Apple iPhone 5: Me Too, Maybe

Update 5 Days Later

Five days after the iPhone announcement, NYTimes Nick Wingfield helped to confirm  our verdict with this story  –

The iPhone 5 that Apple introduced last week with only incremental changes seemed to signal that the industry has entered an era of technological bunny hops.

Faster chips, bigger screens and speedier wireless Internet connections are among the refinements smartphone users can count on year after year in new models, most of them in familiar rectangular packages. They are improvements, to be sure, but they lack the breathtaking impact the first iPhone had, with its pioneering fusion of software and touch screens.

So for more than incremental improvements look for smartphones to become specialized with hardware+software clip ons. A camera-phone attachment that adds zoom lens and plenty of storage and battery power too. Or a TV remote that clips onto the smartphone and allows touch sensitive searching local and online TV, movie and video fare available including downloading and/or making the streaming connection. But what is holding these harware clip-ons back is good connection standards.

Apple is stonewalling by rejecting NFC- Near Field Communication technology, undersupporting BluRay, and changing its connections adapter once again ignoring PC, gaming, and other standard ports and connectors while maintaining its proprietary ports – Apple is not going to be offering convenient ports for hardware clip ons and smartphone innovations. Salon’s Andrew Leonard catches this big miss by Apple.

The Apple iPhone 5 was announced today and one can see the changing of the guard. The iPhone 5 is just Me Too versus the top of the line Android and even Windows Phone 8 competition. By making Android  freely available and getting Microsoft back in the game the smartphone and tablet markets have become ultra competitive. But Apple announced more than iPhone 5 today with refreshes of the iPod Nano and iPod Touch. Here the news was more positive for Apple though mixed on the iPod Touch pricing.

So here is the iPhone 5 – longer, lighter, thinner:

iPhone 5 with 6th row of 4 icons

Lets be clear, there were distinct and substantial  improvements in the iPhone 5 today. Longer screen, iOS6, thinnest smartphone, lightest smartphone,  4G  LTE finally on board and memory upgrade to 1GB. However, this viewer sees the move to being the thinnest and lightest smartphone as somewhat self-defeating. This means a better CPU chip and features such as NFC and a  quad core processor had to be bypassed in this edition.

Here is the detailed comparison from Gizmodo of the latest top of the line smartphone specs:

Now Gizmodo does not have the memory size but the following comparisons:
allthingsD – iPhone5 vs Samsung Galaxy s3 vs Nokia Lumia 920
Geek – iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4s
Engadget – iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4s
Trusted Reviews – iPhone 5 vs Nokia Lumia 920
T3 – iPhone 5 versus Samsung Galaxy S3
theVerge – best comaprison article between iPhone 5 and its top end Android and Windows Phone 8 competition.
All of these reviews confirmed that the iPhone 5 would have 1GB of RAM matching the competition. However, most of the reviews were cautious about making any comparison on capabilities of the iPhone A6 processor versus the competition. Ditto for the new cameras. These await hands-on testing.

However, in the case of  iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy s3  iPhone 5 gives up screen size [4in. vs 4.8in], LCD vs AMOLED display, Ram memory [1GB vs 2GB], NFC support, expandable disk space but has a 16GB advantage in comparison to the Samsung’s 8GB. However, the carrier price of the iPhone 5 at $200 is double the HTC One and unknown versus the new Lumia and Droid. But the most interesting trend is Apple’s continuing use of proprietary connections. No NFC, for easy+secure data exchange between devices, no USB-based dynamic recharging as in the Lumia, and no easy access to USB but rather a new Lightning pin connector displacing the now  old Apple 30 pin connector.  CNET’s Molly Wood agrees with this reviewer, Apple’s continuing proprietary connections[there are Lightning adapters for $20 to USB and $39 to old 30pin from Apple] are wearing thin.

And if you look at the commentaries on these gadget sites, the comments are decidedly less than complimentary. See Engadget or theVerge for typical reactions from Vox Populi.  But Wall Street was more positive, after wavering for much of the day the stock moved up $9.15 or 1.39%.  However looking at the tale of the Gizmodo tape and it is apparent that Apple no longer leads but is playinmg “me too” to the likes of both Android and Windows Phone 8 vendors. However, the final verdict also depends on detailed test reviews that will emerge in the next 2-3 weeks. Missing from those reviews will be  all the Windows Phone 8 smartphones including the promising Nokia 920 [Redmond is late again]. Hence the “Maybe” in the title. Regardless, smartphone competition will be brutal in the next 2 years and Apple no longer is the undisputed leader of the smartphone pack.

Resources:
Joe Nocera – Has Apple Peaked?
TNW  –  Survey finds 33% in US want an iPhone 5
theVerge – iPhone5 vs Samsung Galaxy S3 – GPU benchmarks clearly favor iPhone 5

1 thought on “Apple iPhone 5: Me Too, Maybe”

  1. “Thanks” a)for ignoring all the links provided in the post and b)for not helping out and pointing to the thinnest phone.Let me restate the case just for you- the iPhone 5 is the thinnest phone among the current leading contenders for smartphone supremacy.

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