Apple's stock price has been dipping, so that means it is mandatory "milk the sheep" time. Since the New iPad, whose name will be a lot more fun in 6 months or so when the next one comes out, is already on store shelves, that must mean it is iPhone time. In proper Apple tradition, the CEO, currently Tim Cook, spent time on a mostly empty stage in a fairly nondescript theatre to show off the next small, shiny box from Cupertino.
The new iPhone lives up to many of the expectations, both good and bad. First, the name is the iPhone 5, not the New iPhone. They do seem to have at least learned something from that very odd decision. The device is, as expected from leaked photos of the chassis, longer than the previous models. Steve Jobs cited the smaller screen size in all previous models as a good thing. The reasoning was always that holding the phone in one hand could give you access to all parts of the screen. He also stated that his company would never consider launching a larger screen because of this reason. Apparently Apple has discovered that people's hands have grown in the year since Jobs' death.
The iPhone 5 has taken a page out of Boost Mobile's phone lineup and added true 4G data to their handset. Of course, this isn't the first time Apple has included a feature from a cheap Boost Mobile phone; in the iPhone 3G they added picture messaging. Apple's implementation is a little better than Boost, though, as it implements 4G LTE, not WiMax. To accomplish this, they touted their dual-antenna technology, which they also talked about last year. My guess is that this is all in reaction to the antenna blocking problem from the iPhone 4. I say that because all modern phones have the ability to switch antennas, and you never hear Samsung talk about it.
Not all of the new features are in direct violation of the founder's wishes or rip-offs of 5-year-old technology, however. Some are downright terrible ideas. Hit the break for the details.
If you have an Android phone, or any other phone for that matter, you probably have a collection of micro-USB chargers lying around. They have been the standard charger worldwide for years, after all. The iPhone 5 comes complete with a micro charging/data connector that runs on USB, but it is not micro-USB. Instead it is another proprietary Apple dock connector. The bad news is, it's a new dock connector, meaning all of your existing accessories are rendered useless... kind of. You could always spend another $30 for the adapter between the existing dock and the new one. Just one more piece of useless adaption in a year or so.
They did improve the camera and add the ability to take panorama pictures. This "Apple innovation," currently available on Android and Windows Phone, sets the phone apart, according to ABC News. Apple also boasts faster photo time, which I look forward to being challenged in Smoked by Windows Phone. It could actually pose a challenge to WinPho 7, but will likely lose to WinPho 8.
One feature that is suspiciously missing from the iPhone 5 entirely is Near Field Communication (NFC). The technology, which powers services like Google Wallet, allows two devices to communicate securely, wirelessly, within a very short distance. It has been available in high-profile Android phones for years, but first heavily advertised in the Google Nexus S for Sprint in early 2011. Since then, most handsets have featured NFC technology, but not the iPhone 5. Either Apple believes the technology is not going to catch on, like those pesky bigger screens, or they plan to challenge Google Wallet in their own way. Whatever the reason, it is certainly not available on this handset.
Obviously, I am not impressed with the handset, but I am not alone. Avram Piltch or LAPTOP Magazine gave his quick rundown of why Android is better and will cover it more on Sunday's show. You won't want to miss that.
So, now that you know my thoughts, start the war. Why am I wrong? Let me know in the comments below!