Apple’s September iPhone Event: The Good, the Bad, and the Meh
Apple today held a special event to announce their most-leaked hardware introductions to date – the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. And while I am such a fanboy there was really never a question whether or not I will be buying the 5S, that doesn’t mean I’m so easily blinded by shiny things that I can’t pick out a “meh” moment or two from the festivities if pressed. So let’s see how Apple’s highly anticipated September iPhone event broke down through the eyes of my patented “Good”, “Bad”, or “Meh” grading system!
The iPhone 5S: In general, who can argue with a speedier iPhone 5? And this does indeed appear to be speedier! Apple claims it will be up to twice as fast as the iPhone 5 “in SOME tasks” and the graphics are up to …56% faster than the ORIGINAL iPhone, so I guess we can do some math here, assuming any of you know how fast that iPhone’s graphics were… Now, whether “some tasks” translates to anything you’d notice in the real world remains to be seen of course. The three new color choices on the 5S are nice… er, actually, let me rephrase that. There are now three color choices on the 5S, one of which is nice, the gray and black. I guess the white doesn’t look any worse than it always did. The gold looks cheesey, but perhaps needs to be seen in person to be appreciated.
Nah, it probably looks cheesey in person too.
As always, there is an updated camera, this time with a dual LED flash which are so close together you have to wonder how it could possibly make a difference, but Apple claims it does. Also there is now a pretty sweet-looking slow motion (120 fps) video recording mode, which I assume will be used solely by skateboarders, and moms who want to see their kids blow out the birthday candles in super slow motion.
Touch ID is the new fingerprint recognition sensor built in to the iPhone 5S’s home button, and meant to take the place of the passcode lock. I’m all for it if it works, but it has been my experience that I have unscannable fingers.
The iPhone 5C: ($99 for 16GB / $199 for 32GB) Apparently the colorful iPod nano of the iPhone world, the iPhone 5C seems like it should be a hit with teenage girls and the Asian markets, which seem to share a similar sensibility. While I understand the need for a lower-cost iPhone in order to sustain market growth, I’m not sure why adding colors to the mix matters, as I have yet to see an iPhone in the wild without a case (looking forward to the “I have NEVER used a case yet” comments). Perhaps the cheaper plastic shell will help eliminate the need for a case altogether, although I doubt it given it is still 50% screen, but if a rainbow of colors generates faux excitement for the device, then I’m all for it.
Apple didn’t go too deep into the specifics, but from all accounts it appears to have the same insides as the current (now dead) iPhone 5, so the iPhone 5C is not the joke I feared.
iOS 7: Yes some say iOS 7 is the REAL news, but it is OLD real news at this point, and having used it for a few months already, I’m over my love of the parallax effect, and kind of missing iOS 6. I actually get really annoyed when people say that iOS 6 felt “stale” and needed a redesign. I’ve played with Windows Phones and Android phones and while some UI elements are fun to scroll through and such, it is way slower to find what you want in my opinion than on an iPhone. (Or at least on an iPhone running iOS 6…) My daughter actually told me iOS 7 feels like “a kid designed it”, and I kind of get her point. I DO like Control Center though.
No price cuts: The introduction of the lower-priced iPhone 5C means Apple isn’t likely to drop the price of the 5S any time soon, which stinks because I’m both cheap AND addicted to the latest technology – A horrible combination to be sure – and I’ll probably never buy a 5C.
iPhone 4S sticks around as the free iPhone (on contract). 8GB model… seriously? If you want an 8 GB iPhone you do not need an iPhone.
No redesign: No surprise here, of course – Apple seems to like to do a physical redesign only every OTHER model, and the various hardware leaks had no one expecting anything other than a speedier iPhone 5. Still, as clownish as those giant Galaxy phones look, I DO think I wouldn’t mind a larger screen… I gots me some big mitts!
STILL TOPS OUT AT 64GB?!?!? Long time readers know of my perennial cry for more space, and my perennial disappointment, so no surprise here. So am I crazy? I mean, the only REAL change in each iPhone has been the size and quality of the photos and video it takes, yet the storage has not kept up. Pretty sure Apple has enough volume that they could get 128 GB of storage pretty cheaply.
No Surprises: Yes, looks like Apple has become so large that secrecy is no longer an option. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Maybe Tim Cook needs to fire some people and shake some things up.
So there you have it, the “Good”, “Bad”, or “Meh” of Apple’s September 2013 iPhone event. Feel free to tell me how right I am in the comments.