Julie’s gadget diary – Apple is boring and I miss Steve

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I really tried to be excited about yesterday’s Apple iPhone 5C and 5S unveiling. As I watched the live stream, I kept telling myself maybe Apple will surprise me again. Maybe there will be “one more thing” to wow me. Maybe… But there wasn’t and it made me sad. Today I visited Apple’s site and decided to watch the video for the 5C. The first sentence out of Jony Ive’s mouth was: “The iPhone 5C is in many ways the distillation of what people love about the iPhone 5.” Distillation… really? Come on. It made me wonder if I used to sound like a pompous know it all when I was at the height of my Apple fan-girl period. I sure hope not. Listening to Jony go on and on about the beautifully unapologetic plastic iPhone 5C  made my eyes roll and pegged my annoyance meter to 11. When he started talking about the specially designed micro fiber lined silicon cases, I had to stop watching. Apple, what’s happened to you? 

Where is the company that once inspired my gadget lust and excitement? I haven’t be surprised, or excited about an Apple product since the original iPad over 3 years ago. Since then, every new device whether it be the iPhone or iPad, has been pretty much the exact same device with small improvements in the display, processor and memory capacity. Granted, at this point, it’s hard to come up with completely new and cool features to add to a phone or tablet. Oh wait, how about NFC, wireless charging and OTG? The iPhone doesn’t have any of those features, but they have been available in other phones for awhile now.

When it comes down to it, the thing that really gripes me is that Apple tries to make everything they do sound like it’s the greatest thing in the whole world, even when it’s not that much different from their last greatest thing in the whole world. Do I care about a fingerprint scanner? No. Better camera? Ok, yeah. 64bit processor? I think that’s another feature that they are making sound better than it is. As I understand it, until they start shipping phones with more than 4GB of RAM it’s pretty much unnecessary. All I know is that the current batch of non-64bit  1.5 – 2.3GHz processors are already fast enough for most of the things we do with our phones. But hey, 64 is bigger than 32, so that makes it the greatest thing in the whole world. Ugh.

It makes me wonder what we would have seen yesterday if Steve Jobs were still alive… Darn it, now I’m sad again.

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55 thoughts on “Julie’s gadget diary – Apple is boring and I miss Steve”

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  2. I’m totally with you on this one. iDevices are getting boring. No innovation at all. Heck, they couldn’t even put in a microSD slot. Fingerprint sensor? A few Windows Mobile phones had those like 7 years ago. What happen to NFC? I’m surprised that they didn’t add in the “all-so-exciting” wrist strap loop. Maybe that would be the main feature in iPhone 6. iPhone 5S…S for suckers. And also, iPhone 5Cheap…why would they want to sell a plastic case for a plastic phone?!?! Here’s a friendly advise for Apple…why not make a real OSX tablet? Modbook did it…so can you!

  3. Overpriced boutique products that copy the features of last year’s devices, shrinking market share, and stagnant innovation and design.

    Sounds familiar, except the savior has risen, which means this time the drain might be circled permanently. They might want to slow the roll on that new building.

  4. It is amazing on how jaded we have all become. There was no way even with Mr. Jobs at the helm that Apple would be able to keep up the momentum that it had with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I mean it is a one in million shot that you develop one device that changes the industry let alone three.

    The problem with Apple now is what Julie mentioned, that they continue to promote their products like the next big thing. I read somewhere that Apple historically trashed “plastic” devices and now they make one.

    Anyway, let us not forget that the products they make continue to provide a wonderful user experience (at least I think so). There is nothing wrong with promoting improvements in your hardware I just think Apple needs to be a little bit more humble.

  5. Apple has lost its mojo, and the clearest example is that tacky gold-tone phone. The plastic “cheap” phones aren’t cheap, and they look like boring imitations of Nokia phones. And Apple under Jobs would never put out simple accessories like phone skins that do absolutely nothing other than cover the plastic phone with plastic.

    This is not the Apple under Jobs that created entire new markets. This is corporate Apple that figures it can make a few bucks in the cheap accessories market. Sad, but inevitable.

  6. The path has been blazed. Short of Obi Wan’s holographic image beaming out of the side, everything from here out -IS- with smart phones (Apple or otherwise) is likely to only be incremental improvements. Useful? Yes. Exciting? Not very.

    The CNet talking heads yakked on and on about the disappointments such as the unnecessary processor and the unchanged screen size. Really? The fact that they’re throwing more horsepower into their product is a disappointment?!! And some of us are just fine -NOT-trying to jam oversized phablets into our shirt pockets.

    I do think they need to transform Jony Ive into the public face of the company tho. He’s the next best thing to Steve. He has the design sensibilities, sure, but he’s also enamored with what the company stands for. Cook comes off as an accountant hawking wares at a time when they need a zealot more than ever.

  7. The 64 bit processor on a device that will sell 10s of millions is the first step to the 64 bit mobile computing future. Apple did it first, others will follow, but as of late September, there will be a significant user base for developers to build 64 bit “super apps” if such a thing can be built… but they might not run at all on 32 bit processors (i.e. the ‘requirement’ for the app will be an iPhone 5S until the next iPad and iPod Touch updates with 64 bit CPUs) but they’ll come, too.

    In the next 6 months you might be surprised how many 64-bit-only apps come out… or you might be underwhelmed. But they’re looking ahead, not standing stock still (despite appearances)

  8. Couldn’t disagree with you more, Julie.

    What was announced were established products? You weren’t going to get iPhone that were watches, because then they wouldn’t be iPhones. What we got were… double the performance (again, by the way this is logarithmic growth–as the chart in the keynote shows), better security (I’m one who doesn’t use a passcode), different looks (I like gold–don’t care what you all think about that, and all without making my existing iPhone 5 accessories obsolete (I like the tick/tock upgrade cycle).

    Basically all the iPhones at each price point got double the performance and new features.

    iPhone 5 -> iPhone 5s (new fingerprint scanner, better camera)
    iPhone 4s -> iPhone 5c (better camera, color options, durability?)
    iPhone 4 -> iPhone 4s (Siri, better camera)

    I never believed the (c) was going to be cheap, because it is Apple when have they ever gone for the lower end. Even the shuffle was never that cheap or powerful compared to competing products. It was a entry point for the iPod ecosystem, just like the whole iPod line is for the iOS ecosystem.

    The tech you say you mentioned… NFC, wireless charging, OTG… why the love?

    The functions of NFC sounds like they can be accomplished by bluetooth and wifi. Why do we need to bump our phones against stuff?

    Wireless charging means you have to swap out all you existing docks and cables, plus carry along a new (probably larger) charging dock.

    OTG, ok I’m going to assume you would like to connect USB stuff to your iPhone. I’m a geek, so I actually would like this too. But you and I know we can already do this through accessories. The camera kit hooks up to keyboards, usb audio stuff, and cameras. You can get wifi based sd card readers, and more. Part of the reason to pick iOS are the accessories.

    Speaking of the accessories I didn’t like any of the cases Apple showed, but I never liked Apple’s cases. Come on remember the socks! Most people by the tons of cases that other companies sell.

    Think the tech journalist/investor audience are jade, yes, but also drug addicted. They are looking for their next innovation fix, but sorry to say that only happens so often. While you wait to latch on to any old thing that is kinda innovative. Look how you latch on to tech fads… Siri, Google Glasses, finger print scanners, NFC, mobile TV, etc. It’s all crap which is kinda helpful when it works, but mostly doesn’t matter.

    This is all making me distrust reviews on the internet, since they tend to concentrate on tech that doesn’t work well, and ignore stuff people actually have to do with their tech.

  9. I was >< close to buying an iphone5. Not an S or a C — a 5. That's going away and the same price point is going to be the c? Plastic? I don't think so.

    Looks like i'm going to hang on to my 4 a bit longer… maybe I'll come across a 4s in the near future at a price I can live with…

  10. I agree with most of the above….and I have a desk full of iDevices.
    My big issue with Apple is as others stated:
    – Apple rags on phones made of plastic, then makes them…and says they are the best thing ever (rich Corinthian plastic)
    – Apple says big screens on phones are terrible….but they increase sizes often
    – They rag on Android, Jailbreaking, and WindowsPhone, but add features identical or close to those OS’s.

    The biggest thing though is how many Apple users refuse to think anything positive can come from non-Apple…and they’ve become so closed-minded…no more “Think Different”.


  11. Apple is grabbing at the roots dangling from the edges of the abyss they are about to fall into.
    We all sensed it when they deleted the Superdrive from… everything. We could tell it was on it’s way when they decided to make a phone without an aluminum frame. Now you _must_ put a strong case on the thing or you will bend/break it the first time you sit down on it. Guess that sells more cases, good for someone I think.
    Fingerprint sensor?!? Come on, Compag put those things on their (please see the irony of the name here) iPaq Pocket PC about 500 years ago and look what that got them. Wait, you can’t look at them they don’t exist anymore!
    Apple, look out, you could work yourself into Nokia’s shoes if you can’t compete with the new kids! (Samsung, etc.)
    Really? A fingerprint sensor?!?

  12. Funny, but the announcement that most excited me yesterday was in fact the 5c. It is the most “Apple” like product I’ve seen released in years. No longer competing on tech specs or a list of supposedly necessary features (do a poll of average users and see how many use NFC, voice control, eye tracking, touch-less gestures, etc.), but simply a well designed and built device that is enjoyable for the tasks that most users actually use. I’m looking forward to getting one in my hand to see if it’s as pleasant to the touch as it is to the eye. Perhaps this will be the portable that replaces my aging, “not-a-smartphone” Nokia N8.

    As to Apple’s sudden embrace of plastic devices, it takes a very short memory to remember that prior to three years ago almost all Apple devices were made of plastic and were well respected while being so. Both my wife and daughter happily use plastic iBooks to this day. I cannot know the thinking behind any decision a company may make, but I feel Apple’s foray into the case market is simply an attempt to retain the integrity of a well designed product. Though I’m not a believer in the “case culture”, a quick glance will show that the 5c in it’s case retains almost all the design language of the bare 5c. It never ceases to astonish me that reviews of phones spend so much time addressing the looks of a device; how it feels in the hand; how sharp or rounded the edges are; how thin and light it is compared to it’s competition; how slippery or grippy it is, when I know the first thing the reviewer will do upon purchasing a device is stick it in some absurdly ugly, thick and heavy case (the current favorites around my place of work are the ridiculously Nerf-like OtterBox cases). This is a phone designed to look a certain way, and Apple is attempting to keep it that way.

    I have no doubt Apple’s days as the “in” brand are over and as much as that may disappoint the “fanboys” and stock holders, I am hoping it will allow the company to return to what it does best; selling products that excite not with their spec lists, but with their user experience and design. Apple once specialized in bringing technology to the non-technical; perhaps they will be able to return to that.

  13. @Julie You are so right. I have worked with Apple fan boys for many years, and I must be honest that it was the main reason I was so dead-set against Apple products. The arrogance and smugness just turned me off. I think that Fan-boy-ness has softened over the last couple of years though as this whole scenario that you described played out. I think Apple no longer corners the market on innovation and ‘cool-ness’.

  14. I watched the stream also. I think the 5S is going to open up the enterprise for Apple (and I’d want one for the camera and security), and the 5C will be hugely successful. But we’re all expecting Apple to invent the teleporter (aka BodyTime), so it’s no surprise that we’re disappointed each time they don’t. So I’m more optimistic (though I’ll eat these words if the iWatch doesn’t at least have holographic projection!). But, and now very seriously, I did despair watching the event – didn’t anyone else notice how unusually dysfluent everyone was? Tim Cook fluffed his lines a few times, and Phil Schiller had to keep checking the autocue (or whatever he was referring to with his rightward glances). They came across as nervous. True – the whole world was looking at them, but their presentations were forced and strained. I’ve been wondering why (they’ve been the focus of the world’s attention before, so I don’t think it’s that): Perhaps the ‘one more thing’ they were relying on was pulled at the last moment (although when was the last time that Apple did in fact reveal one more thing? It’s become about as mythical as snow on Christmas Day). It looked to me as if they either had changed the presentation at the last minute (which would be enough to cause the kind of stress that to me was apparent in their presentations) and/or they hadn’t had enough time to rehearse (which is odd, because there was nothing particularly new about iOS 7 or the sales figures, so why didn’t they give themselves the time?). Tim Cook I can understand (I don’t think he naturally takes to these events), but Phil Schiller surprised me. I can’t help but wonder what happened. And I’m surprised that no one picked this up. Oh… one more thing: It is indeed a sad day for Apple when the audience are more excited by Elvis Costello than they are about the product announcements.

  15. > Jackie Cheng September 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm wrote
    > Fingerprint sensor? A few Windows Mobile phones had those like 7 years ago.

    Please. Fingerprint sensors on mobile devices so far have been unreliable and cumbersome while this looks like an excellent implementation.

    The iPhone is still somewhat slick: it’s light (under 4 ounces), upscale, and very fast. And the fingerprint reader is nifty.

    But Apple erred by sticking with a 3.5-4″ screen for so long. Though rumors are that they’re developing phones with larger screens, it’s too late… they should’ve split the line into 4″ and 5+” devices a year or two ago. As it stands, the Galaxy S4, Note III, HTC One, and LG G2 are all more interesting devices.

  16. Totally agree with you, Julie. This is exactly why I sold my iPad mini and iPHone 5 in favor of the New Nexus 7 and Galaxy s4. Until now, I’ve waited in line for every new iPHone that came out on launch day. Unfortunately, Apple is quite boring these days and I’m really loving the android platform. Sorry apple

  17. I totally agree with you Julie.

    Apple has lost it.
    They developed three wonderful things (ipod, ipad, iphone) based on existing concepts and ideas, mp3-players and smart phones.

    And now it’s only more of the same.

    They’ve got two chances left IMHO though: apple television and apple watch.

    Maybe next year it’ll be exciting again.
    Until then, it’s back to reading the zillion rumors …

    1. The thing is that I haven’t turned from an Apple fan to an Apple hater. I have an iPod classic 180GB and an iPad mini in my bag right now. At home, my only computer is 3yr old 13″ Macbook Air. I want Apple to be cool and fresh again. I really do. But as it is, there is nothing about their latest iPhones that even remotely has me wanting to buy one. I’m still perfectly happy with my Samsung Galaxy S3 which I’ve been using for over a year now. I received the Google Nexus 7 tablet that I ordered the other day. It will replace my iPad mini.

  18. Julie,
    I agree with you and disagree with you.

    I agree that the unveiling was boring. Most of that comes from the fact that we had already seen the 5S and 5C in leaked photos. Plus these are incremental products and will probably remain so for some time to come. I think Apple should just announce the new iPhone and put it on sale. All these presentations are becoming trite.

    I disagree because Apple invented this whole segment. No one had a phone like the iPhone until Apple did it. The same can also be said of Windows. Microsoft would never have done Windows if the Mac didn’t exist. Apple has gone where other companies fear to tread. That’s incredibly rare and we are the beneficiaries of their forward thinking.

    Plus, look at the new Mac Pro. Wow.

    Bill H.

  19. OK, I will put my two cents in here. I live with an Apple fan boy. That would be my husband. We have an apple tv and watched the event. It did seem very subdued and the applause seemed rather planned and restrained. Each announcement was made like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but as mentioned many times by others and you Julie they were all just incremental improvements.

    I will give Apple credit in that the graphics they choose to use on their phone are very refined and good looking. However I still like the ability to put widgets and other things on my phone and not just have a big wad of apps and folders.

    I have been up for an upgrade since July. I have been waiting for the Note 3, but was willing to give Apple a shot depending on what they showed. I am pretty sure I will stay with the Galaxy line if just for the larger screen real estate. It just makes a world of difference when you are looking things up or facebooking. I do like the camera on the new iphone. I will probably give it at least till the end of October before upgrading and let the phones come out and get some hands on reviews and comparisons.

    For the record, I spend my day working on a windows 7 machine, i do have a new 13in macbook air for my personal use and for my photography use and I have a Galaxy S III phone. I am not a big music listener so I am not really tied by bought music or apps to either eco system.

  20. Evolution is a series of small changes with an occasional revolutionary change. Not every new release is going to be a game changer for any product. The difference between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 was small, too, but people don’t seem to be as disgusted by this incremental change as they are by Apple’s incremental change.

    I miss Steve, too. I’m sad when I think what the world lost when it lost his inventive mind. I miss him when I see Tim Cook on the stage, because he isn’t as comfortable and in his element up there as Steve was. (I smile when I see Craig Federighi on stage, though, because he does seem comfortable, quick witted, and in control, much like Steve was.)

  21. I too was disappointed because I wanted to see a larger screened iPhone. But, on the 5C does anyone notice that when you put on the cover – which does give it some great color options – you can partly see the print on the back of the phone peaking through. I suppose these are the FCC and other identifiers. So tacky!! It unfortunately makes it look like a third party add on that was not quite designed properly. Probably in real life it will make no difference, but very “un-Apple” which always seems to be so polished to justify the price.

  22. As this was a “s” year, I watched with the knowledge that the 5s would be exactly what they announced, a processor and camera bump and a new feature (the fingerprint scanner).

    What I was hoping was that since they gave us the 5c (which is basically a plastic coated 5, that they would have surprised us with a 5s with a bigger screen (4.5inch).

    I know a bigger screen is a point of contention, but most of the Android manufacturers are making several versions of their phones with various screens. I think Apple is missing a large segment of the market. They could have made a 5s with a 4inch and a 5sl with a 4.5 inch screen…..

    Just my 0.02

  23. >> “And Apple under Jobs would never put out simple
    >> accessories like phone skins that do absolutely
    >> nothing other than cover the plastic phone with
    >> plastic.”

    On September 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm, “Steve” wrote:
    > Um. Remember these?
    > http://www.amazon.com/Apple-iPod-6-Sock-nano-mini/dp/B0006JMX14

    Steve, how about reading the comment (you replied to) again.
    Is it Apple Inc. that’s selling these plastic socks? Or someone else on Amazon?

  24. I can’t believe I’m saying this. 😉

    Yes, Apple doesn’t have NFC, but they do have Bluetooth LE (and well supported), which IMHO, is about 100x better!

  25. @Roland Yes, there were official Apple socks for iPods. I bought some from Apple. They were knitted, not plastic. These on Amazon are either old stock or knockoffs, because Apple quit selling theirs last year.

  26. The 64-bit news was the little gem in an otherwise slow news day. Sadly, Apple did not recognize that its consumers care less about what is inside and more about how it works. 64bit is only interesting when there are apps that do things the 32bit CPUs cannot. Apple did not highlight examples of software they are delivering that is 64bit driven. Jobs focussed on the “why do I care as a consumer” view. Ive made things look cool. They drank their own kool-aid and forgot what really made them the company they are — a user experience based on new technology rather than new technology with the promise of changing the user experience.

  27. Hi Janet,

    It’s hard to disagree with your posts and comments.
    There is a fair amount of hyperbole built into these “events”. And, I [like everyone else] now wonders if Apple can continue to “change the world” without Steve Jobs at the helm.

    Even so, I do think that Apple is moving towards an electronic wallet and better physical security with respect to the iPhone. The new 64 bit processor is impressive. So this event may not Wow us, but it did inform a solid step forward for future apps and the next iPhone.

    FYI, I do not own a [smart] iPhone or android because: (1) I hate AT&T and Verizon, and don’t want to give them all that money. (2) Can’t justify the extra cost of a smart phone over my simple ($35/mo unlimited minutes) cell phone. I need access to a WiFi signal, but have unlimited, free texting via my Touch. Make no mistake: my hatred for AT&T and Verizon trumps my providence.

    What I do have is an iMac (my forth), an iPad and an iPod Touch, and Apple TV. So I am an Apple fangirl.

    Right now, I do not need to be wowed by a leap in technology. I’m perfectly happy to see some incremental progress with the products I use. I’m thinking these incremental improvements would result from solid, continual advancements in battery technology and chips, etc.

    I was hoping to see an update to the iPod Touch, which would include an improved (iPhone4S) camera and video, better battery life, and perhaps (wishful thinking to the max) the fingerprint thingy.

    Maybe in October they will include my update list for the iPod Touch with the iPad and iPad Mini Christmas list “event”. But I am concerned that Apple doesn’t give the Touch its full due.

    Come October, I’d really, really, really like to see a slimmer and dramatically lighter iPad (which would be in keeping with Steve Job’s goals), and a iPad mini with retina display (no increased weight). That would entail better batteries (smaller, lighter, more efficient) and better materials (metal, glass, etc).

    Once things are slimed down and lightened, I’d like to see continuing improvements in weight and battery life.

    Julie, I am excited over the finger print function. Personally, I’d love a future where I could leave my purse at home, drive to a high end shopping mall with my iPod Touch (the police will accept a “picture” of my driver license if I’m stopped for speeding); purchase clothing, makeup, jewelry, lunch; and feel perfectly safe (from identity thieves) when using my Touch. Personal/financial security is the cornerstone of all this, and Apple’s finger print technology is a fairly significant step in that direction.

    BTW, In addition to unlimited texting, I use a Voice App to “phone” my friends and business associates via the free wifi signal in the mall. Take that AT&T!

  28. @Jane P. I think Apple should give a lot of attention to the iPod touch. I see it as a gateway into Apple’s products. It’s a great “tablet” for children or for adults who don’t want to budget for a more expensive iPad. I was a die-hard Windows fan until I got my little iPod touch. It lead me to the MacBook Pro, then MacBook Air, the Mac mini, almost every iPad that’s come down the pike, Apple TVs, and the iPhone. I don’t think I’m going to update my phone this year, because I’m hoping they’ll introduce a Retina iPad mini in the next couple of months. Although I’ll admit the fingerprint sensor and the improved camera on the iPhone 5S is tempting.

  29. @Julie, No, Bluetooth LE needs a battery (coin cell for most), but 1 or 2 years for a 100+ foot range is a tradeoff I can deal with. Plus the built in range to device thing makes it very flexible. (Not sure of the range accuracy) Plus you can send a lot of data in those 2 years, not just range to device, or if I’m setting on a device. With more than one devices, you could even do things like if both devices are in range, do …. If in range of 1, don’t.

    (Silly off top of head example: You are in range of the house, then in range of house and garage, then in range of garage only, start car. Other way around, unlock house.)

    Sure, both is better, but I’d rather have Bluetooth LE, if I could only have 1.

    This all assumes your macro program handles Bluetooth LE PXP events at all.

  30. All,
    If you aren’t going to use more than 4GB of memory, you really don’t 64bit. I’m not 100% sure mobile devices need 64 bit yet.

    Saying that, I do like the idea of going 64 bit ASAP, without breaking other items.

  31. @Janet,

    I think that Apple presented it as a poor stepchild to the iPhone (inferior camera, no microphone) to keep AT&T happy. So it’s always a year behind with respect to cameras, etc. Unfortunately, the last couple of years have seen even smaller upgrades.

    I have to say, I got the Touch a year or two before I bought an iPad. Somewhere in between I got a Kindle reader. I love the iPad, but I love my Touch even more. It’s size makes it that much more versatile on the road. The only thing I do not like about the Touch is you really don’t get a great reading experience. I can’t imagine using it to read a novel. Productivity apps like numbers, pages and PDF readers/document signatures work much better with the iPad.

    As a result of my gateway experience with the iPod Touch and Kindle, I’ll be getting an iPad mini once they are fitted with retina display.

    The iPod Touch is the devise I reach for most often during the day. It’s slim, so it fits in my pocket with my cell phone. I keep track of my calendar, contacts, timesheet, expenses, and bill reminders. I listen to music in my car and I have a great HIIT App. I use the camera all the time (ever try to take pictures with an iPad). I’m trying to figure out if I can use it in Starbucks.

    I wish Apple would treat it better. The Touch is not inexpensive, and I’m guessing that Apple makes a pretty good profit off of it. And the iPhone is so entrenched with the public that a fully upgraded Touch isn’t all that much of a treat to the mobile providers.

  32. I’ll admit to feeling a twinge of disappointment at first but after taking it all in I am quite happy about what Apple have brought to the table. Sure, there are no showstoppers but rather good solid dependable products that look really nice. I started off with my first Apple product, an iPhone 3GS and now own an Iphone 5, an Iphone 4S, a 11″ MBA, 3GB Time Capsule, 2 x Airport Extremes, 2 x Airport Express, 2 x Apple TV, an Ipad 1, Ipad 2 and 2 x Ipad Minis! Quite the Apple collection. Am I a fanboy? I don’t think so. I like Apple because the user experience is second to none IMO. The products are easy to set up and they work all the time. That is why I chose to stay with Apple. If they don’t bring out game changing products year after year then it doesn’t bother me. Personally, I will soon be getting the 5S for me and also a 5C for my boy.

  33. Jane P. I spent months using my 2nd-gen iPod touch daily. I loved that little device. I happily traded it in for the original iPad, though, because surfing was much faster.

    I later happily traded my 3rd-gen iPad with Retina display for the iPad mini. Of course, the mini’s screen was a step back, but I didn’t mind because the mini is so much easier to hold, and it’s small enough to stick in my bag.

    People complain that Apple should introduce a “phablet”, but I don’t like the idea of those. They are too big to be a phone but not big enough to be a tablet. I say Apple should just put a phone in the iPad mini, and I can use it with a Bluetooth headset or even a pair of earbuds with a microphone when I want to make a call. I know there are apps that will let me make calls with a WiFi connection, but I want a “real” phone in there.

  34. Interesting debate. Since this was the “s” release, my expectations for what I would see were correspondingly low. By the end of the presentation, I was actually blown away by some of the revealed details.

    The “c” phones were a surprise to me, but a pleasant one. In keeping with the best of Apple tradition, meticulous attention to detail and design elements has resulted in an extremely functional but comparatively low-cost device. I predict this device will strike chords with lower-end consumers who will see this as “their time” for entry into the Apple world. And although this device pales in comparison to the new “s” phone, it’s still a wonderfully functional device well positioned to leverage the Apple ecosystem.

    Speaking of the “s”, this is where I was quite blown away. I actually thought Apple seriously underplayed the importance of the 64-bit architecture on these new devices. Combined with the fact that iOS7 is ALREADY 64-bit ready, the framework has been laid for the next generation of apps that will challenge our preconceived notions of what can be done with a mobile device.

    Same thing for the separation of the motion coprocessor into the M7 chip. Again, this will lay the foundation for entirely new classes of apps on these devices.

    I struggle a bit with the marketing of every little detail as potentially world changing. And clearly, not all of the new features are. But sometimes the shoe fits, even if we can’t see it right now.

    1. @Butch I will admit that the 5C devices do look fun and for some reason they make me think of those colored plastic iMacs from many years ago. But listening to Sir Jonathan Paul “Jony” Ive go on and on about how they make your life complete, cure baldness and solve world hunger makes me roll my eyes and snicker. The crazy thing is that even though I’m annoyed right now, I’m wondering what we might see for the iPhone 6. I still have hope. 🙂

  35. Apple’s 4 inch screen is just gimmick. I never considered 5’s 4inch as true 4inch screen. Just for the screen size, I was hoping 4.5inch. Not too big nor too small. Hard ware spec wise, 8 mp was downer. while nokia is sporting 41 mp….
    I doubt that Apple can do so much of wowing in smartphone nor other companies. eventually, there will be a plateau for anyone.
    All I want was bit larger screen size with reasonable upgrade…….
    either note2/3 or wait till next year..

  36. I agree with you that Apple tries to make everything it does sound like the greatest thing in the world.

    Instead of telling us they have increased the resolution on their monitors, they gave us “a stunning retina display.”

    Stunning? A little over the top.

    Retina display? Until they put some sort of biometric tissue into the screen, it’s not going to be retina display at all.

  37. I had to look up what NFC is and recognize it from some of the Samsung (I think) commercials.

    I don’t think Apple wants to create NFC. They have closed off their devices into their own little ecosystems and don’t want anything coming from other sources.

  38. iPhone 5C 16GB unsubsidized price: $549?! 1st Fail

    iPhones missing NFC support? What good is a “fingerprint scanner” if there is no near-field support to enable near-contact transfer of data — like, for instance, secure transmission of payment information? Apple once again has gone for “trendy” instead of functional. 2nd Fail

    iPhone Fingerprint Scanner? Because having your browsing habits, where you go, who you talk to and what you say isn’t enough. Now the NSA (and the Chinese) can have your fingerprints too. After all, there’s nothing particularly unique — or usable for nefarious purposes — about those, right?

    Triple Fail!

  39. @Julie, while I agree with you that the trend for gee-whiz iDevice features is flat, I think there is more to the story than meets the eye. More on this in a minute. Another reason I think our disappointment was heightened was the sheer volume of leaked images and specs. With Steve at the helm, someone was going to lose a loved one or a body part if anything was leaked by anyone from the factory floor to the curved-glass corner office. The execs even joked about how we might have seen something about this before the unveil. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about a new thing when it in fact is not new to you.

    Circling back, I read the article by Gigaom entitled “With iBeacon, Apple is going to dump on NFC and embrace the internet of things” and was reinvigorated by what Apple really does: Create infrastructure for marketplaces and ecosystems. This article proved to me that the iBeacon technology is vastly superior to NFC in that it can connect businesses with customers and target them (literally) in a way NFC never will due to the lack of range of NFC. NFC, like many features of Android, seems to me to be gimmicky similar to no-touch swipe, scrolling by eye/head movement, etc. These features may prove themselves otherwise, but Apple is not about throwing features on a phone just to prove it can be done. They add features slowly with the supporting infrastructure all under their umbrella of influence that will make money.

    So I, like many, wait for Apple to put features on their devices and “distill” things the way they should be so that it all works together and let others hack and customize their phones while I just use what I’m given because I know it works.

    I think the days of One More Thing are over for sure and I’ll keep listening to their nausea-inducing marketing speak. The way they talk about the products and the reality of the feature set is becoming harder to swallow as you said. So stay tuned for evolutionary changes until the time that they put the next big thing out that we didn’t know we needed.

  40. @RottenApple

    Your worried about the unsubsidized price? Here in the US buying a phones doesn’t give you a deal on data or voice plans, which are going to cost you thousands of dollars anyway. May as well make the cell companies get you a good phone. If you are that hard up for cash, as others have said, the iPod touch is for you.

    Again with the NFC? Where are you going to use your precious NFC chip now? Most stores don’t support it. You can’t use it to get on the subway. I guess you need to move to Japan to live your mobile payments lifestyle.

    The fingerprint scanner sounds good to me. Since I realized my credit card info was tied to my AppleID, I don’t use a simple password for it anymore. It’s safer, but a pain to enter all the time. Using the fingerprint scanner sounds like a easier way to verify app purchases, and pass codes.

    Which brings me to your NSA FUD… they already said that info is stored in a special secured area of the processor and not sent anywhere. You may not trust this, but didn’t news reports already report that Apple was the last tech company to cooperate with Prism? Later than Google. You know the company that actually, and openly, says they are tracking you. That’s how Google makes their money, not giving way services and OSes.

    Your worried about the NSA, but disparately want NFC. What’s more likely the NSA is going to use backdoor to get access to your fingerprints (which they probably already have, or can get), or some evil hacker is going to use NFC to steal your identity and/or install malware. Neither, hopefully, are likely but I don’t understand why you are worry about one and not the other.

  41. @TL

    Agree 100%.

    I will say that the marketing superlatives were easier to take from Steve, because that was Steve–that how he was. From the exec team it seems forced, and a pale imitation of Steve. I’m hoping as time goes on they’ll find their own groove (and tuck their shirts in).

    There will be surprises… just on actual new products. It’s hard to keep something secret if you have to make 30 million of them.

  42. “As I understand it, until they start shipping phones with more than 4GB of RAM it’s pretty much unnecessary.”

    Then you and most of the others here don’t understand it. 64 bit is about increasing the size and number of registers, wider data paths, and generally dealing with data 8 bytes at a time instead of 4 bytes at a time. It’s about performance, not just expanding physical address space.

    Your rant might be just a little more credible if you bothered to understand what you’re bashing before you decided to bash it. Since you didn’t, we can give most of your prognostications all of the consideration they’re do. Namely, none.

  43. As an owner of the iPhone 5 I’m happy about the update. I think Apple had some nice updates and I can wait until the 6 to move into that and more. What was everyone expecting (especially after the many leaks)? The established middle device trend is firmly entrenched, one major redesign, one evolutionary, rinse, repeat. The 5 whatever was never going to be a major leap (even with Steve at the helm). If anything they gave everyone something new if they were waiting for the cheap 5 discount.

    I am excited to see the new iOS in action. I think people expect too much of Apple, who still tries to include as many customers in their base as they can. If they truly revolution-ized every single year, they would certainly piss of a lot more of their customers. Obsolescence in a year of two would not make people happy. The funny thing is that these kinds of articles come out after Apple updates (Apple is in decline, or over) and it’s like Apple can be the only trendsetter. Nobody takes their cues from Samsung, Nokia, or HTC. They all wait for Apple to do it and then it makes sense. Considering the ho-hum response on the recent Samsung watch (and the subsequent articles speculating what Apple will do if/when they introduce a “smart watch”) I think people are still looking to Apple for cues. I’m sure that’s a bone of contention for the Android/Windows enthusiast, but really that will probably never change. In the end, we are living in gadget enthusiast blessed times. I remember thinking my Handspring Visor ($275 retail) would be so much more useful if it had a color screen and more storage space than 8MB ($50 option for another 8MB) and look what we squabble about. My high-res color screen isn’t big enough, 16GB is not enough for me I need an SD card, I still have to plug this thing into an outlet? 🙂 Silly IMHO.

    Enjoy the tech life.

  44. You don’t need a 5 inch display.64 bit will rock..MP’s don’t matter.The fingerprint sensor will be great.On the iPhone 5,5c and 5s there is a new feature called Airdrop,witch does what android beam does.The 5c is the new iPod touch!Now what do you think?

  45. @Xfader,
    Hey glass if half full analysis – I love that!

    But I disagree that the 5c is the new iPod Touch. The 5c requires a contract. Without a contract it costs twice as much as the iPod Touch. They are 2 different products.

    Plus … I want the iPod Touch to have the fingerprint sensor – sooner than later. I eventually want to be able to safely purchase things at a retail store. Currently, I do not do anything on an insecure WiFi network other than serf the Web. I would love to be able to purchase content from iTunes at a Starbucks without worrying that my Apple password will be hacked.

    Regarding the screen size, who knows why Apple is marching in place. Perhaps they are being stubborn or are still working on advancing the technology to support a radically different design for the iPhone 6.

    Regarding the A7 processor and fingerprint sensor, the historical response to new apple products (i.e. the iPad) was “a maxi-iPhone? Why bother?”. That attitude soon changed as new Apps were introduced. Perhaps we need to hold our collective breaths until new Apps for the 64 bit processor, and (hopefully) the fingerprint sensor are developed.

    @Janet, I agree with everything you said. I like the idea of a mini iPad with full phone service. That is far better than a “plablet”. No matter if I stay with my Touch, or give in and get a smart phone, I want something that fits comfortably in my pant pocket. So, just how large an iPhone do you all want to see?

    The thing about apple products is the Apple ecosystem. I love that all my devices work together seamlessly, and they are so easy to set up. That is why I continue to use Apple products – I sincerely enjoy using them.

    Finally, I hope that Apple retains the Innovation DNA that Steve Jobs tried so hard to sow. And I am content to wait for the next great product to be introduced. I’ll just read about it the next day on The Gadgeteer or All Things Digital. Other folks can suffer the bombast offered up at the “events”.

  46. @Xfader Thanks for the link. I see where you are coming from … but still disagree.

    The 5c is a mobile phone. If you do not want a contract, it will cost more than an iPod Touch. There are families who do not want their kids to have a phone. Or have an android phones, and do not want to switch to apple.

    Now, CNET (which I access daily) likes to theorize about Apple’s plans for it’s product lines. And I’d say they are wrong quite a bit. The iPod line has been scrutinized lots by CNET and other tech sites. But theories usually revolve around the iPod classic and minis. The Nano and Touch are considered solid enough products to stay around for a while.

    I have a 4th generation Touch, and was hoping to see a substantial upgrade last week. So I am hoping that they will announce something in October. This is not the first time Apple has moved product announcements to a different month. They seem to have done away with March for their iPad line and settled on October so that folks can work on their xMass lists. Perhaps the iPod lines will be included in the October line up.

    There continues to be a market for people – like me – who really do not want smart phones, but want other advantages offered by an pocket sized iPod Touch: access to Apps (it is my PDA), access to your music library, access to the internet, email and and texting. And I somehow, can’t believe that Apple would force customers into smart phone contracts by phasing out the iPod Touch.

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