing what I need it to do.

MajorRockStar
MajorRockStar

Michael, you are correct. Why mess with something that is working. But with the iphone 5, Apple seemed distracted. The small issue such as the scraping paint on the black phone, poorly stretched images when used sideways because they didn’t widen the screen when they lengthen the screen, and the map are oversights that Apple usually doesn’t allow. They have allowed Google to distracted them. The elimination of youtube and google maps as staples in their OS speaks to that. Apple has allowed their petty feelings to forsake the customer. The i5 will be the last time they can afford to do that. What they ought to have done to improve the phone was to make sure the customer’s experience was better than anything else out there. As you stated shifting the focus to the apps and cloud services. There are a lot of apps on the iphone that should work better, but to do that Apple would need to become more involve and cooperative…basically they would need to rejoin the tech world and start colaborating again. But arrogance always leaves you in a dark room with one light on you.

Joe Allen

their laptops run windows faster than a windows laptop……..you’re an idiot.

Joe Allen

? they did change the design, it’s thinner, lighter and has an aluminum back, so even if it’s similar to the iphone 4 in looks, it is totally different. really, what the hell else can they do? make the back curved? why do that?