iPhone 5 fever is in full effect, with Apple's stock rising to $700 after the new iPhone announcement. Apple has experienced record preorder sales for their 5th version of the revolutionary smartphone, but the new iPhone is nothing revolutionary itself.
Some of the features on the new iPhone are cool, don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of Apple and the compatibility of all their products. I own an iPhone 4s, an iPad and a Macbook. I even had $200 set aside so I could be one of the first iPhone 5ers when it comes out in a few days. I say "had" because after seeing the new features, I decided my money was better spent on a night out at the local bars and a late night burrito.
So no, I will not be buying the iPhone 5 and using up my precious update. The lack of breakthrough innovations and decision by Apple to instead mimick features that other phones already have (i.e. larger screen, panorama camera, LTE) did not match with my view of Apple: the company always pushing the standard, not adopting the current one. And is the reason I'm going to sit this one out and wait for the next iPhone installment.
Apple's staggering success with the iPhone 5 shed light on a few things about the company and the smartphone market in general. Here are three random observations about Apple's newest success:
- Apple's name is equally, if not more important than the product. It's apparent that the Apple name and logo on a product mean more to consumers than any other name and logo do. Since they first broke the market wide open with the first gen iPhone, Apple's position as smartphone geniuses and innovators has only been more etched in the minds of us, the consumers. Do they deserve to be put on such a pedestal? Yeah, probably. Apple is almost completely responsible for many of the things we love today like completely touch screen handheld devices, Instagram, apps and thin-as-paper notebooks. But their innovations in years past aren't enough to convince me to upgrade to a phone that did little to raise the stakes.
- The word "iPhone" might be even MORE important. Apple's unwillingness to abandon the name "iPhone" and stick with it's sequential numbering system is evidence of the weight that simple names carry both to consumers and Apple. Will they ever abandon it? It would take an entirely new product line for Apple to leave behind the moniker. Regardless, "iPhone" has more weight and significance than any other product, maybe ever. And that's enough for many to continue upgrading their iPhones.
- Improving the camera should be atop every smartphone makers priorities. One thing that Apple has continually updated through each stage of the iPhone is the camera and thus, there is no smartphone camera that can compete with the iPhone. Period. Apple continued with improvements on it for the 5, which include improved low light functioning and panorama. The low light functionality sounds cool, but that's something I'd need to actually try myself and probably isn't motivation enough to get me to buy in. If Apple wants to maintain it's position as the smartphone head honcho, then they should continue to treat their camera like the special baby it is. Especially as mobile photography expands, here and here.