As probably everybody in the world knows, just a couple of days ago Apple announced the new iPhone 5 to the consumers. This was the first time that the new iPhone generation was not presented by the deceased Steve Jobs. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the key note and the official launch video.
I must admit, sometimes I find hard to swallow Apple new product announcements. It just seems to me, that Apple fans are willing to buy anything the company throws at them, even if it is just a marketing strategy to release small upgrades focused on forcing consumers to spend money for something they don’t really need, or with little value compared to what they already have.
However, Apple, under Job’s direction, was able to produce beautiful functional products, and push mobile innovation, forcing competitors to raise the bar to the point were we are right now. It is actually good to see that Nokia, HTC and Samsung, along with Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Google’s Android platform are now true competitors to Apple’s products (more on that to come soon!).
Anyway, lets take a quick glance at the iPhone 5, iOS 6 features and the current state of the Apple beloved smartphone.
- 7.6 mm thick, making the iPhone 5 the thinnest smartphone on the market.
- height: 123.8 mm, width: 58.6 mm.
- It weights only 112 g, making it the lightest smartphone on the market.
- 4 inches display screen, which is smaller than Nokia and Samsung newest smartphones.
- It has a 1136-by-640 pixel resolution display at 326 dpi
- A6 processor
- 8MP iSight Camera, offering panorama shots functionality (a good addition since the panorama feature was already available in Windows Phone 7 devices)
- Video recording at 1080p up to 30 frames per second, and FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP photos and HD video at 720p up to 30 frames per second.
- Improved battery and performance, although just enough to compete against the latest Android and Windows Phone 8 devices from Samsung and Nokia. I don’t see a great improvement here. Stats provided promise 225 hours in standby mode, 8 hours talk time on 3G and 50 hours of music playback (all lower than the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820), although they promise 10 hours of video playback, which is better than the competitors. Still, the battery seems to me as one of the weak points.
- New smaller 8 pin connector, which still keeps the iPhone 5 away from the standard Micro USB connector. Funny to see how Apple can still push proprietary, non standard common hardware to the market, and nobody seems to care (this would and has been a big headache for any other company in electronics trying to do similar things).
- Comes with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB versions, being the smartphone offering the highest capacity at the moment. This is great and I’m glad they stopped with their 1 year capacity upgrade releases as they used to do with the iPod.
Overall, the upgrades were well received by the consumers, press and existing Apple costumers. I really like the new design and is amazing how they could make the device lighter and thinner while improving performance and upgrading some of the features. Surprisingly the device doesn’t support NFC, which even if Apple claims that is still unclear if NFC will solve real customer needs, is a downside for the current digital landscape and will surely be a strong advantage for Samsung and Nokia.
Regarding iOS 6 and some of the new features, Apple announced the new Apple Maps, which I still have to see in action and in the hands of Google Maps fans. It might be a reason for some people to switch to Windows Phone or Android (I personally know of people that would change to use a Lumia if it weren’t for Google Maps). Siri and iCloud are still there, improving and evolving, but sincerely I fail to see real advantages over the competitors. Siri sounds cool, but is rarely useful in real case scenarios (at least for most people). The new killer features are AirPlay, which allows to stream content from the phone to the Apple T.V. (playing catch up with stronger options like Xbox’s SmartGlass), and AirPrint which allows user to send files to printers over the air in an easy and convenient way (this one is a killer one indeed!).
All and all, the device is obviously one of the best smartphones in the market, but on the other hand is good to see that now the iPhone struggles to keep at the top against the latest Android and Windows Phone 8 devices. This is good for the market and for consumers since pushes the companies to work harder on innovation and on getting consumers on-board. It has been an exciting month for the mobile industry and smartphone consumers, and that is always cool ! Keep tuned for more on the coolest and newest smartphones on the market!