Disclaimer: written by a satisfied owner of the iPhone 4S. For the past few years, Apple has been one of the most intriguing tech companies to have ever stepped into Silicon Valley. Their lineup of popular devices iDevices has been lauded and loved for many reasons. People have gone as far as to sell their organs on the black market for a chance to own a "must-have" of the 21st century. Of all of Apple's inventions, perhaps the iPhone has been their most successful, becoming a top-seller whenever a new version is released. Although Apple only owns only 17% of the mobile market, its consistent fan base and record sales generates huge amounts of revenue. The first iPhone was released as a clear innovation; it was one of the sleekest and content-filled phone on the market. The touch screen was unrivaled and its sales soon followed. The iPhone 3G was released around a year later, albeit with little difference outside of hardware improvements; the iPhone 3GS followed a similar route. Finally, the iPhone 4 was released. The product unraveling revealed an even slimmer phone, completely redesigned, with a monumental hardware upgrade. One year later, the iPhone 4S was announced as, essentially, an upgraded iPhone 4. People were disappointed at the lack of a complete revamp of the phone. Many people speculated that the next iPhone would bring the impact and change the original iPhone 4 did. Months passed, with hundreds of rumors flying around, until the iPhone 5 was finally announced on September 12th, 2012. But does it live up to expectations?
The iPhone 5 is a major disappointment. What should have been the iPhone 4S took another year to develop and release. Apple's brand new phone offers nothing game-changing and revolutionary to the mobile market. It's marketed fast processor speed does not really impress anymore, as people with the old iPhone 4 still feel that their speeds are adequate; at the same time, an average person's usage of software won't require such a powerful processor anyways. The redesigning of the phone isn't exactly a huge change either. The look is essentially the same, though slightly slimmer and taller, and the screen is .5 inches bigger. Apple is also late to the 4G LTE game, as Androids phones have been sporting that feature for ages. The iPhone 5 does have an improved Siri and better resolution, but then again, so does the Samsung Galaxy S3. To make matters worse, a new type of cable is required to charge the phone. This makes every cable currently owned obsolete for the new iPhone 5, forcing customers to either buy new cables or live with the one that comes with the phone. Oh, and customers are still limited to the amount of storage on the iPhone, disallowing the usage of SD cards. Again, the question for Apple is why couldn't the iPhone 4S have all these features? 4G LTE, and a slightly new design do not seem impossible had it been a year ago.
What Apple failed in was, ironically, what it's best known for: innovation. Why buy an iPhone when Android phones offer the same and so much more? What made the iPhone different from Apple's line of Macintosh computers is that it was better than other cellphones on the market, something Macs haven't fully achieved against Windows. The touchscreen on the iPhone was almost flawless and fast, while most applications ran smoothly and were interesting. Overall, prices were reasonable after a contract, and it boasted a great physical design. Apple has failed to adapt to changing times, especially the need for new ways to improving life. Your next door neighbor's iPhone 4S can do the exact same things, and outside of the design, there won't be a great difference. The iPhone 5 looks and feels weak. It no longer offers a clear and obvious reason to buy an iPhone over an Android. The iPhone 5 is lacking something revolutionary we've all been expecting from Apple. There isn't a single "Wow!" feature that separates the iPhone from other competitors. Everyone else has caught up, and Apple hasn't managed to maintain their lead. The only good thing about the iPhone 5? Owners of the 4S probably aren't kicking themselves too much for not waiting for the 5.
Fortunately for Apple, hype defeats the truth. The iPhone 5 managed to sell 2 million sets over the course of 24 hours, an incredible number, and perhaps ridiculous when considering all the facts. What used to be a hierarchical phone has become a device used by many people who simply do not know much about cellphones. As long as this continues, it won't matter what features newer iPhones will have. People flock to brand names, just as they have for decades. But props to Apple for the amazing marketing they've done. Their website looks fantastic and the features page for the iPhone 5 looks quite convincing until you dissect the facts. For the educated cellphone consumer? Look elsewhere for a phone.