It certainly isn't the set the web on fire, world beater that certain sections of the media may have expected from Apple. Quite a few commentators, myself included think its OK, but is that it? Apple could have taken the new iPhone and pushed the handset market forward again with a device that would still feel good to own in 2 years time (the length of most current contracts now). Maybe Cupertino's finest have become a victim of their own success and people were just expecting much more from them.
|Image Courtesy of Mashable|
Ok it has a slightly longer screen which adds an extra row of icons to the home screen but this still feels small against is main and current larger android rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note and the HTC One X.
Better camera features are always well received. In my opinion it's criminal when smartphone makers release a phone with a poor camera, there's no excuse for that. Certainly the iPhone cameras have always been very good and this one steps things up again.
The new maps app which replaces Google maps with Apples own and brings free turn-by-turn navigation to the iPhone is a welcome addition, even though it has attracted less than glowing comparisons to Google maps.
The other main feature change is one which already seems to have upset existing users, especially those with other pieces of tech which links into their existing iPhone, the new smaller 'Lightning' connector. This change away from the familiar 30 pin connector leaves users who have purchased expensive speaker docks or car kits having to now purchase a £25 adapter to make these work. There have been reports that certain items may loose some functionality and there is the added hassle of having to carry the adapter around, or buy more than one.
Perhaps its just that the quality of android phones is now generally much higher across the range? There have always been handsets which have had a higher spec or better features than the iPhone but perhaps weren't so well known. Until recently for every great android phone there were many more poor cheap handsets flooding the lower end of the market and pulling down the overall reputation. This meant the early iPhone's could brag of being better and more stable than the early android phones. Now it seems the opposite, that this new handset is almost up to the standard of the best android phones, which means that in 12 months where will it place with any new handsets in the pipeline including the windows 8 phones from Nokia and HTC.
Users who are now committing to a 24 month contact for their iPhone 5 may feel differently about it when they are a year in and the handset marketplace has changed. There will be more phones with Near Field Communication, or contactless charging to name but two features which were rumored for the iPhone but never made it.
Already since the launch of iOS 6 on Wednesday the web has been littered with a slew of less than glowing comments on the new apple maps. Luckily iPhone users can still install the Google maps app and similarly a youtube app as this has been removed natively, however the iPad users don't seem to have their replacements yet. Again these features will no doubt quickly improve ans iOS 6 does bring other nice features so its certainly not a step backwards, just a change in direction.
No doubt we will find out more today as users will finally get their hands on their new shiny iPhone's. It will be interesting to see the early feedback, will it be all people expected and more, or will they think why did I upgrade for this?