Wednesday, September 12, 2012

iPhone 5 Announcement Reaction

Well, the Apple event just got done, so let's do a round-up of what they announced.

  • iPhone 5 - I'd have to say, for me this was a BIG disappointment.  This is not at all because everything they announced were in line with the rumors we already were aware of.  I find the 5 is a very small improvement over the 4S.
    • They improved size (a bit bigger, slimmer), but not significantly.  I think the screen needed to be much bigger, like the Samsung.
    • LTE, finally, what really took so long?  Should have been out last October.
    • Third mic, small incremental improvement
    • Ear Pods - OK, really so what?  Third party ear buds are always better than the OEM, because otherwise no one would buy them.
    • Lightning connector - this is a big improvement, smaller and reversible, but no mention of whether or not it is faster
    • Systemwide integration with Twitter.  I don't get Twitter.  It really is not very useful to me, I can definitely go the rest of my life without another tweet, and not miss it one bit.  What about other social networking, like you-know-who, or G+, or a myriad of others?
    • Improved battery life, speed, etc.
    • No NFC wireless wallet features - this is a VERY GOOD THING!  Apple holds the line on security, and doesn't deploy a technology until it is well thought out.  Remember Bluetooth?  Just a few years ago, it was so totally insecure, that hackers could break into your phone and steal all your contacts, or render your phone useless because it is constantly prompting you to pair a device.  NFC is definitely not ready for prime-time, and I would not trust my bank account to it.  (I don't have an Enhanced Drivers License as well, thank you very much!)
    • OVERALL: Not really much different, not enough to make me want to jump out and buy one right away.
  • iPod
    • New ones, redo the Nano, OK.
    • BIG HAPPY on the new iPod Touch 5th generation, that is a very good thing, EXCEPT they should have gone all out and put the best camera on it they could.  Then customers would buy it instead of a point-and-shoot camera altogether.
  • iOS 6
    • x00 new features, blah blah blah.  Incremental improvement, nothing earth shattering.

The Bottom Line

Apple is the undisputed leader in the mobile phone, mobile device market.  They have a good thing.  Why rock the boat?  Basically they incorporated some must-haves.  I can understand.  However, I must make an appeal - APPLE, THIS IS YOUR LEAD TO LOSE.  Like Chrysler says, "Lead, Follow, or get out of the way."  Leadership means taking the risks, not on unproven technology, but on innovating new or existing products.  How about these features on the iPhone:
  • Wider screen (in portrait mode...)
  • FM receiver, and Radio app with DAR
  • Social Networking integration, not just Twitter (which I just don't get!)
  • Allowing certain kinds of apps on the Lock Screen (so include in the App Review Process some vetting to ensure valid apps get certified for Lock Screen display, or let the user choose)
  • Password security on each app - users can set up an App Password, then lock chosen apps so they can't be launched without the password.  This further secures certain apps that aren't otherwise secured, from your 3-year-old who picks up your phone, or from a stranger.
  • Electric razor with screen so you can shave while walking
OK, just kidding about the last one.

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