The Apple Keynote yesterday was like watching a movie knowing the story and screenplay, for there was little surprise to enjoy when every bit of information was already leaked in some form or the other.As soon the new iPhone was introduced ,some section of the people primarily tech enthusiasts, journalists, bloggers were disappointed with the new iPhone 5 . I was a little underwhelmed and hence pondered to understand the reason behind.
But as I started thinking , I could not come to terms with what would have amused me – I was not sure what I wanted in a new iPhone that would make me say WOW. You have to remember history repeats itself but not every year. Google has been there for quite some time. They amazed us with their search, maps and after that a period of lull. Again they surprised everybody with Google Glass and Google Car after quite a few years .I’m not mentioning Android for obvious reasons. It was not path breaking. It carried the torch that Apple started . Now I’m not sure how soon I would be wowed by Google.
So here are some of the possible reasons I could come up with:
iPhone has now been there for quite some time. People have gone crazy over the build quality , awesome UI , great OS and the whole ecosystem in general.But there is a little change in the way how the design has evolved.Some of us have got bored of the same or little change to the design over a period of time.We wanted to see some thing that could make you go gaga every time but mind you it’s not gonna happen quite often.
Also iPhone is not just a phone but a brand.People bought it for the way it is .Why would Apple mess around with it ? This is quite common in every industry. People love the legendary Ford Mustang for its iconic design . Now with every iteration , under the skin ,performance changes tend to happen but most of the time the exterior looks same because people love Mustang for the way it is.
And Apple is no Samsung or HTC or Nokia. They do not create products in iterations covering every possible size and with various features. Messing up with the iPhone design would invite the wrath of the same people who wanted a different design.
And what happens to iPhone will happen to Samsung Galaxy and to Nokia Lumia as well or for that matter to every product.
2.Revolutionary vs Evolutionary
People need to have realistic expectation with what a product can achieve over a period of time. When iPhone or iPad was launched , it was a revolution and technology disruption that defined new segments and benchmark.So what happens now is a period of iterative development which is again an evolution but not revolution.
People wanted Apple to launch some thing path breaking but in practice it is not possible to do it. If they are going to do that every few years , it means the whole of mobile industry is sleeping which is not the case.
3.Stacking with competition
Every body wishes to compare the specs of the competition with iPhone in terms of screen size , camera quality and other show-off features.But in reality things are different.
Form Factor: Not everybody wants 4.5 inches or 5 inches. It is a matter of personal preference.
Display : There is nothing lagging in iPhone 5 when compared with rest of the phones . It even gives 16:9 HDTV widescreen with good pixel density. But we have to give it to Nokia Lumia on some aspects – they have cool viewing angles that even in sunlight you can view the display properly. Also the Nokia Lumia touch screen works even when you touch it wearing a winter leather or woollen glove. That is a nice touch , Nokia did it because Helsinki, Finland gets freezing cold and designers over there would have thought this as a valid scenario.
Battery : Display , Battery and size go hand in hand.Bigger the screen size , better can be the battery since there is more space for a bigger battery. Even though the new iPad has better battery for a tablet , same is not carried over here because a bigger battery would affect the form factor.
Wireless Charging:Without understanding why wireless charging (introduced in Nokia Lumia) does not change anything ,some people want the feature. This is ridiculous. Wireless charging still needs a charger with wire that has to be connected to a charging plate. And during travel , there is an overhead of carrying the funky ‘Fatboys’.
Camera – It’s more important to understand what sensors are being used and what software does with the processing of the photo . People compare it with Nokia Lumia Pure view which is yet to be tested. All the features that Nokia claimed about Pure-view is still not proven.
NFC – While other mobile companies provide technologies like NFC , what iPhone normally thinks about is the experience out of technology. NFC has been around since 2006 and there are inherent problems that is preventing the technology from going main stream even though Google launched it couple of years back in their flagship products. So why do you need NFC?
Maps/Navigation/Directions – This is a bummer for iOS after their strained relationship with Google.There are few countries that get the equivalent of the Google Maps features but StreetView is still missing. If you are from India ,you get to miss the directions and navigation as well.This is like going few steps backwards . But then India is not a big market for Apple.
In short , except for Lumia 920 which is yet to face the litmus test, there is not a single killer phone that scores better than iPhone on any account. Developing a new application in the name of S-Beam , S-Voice without any supporting ecosystem will not move anything forward.
4.Every one loves the under dog
People want some thing new . Android and iOS is boring now. Windows Phone 8 is what people wish would succeed because it is claimed to be fresh and different from the rest. And they also wish the ailing Nokia to be back on track with Nokia Lumia which has to be a massive hit. Tech enthusiast and journalist need some thing new to review right ?
One phone cannot impress and convince everyone- it is all about features that really matter to you and your personal preferences but compromising on the rest. So if some one is gonna come and talk to you about how iPhone 5 was such a disappointment , you know what they actually mean.
iPhone 5 is still a marvel of a device that will continue to sell millions . And the only company with a distant possibility of disrupting the mobile industry with could be Google with its Google Glass.
Finally, if you do not have an iPhone, you do not have an iPhone.(period!)
P.S: I use a HTC Desire HD and prefer Android over iOS anyday