Last night saw the announcement of the “new” iPhone and after working at Apple for quite some time, I have a few things to say about it.
In June 2010 the iPhone 4 was released, a fresh and different device from the technology BFG. At Regent Street alone we had queues outside the store for days and the daily takings were unbelievable. Personally, I tried to be blasé and said that I didn’t want one. I was locked into a contract and when it was up four months later, I decided that it would be foolish to sign another contract when the iPhone 5 could be announced shortly. So I waited. And I waited some more. A full year went past and nothing had been mentioned. Now, a full 12 months since I decided to wait, the announcement came and so did the groans from the public.
The first thing to note is that the 4S is not an unusual move from Apple. Yes it’s delayed by a few months – for good reasons; Steve Jobs unfortunate resignation for one – but it does follow the pattern Apple has set with their small devices.
After the announcement of the iPhone 3G in June 2008, the iPhone 3GS was its successor in June 2009. The 3GS boasted faster speeds, a higher resolution camera with video capability and voice control. Though not ground breaking, it was received well with all 3G owners coveting this slightly advanced piece of kit. So what makes the 4S so disappointing?
The iPhone 4S has some major upgrades that are being overlooked due to the expectations of a complete overhaul:
- A5 processor (same as iPad2) and an improved graphics card.
- Two antennas – fixing the antenna issues which, in my experience as a technician, was overhyped.
- 30% sharper camera capable of HD 1080p video.
- Siri voice control – I’m sure we’ve all heard the jokes.
In black and white, it’s quite an impressive upgrade. It’s akin to the improvements we often see in the Macs and just because we don’t see a visual representation of change doesn’t mean you won’t notice the difference.
However, I will openly admit I am still a little disappointed and this is mainly due to the media. The speculation of a thinner, curvier, faster iPhone 5 made me feel like my time spent yearning and paying through the nose for a contract I can’t justify seem worthwhile. These reports also conjure up a sense of fear that after purchasing an iPhone 4S, my superior technology victory will be snatched away from me when Apple announces the iPhone 5 in less than a year (as we saw with the iPad 2). It is naive to think that Apple haven’t been working on the iPhone 5 since the launch of the iPhone 4, if not before, but with this tardy launch and accessories production seemingly in full swing, is my feeling of apprehension really unjust or am I becoming spoiled?
Either way, I am in no doubt that come Friday 14th October, Apple stores around the world will have hundreds of people queuing outside to get their hands on a new, but not so original, iPhone 4S… and I’ll more than likely be along side them.