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Apple’s iPhone 5 Event is Over, Are You Happy or Meh?

We’ve all been waiting for this day to come and now that Tim Cook has walked off the stage, it’s over. We now have to deal with being bombarded by every tech site’s rehashing of what was announced today, and I’m left feeling a bit like the end of a holiday dinner. You know how it is, for weeks you look forward to a big plate of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and a huge piece of pie with whipped cream. But after you snarf it all down, you end up with a stomach ache and a little regret. Don’t get me wrong, like millions of other people, I’ll be pre-ordering an iPhone 5 this coming Friday. As The Gadgeteer, I have to. And I know I’ll enjoy using it. But I can’t help but feel a little meh about the whole thing… I can’t put my finger on why I feel that way though.  Am I alone?

{ 42 comments… add one }

  • Ken Schoenberg September 12, 2012, 8:11 pm

    Because there’s nothing “magic” about it. It’s pretty much the same phone you’ve been using all along with a few tweaks and a slightly bigger screen.

    I thought Android made a pretty big leap between 2.3x and 4.1. I’m not seeing that big a difference between iOS 4.21 and 6.x…well, except that it won’t run on some relatively new hardware like the original iPad.

    Still…it’s just a phone too.

    Mostly, I’m excited that my new Kindle will have built-in lighting. :)

  • Julie September 12, 2012, 8:15 pm

    @Ken I’m looking forward the Kindle Paperwhite that I pre-ordered too. I hope it will jumpstart me back into the reading habit. I’ve wanted a Kindle with a built-in light for a long time.

    I think I need to switch things up and get away from using the iPhone as my primary device for awhile. It’s time to use an Android device for awhile.

  • Leo September 12, 2012, 8:21 pm

    I am pretty underwhelmed by the iPhone 5. Given Apple’s current litigious bent, claiming that they are amazing innovators, I’ve failed to see anything truly remarkable in the last 4 iPhone releases, and this is the least innovative of all. If anything, it is following the competition now: larger screen, smaller connector, 4G/LTE? Sounds like an Android. :)

  • walk September 12, 2012, 8:23 pm

    I don’t see why everyone expects major changes on these tech items. It’s a refinement of the previous design and I think it looks great and finally has a slightly larger screen and aluminum back. The white one actually looks very smart too. There are some great iPhone alternatives now so it is a great time to be buying a smartphone!

    I can’t justify replacing my iPhone4 just yet even though it is getting rather slow with some updated apps. I will wait a while to ensure my car continues to support the IOS integration functions and I can purchase a ProClip holder designed for it.

  • Ken Schoenberg September 12, 2012, 8:26 pm

    Julie, I would highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone from Google. I know it’s not the S3, but it’s pure Jelly Bean and it really is the nicest phone I’ve ever owned.

    I moved to the slightly bigger Samsung battery, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

    I’ll probably give WP8 a try at sometime…but my experience with Windows phones in the past has left some pretty big scars.

  • Ken Schoenberg September 12, 2012, 8:28 pm

    BTW, Apple electing to go with another proprietary connector over micro USB is really a slap at their customers (and also a violation of EU law). Worse yet, they’re going to charge $30 for an adapter and there is no word of reverse adapters for the older devices.

  • Julie September 12, 2012, 8:29 pm

    @Ken I liked the HTC Droid Incredible and the EVO (Sprint). I’d also like to try WP8 SHOCK!

  • Ken Schoenberg September 12, 2012, 8:36 pm

    I have found 4.1 to be a leap from 2.3 and a real nice improvement from 4.0. The latest rev of Jelly Bean is the first version of any mobile OS that I’ve seen that is starting to have the power and functionality of a desktop OS. Google Now w/Cards is actually useful at times.
    Mind you there are still some issues…but they’re cosmetic. I’d love to find the person at Google who decided to take contact photos sync them to the desktop and shrink them to icon resolution and then sync them back to the phone so that the full-screen caller ID makes everyone look like they have leprosy or worse.

  • Ken Schoenberg September 12, 2012, 8:39 pm

    @Walk, everyone expects that because it’s what Apple and the press tout. It’s magical, it’s revolutionary…it’s the biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since the iPhone. etc. etc.

    There’s nothing wrong with incrementally improving things. Although, it does appear that Apple is really starting to lag behind its competition in hardware and software specs and capabilities.

  • Mark Rosengarten September 12, 2012, 8:41 pm

    Interesting but nothing that would cause me to jump mid-contract and replace my one-year-old iPhone 4s. Still works great and the Mophie JuicePack Pro won’t support the new iPhone due to the new connector. I’ll wait until next year for the 5s.

  • Julie September 12, 2012, 8:43 pm

    I agree that Jelly Bean is really nice. You know I think I’m just really tired of waiting for Apple to get homescreen widgets and a microSD card ;)

  • Jackie Cheng September 12, 2012, 8:49 pm

    All I can say is that they could’ve done better. And what’s up with that lanyard hook on the iPod Touch?!?! That’s not even an innovation. Don’t even mention it in the keynote. Just makes it sound stupid. That’s like a step backwards off a cliff and into shark infest waters….

    I think they purposely create that lanyard hook just so that they can sell those lanyards at a premium.

  • Jackie Cheng September 12, 2012, 8:50 pm

    @Julie – I think they would’ve done a better job if they just add a microSD slot into the 4S and call it a 5….lol

  • Ken Schoenberg September 12, 2012, 8:50 pm

    Just having the ability to bring all my switches to the homescreen is a great benefit (Silent/Airplane/Wifi/BT/Tether and the ability to replace the lock screen with utilities like Go Launcher’s Go Locker is great.

    My current phone doesn’t have a micro SD card. It bothers me a bit because I always like a local backup, but with 16gb on board I just haven’t come close (120 apps and 500 pictures) to running low. I stream all my music from Pandora or Amazon.

  • Ken Schoenberg September 12, 2012, 8:51 pm

    I just noticed that Apple also went to a new SIM card style (nano SIM).

  • Richard Raborn MD September 12, 2012, 9:34 pm

    Waiting for the Verizon deal and bundle with cable. Just got used to my Droid and missing my Palm phone.

  • anson September 12, 2012, 9:44 pm

    Am i the only one that thinks those icons on the new nano are too big and round?!?!?!. IMO, they shoulda turned kept the “watch”-sized nano, added bluetooth-4 and made it a iPhone companion.

    The iPhone 5 is a nice piece of industrial design… however the “meh-ness” for me comes from the fact that this design has been leaked slowly over the last 6 months and the result was far from un-predictable.

  • gregg September 12, 2012, 10:35 pm

    I wonder after a couple weeks this phone will have a major problem like the last one did with the antenna? I let others get them first and then wait for their reviews b4 buying

  • Ian Lim September 12, 2012, 11:02 pm

    I’m no Applehead but two things that stand out for me:

    New Nano-sim….sheesh if it was anyone else they’d be dead in the water – Betamax anyone ??

    Lightning port – reversible with no wrong way to insert – big thumbs up !

  • Jackie Cheng September 13, 2012, 12:15 am

    @Ian – Are we, as a human race, so dumb that we can’t plug in a cable the right way?!?! They might have solved the reversible Lightning port on the iPhone side but what about the USB end which has to go in a specific way…..doh!

    I just wonder why they just didn’t make it a magnetic port instead. That way it can be reversible AND sealed from dust.

  • Dan McNutt September 13, 2012, 12:19 am

    I think it looks pretty nice. As a 4 owner this would be a nice update. I think the idea that Apple will significantly redesign their phones is wishful thinking (though they have done this with their Nano products). They are refining it to the point thy are satisfied with it. Once they get it to the point they are pleased with it I don’t see them veering from it. Similar refinements were made in the case of Power Macs, iMacs, and MacBook Pros which have not significantly changed their appearance in years.

  • Ronald September 13, 2012, 2:50 am

    Yeah, meeh, evolutionary, not revolutionary.

    I’ll stick to my iPhone 4.

    Btw. I took out my Nokia E90 and installed whatsapp on it. Still a great phone, still very functional. I still love the great keyboard.
    Only surfing is a drag as compared to modern touchscreen phones.

    I get my iPhone through my employer. If I were to buy it of my own money, I probably would go for a big screen Sammy phone.

  • Marco September 13, 2012, 4:06 am

    Oh, so that’s the almighty iPhone?!? I was beginning to wonder why Apple presented a 2010 Android phone

  • KRYPTlK September 13, 2012, 5:19 am

    I like the new iPhone, but not enough to upgrade my 4S right away. I’m really looking forward to iOS6, though, and it appears it will be fully functional on my 4S. I kind of like the LTE aspect on the iPhone 5, but it’s not nearly enough to make me get it at the non contract price on day one like I did with the 4S. Now had they put 128GB of storage in it, I’d be standing in line on September 21st…

  • Josh September 13, 2012, 7:18 am

    @Jackie Cheng, I imagine many people keep their iPhone cables plugged in to their chargers or desktop computers, so the USB side would be typically plugged in.

    I know for me before going to bed and the lights are out, I look for icon on the iPhone plug to make sure I have it right.

    Dumb has nothing to do with it, it’s all about design and convenience.

  • Ken September 13, 2012, 7:22 am

    I think the new phone looks nice but it’s not enough to make me regret going for the 4S (at a very good price) instead of waiting for a month. The only feature that looks semi-compelling is better low-light response from the camera. Larger screen? Meh. 4G? Not where I live (besides which 90%+ of my data use is WiFi.) Thinner/lighter? Why?

    I am looking forward to iOS 6, however.

  • Bill Henderson September 13, 2012, 8:04 am

    I have an iPhone 4 and am overdue for an upgrade. I will get an iPhone 5, but during the next round after the sell-out stock is replenished.

    The new earbuds? … I maintain any pair of $50 earphones will be loads better and any pair of $100+ earphones will spoil you rotten.

    Bill H

  • Mark September 13, 2012, 8:05 am

    {Sarc_on
    Seems to me that the new iPhone errr iPhone 5, has just about caught up with last years flagship Android, the Sammy SII (the phone I have) but is already falling behind the new Android flagships (SIII, Note II etc.) and seeings as how long it took to go from 3.5 to a 4 inch screen its falling going to fall behind very fast.

    As to the connector, damn did I laugh, incompatable with older accessories (ok the is an adaptor for another $30) and still propriorty, why not just use micro USB? Well lets face it they want to lock you in to their revenue streams. Nano sim? Again makes it more diffucult to just slip it into your Android!

    Yep the hardware does look nice but iOS is really starting to look dated though I’m sure we all love looking at grids of Icons

    As to the hardware quality being better, yes I am sure LG, Samsung et al all ensure the componets they manufacture and sell to Apple are much better than the ones they make and use in their own devices!

    Right I am off to sue someone because I am sure I have a patent somewhere that says I own the rights to all devices that incorporate circles in the design, lets face no one else has ever used them before!
    }Sarc_off

  • Ian Lim September 13, 2012, 8:57 am

    @Jackie, my phone and my tablet have the micro USB in opposite directions. I have to to look at the connector every time to see if I’ve got it the right way. And yes you’re right the USB connector on the PC end is still only one way but then it’s not so much an issue with an AC adapter if you’ve got the cable permanently connected.
    It’s not about being dumb, it’s about being convenient (lazy? ) :)

  • Patrick September 13, 2012, 9:25 am

    I for one am really excited about Passbook. As a frequent traveler and a firm believer in being able to store all of this data electronically, this is going to make organization a snap. Also, I think this might be Apple’s way of killing NFC in hope of creating their own standard. This is much more secure and takes out the issue of transmitting any data.

  • Betty Widerski September 13, 2012, 9:31 am

    Since my work-supplied phone cycle means I’ll have my 4S for another 2+ years I decided to go in on this Kickstarter project that adds an extra battery AND a microSD slot: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/108290897/iexpander-an-expansion-device-for-your-iphone-4-an

  • Jake September 13, 2012, 11:35 am

    I feel meh also. I know Apple aren’t MEANT to redesign all of their products every year but they sing and dance like they do. All of my friends with 4S’ or 4’s are thinking of keeping because the 4 is still a perfectly fine phone and the 5 isn’t the upgrade they wanted. Basically a larger screen and some design tweaks. Okay the internals are ‘new’ but we don’t know anything about the A6… Nor is it any quicker…

  • Andrew Baker September 13, 2012, 11:43 am

    I’m pretty sure the only reason Apple changed the plug, was because of all the Patent issues revolving around the current 30 pin model. Apple charges royalties to any 3rd party connector. There has been alot of legal issues with the connector, because of it’s extreme similarity to patents held by Phillips and Samsung (I believe) 3rd party manufactures are using the connectors from Phillips and Samsung which although fit and work, are just different enough to to avoid patent issues. Apples been fighting this for years trying to get every cent out of royalty revenue. My gut feeling is that this new Apple designed connector was driven more by 3rd party royalty collection vs, any other reason.

    My 2 cents.

  • James Hannibal September 13, 2012, 1:16 pm

    I wish apple had stuck with the 30 pin connector. None of my iPhone 4S accesories will work with the iPhone 5. I’m going to stick with the 4S for a few more years. If the 4S ever brakes, I’m going to just get another 4S.

  • Jane P. September 13, 2012, 3:04 pm

    @ Julie, I am “meh” about the event itself. The iPhone5 particulars have been leaked over the past few months, so there are no new surprises. And, as most changes to these devices will be incremental from now on, there is little to get excited about.

    Having said that, I like most of the changes in the new iphone and iPod products and iTunes software. I do believe that all the devices should be getting smaller and lighter, and the engineering behind the thinner, lighter and more powerful iPhone & iTouch is elegant. I am particularly enthused with the new iTouch, as it was in need of an major upgrade. I definitely wanted to see a better camera and Siri on board. I’m also looking forward to working with “a better iTunes”, which is a truly unruly program.

    I could care less about the Nano …

    However, I’m very disappointed with Apple for changing the dock connector. If they had to change the connector, then they should have followed through with their support for a universal connector: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31322_3-57511687-256/apples-dock-connector-change-is-awful-dont-kid-yourselves/

    It is an unforgivable sin for them to reneg on that support. It is equally as bad to charge current customers an additional $30-$40 for those connectors.

    This is a business decision that insults Apple’s customers, the industry, and “the world”. Steve Jobs … you should be ashamed of yourself!

  • Julie September 13, 2012, 3:24 pm

    @Jane P. Steve Jobs? You do know he’s dead right?

  • tech September 13, 2012, 3:46 pm

    Meh from me as well…though I won’t waste time reiterating all the points above.

    The big negatives for me are the new connector…I have an iHome clock by the bed…I’m supposed to use an adaptor for that?!

    Secondly is the size, which will make me sound like a curmudgeon.

    I don’t want a thinner phone!
    For me, the thinner they phones get, the harder or less comfortable it is to hold them…there is less area to get a hold on the phone with thumbs and fingers.
    And I’m not a huge guy.
    I’ve dropped a couple of thin phones just by changing from right to left hand during a call…then having it slip out of my mitts!

  • Jane P. September 13, 2012, 3:58 pm

    @Julie
    Tongue & cheek on my part. But Jobs was involved in the development of the iPhone 5 & probably did decide to add the new connector. I’m an Apple person so this decision goes against my image of him.

  • walk September 13, 2012, 4:03 pm

    @Jane P: Very odd comment about Steve Jobs… And although the new Apple connector vs. using microUSB is annoying, they have not “dropped” support of the old connector. It is pretty amazing that it lasted that long… BUT they really should have included the adapter in the iPhone5 box or made it significantly cheaper. Being able to connect the new cable in either direction is a great idea – I often plug my phone next to my bed in the dark and get the polarity wrong.

    I still think from the info available so far, the iPhone5 is a competitive phone and will be better made than most phones on the market. It is however not worth upgrading from the iPhone4S or several of the newer Android devices IMO.

  • Jane P. September 13, 2012, 4:49 pm

    @walk, Julie et al. Yes it was an odd comment. Made in haste & shows bad taste on my part. Please accept my apologies.

    Agree the adopter should be in clouded in the case as well.
    But also feel strongly that these major industry leaders need to support universal platforms for things as elementary as USB connectors (and ePub).

    Having said that, this a great time to be a gagetteer.

    Now it’s time for me to get back to work!

  • walk September 14, 2012, 11:31 am

    @Jane P: No offence taken (at least not from me!).

    I have thought about the new phone a bit and I think my official stance ;) is “meh”. The details were leaked over several months so no surprises. Apple should just start releasing updates every year without these big events unless there is something big and new.

    I think the phone will be a worthy replacement and will be superior in build quality as usual. The main reason I will probably stay with Apple is due to the App/IOS/iTunes/AppleTV/etc. integration that just works well for me. It is plenty fast, nice screen without being huge, lighter, etc. The aluminum back is perfect and the darker black sides really look slick.

    ONLY issue and I have realized that other commentators are correct with their statements: Apple should have gone with micro-USB. Having a reversible plug is not reason enough for this new cable type.

  • techgeek32 September 15, 2012, 8:24 am

    Remeber that the Verizon and Sprint versions will NOT have simultaneous voice and date because Apple declined to add the third antenna. The SGIII and other Android. 4G devices have this feature, but once again Apple knows best. This will give AT&T a leg up on iPhone 5 sales again for those that want and use that feature.

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