iPhone 5: don’t get too excited

iPhone 5: don’t get too excitedHappy iPhone 5 day, you heathens! This very evening, September 12, Apple will finally lift the lid on the successor to the iPhone 4S. About bloody time. Er, even though the 4S is less than a year old. But still.

Where am I going with this? Ahh yes. This is arguably the biggest night for mobile in 2012, but don’t get too excited, man. Chances are the reaction – from you and me, anyway – will be a resounding “Meh”.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that these product launches invariably leave us feeling thoroughly unimpressed. I’m thinking in particular of the iPad 2, iPhone 4S, new iPad, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Motorola Razr HD, Nokia Lumia 920

Part of the problem is all these blogs (ahem) with their incessant rumour peddling. In our defense, we haven’t relayed every single iPhone 5 rumour – far from it; only the ones we felt were worth mentioning. But still, even the hallowed pages of Mobot paint an incredibly vivid picture of the iPhone 5.

Yep, over the course of the year, we’ve veeeery slowly ruined the surprise. But is there really much potential for surprise anyway? What do we really expect from the iPhone 5 – or indeed any new smartphone/tablet technology?

The weight of expectation is incredible. We turned our noses up at the Samsung Galaxy S III, because it failed to blow the Samsung Galaxy S II – largely regarded as one of the best smartphones of all time – out of the water. And PenTile? Oh, the humanity!

The fact that the Samsung Galaxy S III went on to sell 20 million units suggests that the problem lies with us phone nerds. We’re impossible to please. There’s always something wrong, something missing.

Of course Apple, more than any other manufacturer, is almost guaranteed to disappoint. In fact, tonight’s iPhone 5 launch might well be the most disappointingest of all.

The iPhone 5 is tipped to rock a new proprietary docking thingy, making more room inside for components and that. That’s great, right? Progress? But we’ll inevitably tear it to shreds because it means all existing docking stations and accessories will be incompatible.

And the iPhone 5’s 16:9 display ratio is all well and good for watching stuff, but what about all those hundreds of thousands of apps on the App Store? They can be enjoyed with black borders, or perhaps in delicious stretch-o-vision.

Actually, it’ll be interesting to see how – if at all – Apple addresses those issues at the keynote. No doubt they’ll charm us into thinking black borders are the Slickest Thing Ever.

It’s still unclear if the iPhone 5 will rock a dual-core A5X processor (like the new iPad) or leap to quad-core. In the former case, we’ll demand: “Where’s the quad-core?” In the latter, we’ll ponder: “Does it really need to be quad-core?”

There are those traditional Apple quirks too, such as the lack of microSD compatibility. Supporting microSD cards might be enough to win some over, but don’t hold your breath. Ditto: removable battery.

We imagine there’ll be some sort of surprise tonight – for better or worse. Siri was largely unexpected last year. Well, there was some talk of voice recognition in the run up to they keynote, but no one could’ve predicted it’d feature so heavily. Hey, gotta differentiate the iPhone 4S from the iPhone 4 somehow.

The moral of the story? Don’t get your hopes up. The iPhone 5 will ultimately be a slightly enhanced iPhone 4S with a larger display. Having said that, the Apple-loving part of our collective Mobo-brain is still secretly excited, and holding out - against all logic - for the Best Thing Ever. Over to you, Apple…

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16 comments

Stelph  Sep. 12, 2012 at 13:12

Yeah I agree, am interested to see what apple bring to the table but really all I expect is the larger 4" screen (incidentally I could see the black borders being useful for gaming control off the edges of the picture) and then a big focus on how uber-amazing iOS6 is.

NFC is the only "one more thing" that I think has the potential for being unleashed

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 12, 2012 at 13:13

My hopes are well up. Your article failed :p

Nah, it's true. Expectations have gone past unreal to a whole new secret level.

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 14:32

My scepticism of Jan's words has past unreal to a whole new secret level. ;)

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 12, 2012 at 14:39

My scepticism of Jan's words has past unreal to a whole new secret level. ;)

I surprise myself. Almost Bushly so...

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 14:45

Biggest memory of the ipad thingy was how wizzy games were going to be, judging by Lewis's reviews that didn't really come to being yet. Many wouldn't have looked out of place on an amiga.

socialjeebus  Sep. 12, 2012 at 14:49

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19557497

Pretty interesting article on the MEHness of the launch.

The 2% spent on R&D really does show the patent lawsuits in a new light. Innovative my ****.

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 12, 2012 at 14:50

Or Lewis is just bad a picking games? :p
I wouldn't know. I mostly jump into puzzle games for 5-10 minutes, and then don't play for weeks... GTA3 still has sucky controls on both iOS and Android, so: booh, who cares

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 15:02

gta3 had sucky controls on pc too. So can't see as I'm surprised.

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 12, 2012 at 15:10

gta3 had sucky controls on pc too. So can't see as I'm surprised.

It was okay-ish on PS2... I don't understand what they were thinking when they designed the in-car controls (steering)

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 15:11

Pretty interesting article on the MEHness of the launch.

Somewhat interesting be more interested to see the source of some of the stats he quoted as we've not seen those.

socialjeebus  Sep. 12, 2012 at 15:17

Pretty interesting article on the MEHness of the launch.

Somewhat interesting be more interested to see the source of some of the stats he quoted as we've not seen those.


Indeed, having said that it's 2% of a big pie. But 2% nonetheless.

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 15:23

Was struck by quotes of 4s only having 17% of smartphone market last month and s3 outselling it, with android at 4:1 sales ratio.
Guessing the 2% can't include costs at patent office..

socialjeebus  Sep. 12, 2012 at 15:33

Me too, like I said on the other article I think it's difficult to understate just how important this launch is. The momentum does seem to be shifting away from them and an underwhelming launch could speed that up.

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 15:44

I don't totally agree with that, the 4s sold so heavily in it's first few months it's inevitable there is a decline approaching launch of new ones but still selling heaps. Comparing it's sales directly to the newest big thing is somewhat miss-leading. Would like to see sales figures before and after that judgement though.

I don't think it needs much to impress many to buy the new one, many want an iphone but why buy old one when new one is due for likely same amount...

Stelph  Sep. 12, 2012 at 15:47

Me too, like I said on the other article I think it's difficult to understate just how important this launch is. The momentum does seem to be shifting away from them and an underwhelming launch could speed that up.



I doubt it, much more likely is the fact that everyone knows the iPhone 5 is coming, why would you buy a 4s now? The iPhone would obvioulsy drop in sales before a release but I am sure we will, once again, see a huge amount of sales following its release, especially as this one will be visabily different and so allow for a lot of showing off which is very important to an apple devotee

Pondlife  Sep. 12, 2012 at 16:04

Or Lewis is just bad a picking games? :p

Going back to this bit, yeah is a good point, wasn't sure he got to pick them though. Assumed some of them must just be as a punishment for something or other.

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