Well, I watched the keynote launching the iPhone5S and other accoutrements and reviewed the tech specs from here in Australia. What’s Tim Cook’s catchphrase going to be now that we have “gorjus” no more? Anyhow – re. iPhone 5S purchase … it’s a no from this tight fisted rational consumer. Need a real kick in the backside (forced incompatability) or to be massively impressed by ground-breaking new direction to invest. And that wasn’t the case. And here’s why.
As mentioned, I dig my current iPhone4 in my Book Book case/wallet. Great setup with a practical case. I see Apple are punting their new case with the iPhone5S – jeez their copy guys are good at writing the ads – they should all work in Australian restaurants inventing delicious descriptions for the Sydney-style tiny piles of food on the BIG WHITE PLATE for 40 sheets (you know what I’m talking about Sydneysiders). They’d make a killing taking a cut of the increased sales.
I always go top-of-the-range for the upgrade investment in a phone. 64Gb to sync most of my massive iTunes library. Granted this could go on the cloud via iTunes Match. However, recently I drove 6 hours south of Sydney to go skiing, setting off at an excruciating 3am. I would be slightly disappointed if the Manowar power metal song I was listening to to keep me awake suddenly cut out due to poor network coverage. And it’s going to chew up my data allowance on my network carrier big-time.
So for a 64Gb iPhone 5S outright buy here in Australia we’re talking $1129. From what I can see the main points are:
Better Camera: I believe in fit-for-purpose. I’ve a solid Panasonic Lumix FT3 camera which apart from being waterproof et al, the GPS altimeter having literally saved my bahookie on a Scottish mountain in a storm, takes awesome photos. Awesome hi-res photos (and you should see the specs of the latest generation FT5).
And as we build our SquiloByte-sized digital back-catalogue of images over time, and as we are sitting in our nursing home of the future with our 5D room projectors reviewing our auto-indexed life’s media collection, our old eyes will need the highest-res images that were available at the time. I reckon a whole generation of snaps on lower-res and lower-shoot quality mobile devices will give us later regrets with our digital archive. Especially when we’re trying to zoom in on the Blade Runner snake woman.
Speed – mobile device move up to 64-bit: A7 chip and LTE network. But to be honest with my iPhone4 A4 chip, I really haven’t found any major issues or frustrations with this short of bad network coverage, and that’s not going to be fixed by buying this phone. What I am a little concerned about here is if we’re going to see the same glitches moving from Mac PowerPC to Intel chips in 2006 with the stovepipe “Rosetta” Universal solution. You’d hope we’d be good with the same chip brand, but the best laid schemes o’ mice and men…
Motion Sensor: taking Big Brother to the next level … measuring user movement, in the background learning your commuting routes to suggest directions direct from your Notification Centre … feeding up to your Facebook perhaps to target those banner ads even further? Perhaps integrated with Facebook voice-ads:
“Hey John – I note that you’re a single guy who likes the personal pages of several adult entertainers, you’ve checked in to several bars tonight and it’s now 2am and your motion sensor detects an erratic movement pattern. Since you’re in the area, here’s some ads for some completely legal licensed “massage” parlours in order of how far from your current location”
A slight extrapolation perhaps (!) but watch this sorry space, and check your Terms & Conditions!
Free iWork Apple bespoke productivity apps: I find these to be a) fidgety and pretty useless on a mobile device and b) not as good as MS Office (well, perhaps KeyNote is pretty good). I reckon that Apple is desperate to increase the usage of their iWork suite which has had poor uptake and this is the final push before a possible retirement in the future. I still maintain that one of the best and most useful apps that was pulled was iWeb site design tool – awesome. I had to move on to WordPress but it’s not the same (without coding). Now iWeb would have been a good cloud iWork app for a mobile device…
Fingerprint ID sensor … first generation of this. This is actually pretty impressive, and highly useful (unlocking your darn phone when you’re of course definitely not using it mounted on your dashboard whilst driving, honest) but let’s watch and view how this pans out for app adoption. Might even prompt a revival of the Mafia and Yakuza. Much easier to whip off a finger than to interrogate people for passwords which as I’m sure we all know are difficult to extract under panicked duress when you’re torturing someone.
Champagne gold colour – this is perhaps the MUST have feature. If you’re the kind of classy dude who values your grillz big-time.
So the above points don’t sell me.
More fundamentally I want to see some blue ocean market-shaking kick-arse radical redesign from Apple (I loathe the words “game-changer” and “killer app” – we’re really due a new buzzword).
The basic iPhone design hasn’t changed since the original iPhone in 2007 (which I confess I queued around the block for from 3am primarily since I was flying to the UK the following day and I knew the device was just the dab to keep a 2 year old occupied!).
The boxy style phone just isn’t cutting it for me now when you look at other Android hardware alternatives with their huge crisp screens and more comfortable “handfeel”. If Microsoft gets it right with the Nokia deal, and introduces a truly integrated groovy device into the MS ecosystem they’ve a good chance of aggressively attacking the market.
For me Apple needs to get over the “if it ain’t broke” attitude and Jonathan Ive grow some cahunas and re-invent the iPhone styling, something radical along the lines of what they did with the Mac Pro “tube” desktop. As Schiller quipped “Apple can’t innovate my ass”. Keep wearing those tight jeans till the next iPhone body redesign Big Phil.
The biggest factor for me is the availability of iOS7 – which my iPhone4 can be upgraded to. Aside from hardware, this is the radical UI change that reinvigorates the device experience. Lack of compatability would have been the serious carrot on a stick to drive me to upgrade (together with the phone trade-in offer from Apple to sweeten the deal – as they know fine well).
As to Siri, missing from my iPhone4… well, they need to get Billy Connolly into the labs at Infinite Loop for some voice sampling – still has major issues with my native Scottish accent as the Russians will attest to!