Friday, 17 August 2012

The Importance of the iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 will be one of the biggest, and most important announcements in the future of Apple.

Okay, perhaps slightly melodramatic. Or is it?

The iPhone 5 will spell rejuvenation or regression for Apple, especially in the mass market. With so much competition, especially from Android considering recent statistics, Apple need to get it right. If they don't then expect the 'Apple 18 months' showing a continuing drop in market share and rise in Android stock.

With consumers already stopping to consider Android devices over the iPhone 4S for example, Apple need to produce something to redirect that thought process. However much Apple fanboys will say otherwise, more and more Android devices are superior in hardware, and arguably design to the iPhone 4S. The Galaxy SIII, the HTC One X (and arguably the One S and the Galaxy Note) are examples of this. If the iPhone 5 doesn't address these inferior aspects (the screen size being the key one) then those that love the iOS ecosystem will start to begrudge the hassle of staying within an ecosystem with poorer hardware.
For me, Apple need to show that they can do more. We know that they can regenerate the same model, slightly slimmer, better quality screen etc but can they offer something different? Can they provide a bigger screen for example? Apple's 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' has been fine until now, and it certainly isn't going to spell disaster without a change, but Apple need to be more creative and ambitious because consumers don't only get bored but they need an incentive to upgrade. For the last few years, each new generation of iPhone and arguably the iPad offers fewer and less significant improvements over the prior generation, and, thus, gives consumers less reason to upgrade. Apple  cannot afford another 'iPhone 4S opening' where consumers gave off the overwhelming scent of 'is that it?'.

What does it sound like they're doing?

In true Apple fashion any iPhone 5 details are extremely tightly locked away. This results in an ongoing rumour-mill citing anything from transparent phones to the almost identical to the iPhone 4 and 4S. Most rumours and leaked images seem to suggest that the design will stay more or less the same. Some rumours and leaked images are showing a larger phone which would indicate a screen around the reported 4".

Is this the new iPhone 5?

This would be an increase of about 0.5" over the 4 and 4S. In my opinion this is a step on the right direction but I can't help but feel that something along the lines of 4.2-4.3" would be more appealing. The beauty of the larger-screened phones running Android has won over consumers who are spending increasing amounts of time on Smartphones and attempt to appreciate a multitude of functions. For most of these a bigger screen is simply better.

However, if the below image dictates where Apple are headed then I think they are in trouble. Most importantly, the aesthetic differences between the 4, 4S and this are, let's be honest, non-existant.

                                                 possible iphone 5

Let's be clear, regardless of what is announced, millions of iPhone 5s will be shipped come September. There will be the same people sleeping out for days in anticipation of the release. Apple will, as usual, do a brilliant marketing job and hype up the event. BUT if they have misjudged this, then the after the hype has died down we could be seeing real disillusion surrounding iOS, and Apple. The adverts (if unchanged) will begin to grain on consumers and the famous 'Apple innovation' will be placed under serious scrutiny.

But hey, what do we know, this is just musing! I'm going to sit back and enjoying watching it unfold. Over to you Apple.

P.S -I'm speaking through the eyes of someone who doesn't do Apple but I've tried to be impartial here...maybe I've failed.... In all honesty I would like the iPhone 5 to add significantly to how smartphones are viewed because all manufacturer competition is good for the consumer.
Either way, I'd love to know your thoughts.....

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