A few days ago on Wednesday, 12th September 2012 (past midnight on 13th Sept for those of us here in Malaysia), Apple held their Apple event to announce the new iPhone.
A couple of months prior to the event, details of the new iPhone leaked like crazy everywhere online. So, really, there wasn’t much surprise or anticipation left. Steve Jobs’ top secret style is now lost with Apple.
Even the press invite to the Apple event gave away that the new iPhone will simply be called iPhone 5. Even though it is technically the 6th generation of iPhone (iPhone, iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S).
There was no live streaming of the Apple keynote that day. However, a number of major tech blogs was live blogging the event. With so much attention to the event, I was only following the event unfold through live tweets from these blogs and other tech enthusiasts.
A couple of times when my Twitter timeline went a bit silent, I checked on Engadget’s live blog post here, if you still want to read about the minute-to-minute coverage of the event that day.
Additionally, I assume that most of you have checked out the coverage, specs and features of the iPhone 5 already. If not, read about it on their official site at http://www.apple.com/iphone
Here’s my version of covering the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 5, by giving you my reaction and personal take of the smartphone, from a Fandroid (Android fan) point of view. If you don’t already know that I am quite an Apple hater.
“It’s by far the best [Insert Product Name] we’ve ever made.”
The phrase is getting old. Throughout the whole keynote, they not only announced the iPhone 5, they also announced iOS 6, a new line of iPod Touch and iPod nano. For each of this announcement, they use the same phrase.
4″ screen, 7.8mm. That’s iPhone 5 for you. Ok. Go sleep, Malaysians. Read more tomorrow morning.
— Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) September 12, 2012
At around 1am that morning, I can’t believe I was still up and reading about the new iPhone 5. My die hard iFanboi Hubby would’ve been proud. But yeah – it has a 4″ screen, 7.6mm thin (correction from my tweet), 8 megapixel rear camera, just like all the leaks we have already seen. Another overused phrase…
Thinnest Smartphone in the World
In the keynote event, however, they did say it is the thinnest smartphone in the world. Naturally, a lot of people start to look into Apple’s claim.
Well, lookie here. It’s not true. According to blogposts from sites like this, there are a number of other smartphones thinner than the iPhone 5. Although the Motorola Razr measured at 7.1mm at it’s thinnest point, there are a number of other Chinese brand smartphones that are thinner, like Huawei Ascend P1s (6.68mm), Oppo Finder (6.65mm) or ZTE Athena (6.2mm).
Three smartphones that are thinner than the iPhone 5 (7.6mm): Oppo Finder (6.65mm), ZTE Athena (6.2mm), Huawei Ascend P1 (6.68mm) — SoyaCincau (@Soya_Cincau) September 12, 2012
Fighting for the “World’s Thinnest Smartphone” title is so last year. Even the bigger phone manufacturers have stopped shouting those battles. You make your new device like 0.1mm thinner than your competition. Who cares?
It was something that big names used to fight over. Now, look at the contenders for the title. Only the Chinese manufacturers care about this now. People are oversold on this point already. We just want a phone that fits nicely in our hand. We don’t really care that it’s the thinnest in the world anymore.
“We’ve increased the screen size by making it taller, not wider, so it’s still comfortable in your hands.”
Apple has fought to maintain their iPhone at the 3.5″ screen size for long enough. They lost the battle when more and more Android smartphones are coming up with bigger and bigger screen sizes. The sales number shows and Apple know that they need to react.
With the iPhone 5, the screen size has (finally) increased to the 4″ size which is more than common in Android these days. 5″ plus screen size “phablets” aside, the best flagship Android phones are 4.8″ (Samsung Galaxy S III) and 4.7″ (HTC One X). So, the new iPhone 5 at 4″ is a little too late to the game.
However, when the Apple executives state that they increased the screen size, but maintained the width so it’s still comfortable for single hand use, by making the phone taller, it was basically inviting criticism and the interwebz to create countless memes on that!
I noticed it straight away after that statement was made, so I tweeted.
Apple said, “we increased screen size, making it taller, not wider. Still comfy in hands”, so future it’ll be so tall its arm length? — Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) September 12, 2012
Day after, on Facebook, I discovered the “observation” by many others.
And the cake goes to…
“We have Thunderbolt, now we have Lightning.”
As predicted (and leaked), Apple introduced a new Lightning port for the new iPhone. The cool thing is, it’s reversible and you can use it both ways. The uncool thing is, you will need to buy a new adapter to turn your old cables from its previous 30 pin connection to this new 9 pin connector. The more uncool thing is..
The bloody thing cost USD$29 for the regular one and USD$39 for the 0.2m one. WTF?
Previously, when Apple introduced the new MagSafe adapter for their laptops, it was at least only USD$10. Everyone with an iPhone will need to buy this new Lightning port adapter from Apple now. They’ve mentioned that it’s proprietary and no other manufacturers are allowed to make them. So, now they can charge whatever they want… and you MUST buy them.
3 microphones for noise cancelling
Apple announced the new iPhone 5 has 3 microphones. Yes, 3 microphones, for better noise cancelling.
Apple said, “No one’s ears are the same. So we spent 3 years reinventing the standard Apple headphones.” 3 years!!!
Then, they announced the “EarPods”. EarPods, Apple. Really? You really need to work on your product names.
So, 3 years of R&D and reinvention to an earbud. How did it fair? Check out Gizmodo’s review titled “Better! (But Still Garbage)”
There’s no innovation in smartphone designs anymore
I thought the same thing when I saw all the leaked pictures and renderings of the iPhone 5 before the announcement.
The only impressive thing when I saw the above leaked rendering from rumoured specs, was how good the designer is to render such a realistic image. Complete with fingerprints and all. Once the iPhone 5 is announced, it looked exactly like the rumours and leaks. It looks exactly like the current previous iPhone 4S. Just a little taller, a little slimmer. Overall, it still looks very much like a regular iPhone.
I tweeted this, and a lot of people agreed with me.
There’s no shockers or stunners in smartphone designs anymore. Not with Samsung. Not with Apple.
— Winnie Chen-Head (@winniekepala) September 12, 2012
Design wise, nothing shocking or stunning anymore.
Even Samsung Galaxy S3 looks very much like its predecessor, just a slight tweak. HTC One series don’t look much like it’s line of products, with its gorgeous unibody polycarbonate body. It has a great built, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not jaw-droppingly stunning.
Even Samsung don’t innovate anymore. <– I do note that this was the whole basis of the Apple vs Samsung court case. So this is a debatable point.
In the recent Apple vs Samsung court case when Apple accused Samsung of copying its design, they cited Nokia as an example of how manufacturers can make innovative design, that doesn’t look like iPhones. Yes, Nokia Lumias does look different and rather fetching.
But then, Apple’s new iPod nano went and look like the Nokia Lumia. *facepalm*
iPhone users can’t deny that they are iFanbois. Whatever Apple is selling, they’re buying
You can’t deny it, Apple iFanbois. You are a fanboy. My Hubby told me, that regardless of what Apple announced and launched as their new iPhone, he will buy it.
Seriously, if Apple planned a whole Press Conference event and ended up announcing “iNothing”. People would still have thrown hundreds of dollars for it.
Apple Fanbois are so blinded by the status of owning an Apple product that they brainwash themselves to think that everything from Apple is just great!
Which is why I love this Jimmy Kimmel skit he did on his show, where his crew went out on the streets with an iPhone 4. Gizmodo pointed out that what Kimmel thought was an iPhone 4S was actually an iPhone 4 used in this prank. They told people that it was the new iPhone 5 and these people on the streets believed it.
Some even admitted to owning an iPhone 4S. Playing with the 2 generations old iPhone 4 which they thought was the new iPhone 5, they even exclaimed that it is DEFINITELT faster, lighter, better!
iOS6 improvements to Maps, Mail and Safari
I want to keep this post to (only) bashing iPhone 5, so I’ll keep this short.
- Turn by turn navigation. No mention if it’s voice activated. <– Google Maps Navigation, with support for bikes, too. Launched since 2010.
- Safari enhancement with iCloud tab syncing. <– Google Chrome have been doing that since May 2012.
- Facebook integration. <– Pfft. Android has sharing to any apps allowing this. Not just limited to Twitter or Facebook.
I’m just gonna stop there. I don’t wanna get all wound up. Check out Techradar’s coverage on all enhancements to iOS6 here.
My final reaction…
I waited for the classic
Apple Steve Jobs “One more thing…” It turned out to be Foo Fighter’s performance.
With the mediocre announcement (probably because everyone already read all the rumours and leaks), the buzz surrounding the event was mostly around the new line of iPod Touch and iPod nano. How sad.
Nevertheless, I know you Apple iFanbois will be queueing and buying it by the millions once it’s available in 9 countries on 21 Sept and another 100 countries in December 2012. Yes, December!