Is Apple’s iPhone 5 boring?

“Apple Inc.’s iPhone has been a trendsetter for half a decade. Now the question is whether it can avoid becoming a bore,” Jessica E. Vascellaro reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“On Wednesday, Apple unveiled the iPhone 5, packed with new features. The phone is thinner and has a bigger display. Its Siri virtual assistant has grown much more powerful. It has a new mapping and digital coupon service,” Vascellaro reports. “Yet no one heralded the new device as a great leap forward. What’s more, several features that are becoming standard across other smartphones aren’t in the iPhone 5. Many of those features, such as even bigger screens and ways to pay with your phone, are generating strong reviews from consumers and technology reviewers.”

Vascellaro reports, “Whether the missing features matter remains to be seen. Consumers worldwide have eagerly snapped up incrementally different versions of the iPhone in the past. Still, the technology gaps are getting more attention.”

Here’s a sampling of what the iPhone 5 is missing:
• Digital Payments
• Touch to Share
• Dynamic Home Screens
• Face Unlock
• Even Bigger Screens
• Wireless charging

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The screen is the right size and aspect ratio. It’s designed that way after much careful thought, not to get a check mark on a spec sheet shootout.

The iPhone 5 simply does things no other so-called smartphone can do. Things that aren’t goofy, let’s-do-it-just-to-say-we-can-do-it junk that are either not ready for prime time or gimmicky (wireless charging: don’t forget your stupid ass charging pillow which you have to – drumroll – plug in), but useful items that users will use often (and often take for granted): Siri, Passbook, the best smartphone camera and microphone system available, iCloud, Shared Photo Streams, iTunes in the Cloud, in-cell touchscreen, unibody construction, a huge third-party ecosystem, the most apps and the better versions by far overall vs. the ports for which the others settle, FaceTime, etc., etc., etc.

What every spec sheet misses: Apple’s tight integration. Hardware + Software working in conjunction with each other. Not off-the-shelf parts cobbled together by one outfit with a one-size-fits-all OS dumped in from some other company operating outside of its core competency. Apple offers unified seamless quality vs. a fragmented free-for-all.

iPhone 5 will break all smartphone sales records – just like every single iPhone model before it.

Related article:
Apple introduces iPhone 5 – September 12, 2012

118 Comments

    1. the iphone 5 is a great phone, a great evolutionary step, it has many features that others don’t have and it will sell like hotcakes.

      still, i am missing some useful features that others already have and would make some welcome additions no matter how hard apple tries to talk them down:
      – a screen that would be operable with gloves and fingernails too (like the lumnia does)
      – sharing between ios devices (itunes in the cloud and photostream are complicated substitutes for something very simple: beam my stuff from one of my devices to the other)
      – wireless charging (doesn’t make much sense when you’re traveling but would be very useful at home. imagine you come home, lay your device on the charger and it also synchronises with your computer via wifi at the same time, no cables needed – sounds very convenient to me)

    1. Truthfully, these folks parse & analyze every scrap & leak about the iPhone for months before it is actually released–and then they act bored & unimpressed when they already know everything about he phone ahead a time. Talk about some stupid hypocrites

      1. I knew everything about this phone when the iphone 4 was released….nothing has changed…
        It is boring….Apple knows how to market very well. Apple is gospel to you guys. OMG they added its gone from 4 to 5! I have an erection guys! I HAVE AN ERECTION!

  1. The internals are far from boring. Nobody but marketeering wonks gets their panties in a twist over the number of “features” a product has.

    … but from a physical external design/styling point of view, the new iPhone doesn’t move the bar very much. As everyone anticipated, it abandons commonality with prior generations in dimension and dock connector, but doesn’t distinguish itself from the boring unergonomic block that is the iPhone 4 & 4S. Nobody on the street is going to ask, “is that the new iPhone?”. That is indeed a big fail.

    No matter, it will still sell like hotcakes.

      1. @castel: si.

        from 3 meters away, if i flash the new iPhone at you, you won’t even see the difference from a 2-year old iPhone 4. Seriously.

        But like i said, it’s what’s inside that counts. Apple moved the bar on its specs instead of adding hundreds of useless new “features”. that’s all right by me, just surprising that Apple didn’t make an unmistakeable new physical design.

        1. But Mike, you missed the point.

          I have an iPhone 4. I, and many many others still look sharp and intelligent using an iPhone, cause its an iPhone…..

          With everyone else, will, its big / small / oval / what ever and within 6 months no one knows what you are using… Its a —- one of those etc phones.

          I think Apple is very right on to keep the same form factor. At least for now. People the world over feel like they are part of a HUGE group using this phone. Stars use it. Presidents use it,. 50% of the people on the plane use it. So it MUST BE the best…. right??? (wasn’t that the excuse for buying a windows pc…. if they sold more quantity, it must be the right thing to get)

          Anyway, just a thought.

          1. You are right, red-necks use it, even every other cheap guy now uses iphone.
            iphone 5 is very boring.

            @ Samsung haters:
            Stop using iphones because iphone uses screens and other components made by Samsung.

            You still have half of Samsung in your hands. LOL 😉

        2. Do you actually care if someone knows that you have the latest iPhone from 3 meters away (or at all for that matter)?

          Hell, in some of the places I’ve been, you’d probably be better off if people DIDN’T know you had the latest iPhone. 😉

          1. @ Gordon: I don’t give a care what phone someone else is using. But as you know, fashion trends move goods. Apple already got mixed press on having to resort to a patent protection to keep the copycats at bay — and now we see a product that doesn’t advertise itself as the newest thing. It looks like a small evolutionary step, which represents a missed opportunity. Especially considering that the iPhone 5 no longer works directly with any legacy iPhone accessories. As i stated earlier, not a deal breaker. US buyers will trade up when their contracts are due. International buyers will trade up when they need to and can justify the expense.

    1. I said the 4S was a great update too and people bitched and moaned but it sold a zillion units.

      This phone looks like a very solid evolutionary upgrade to the product line. I’ll be buying one. I’ll be surprised if the number of phones they sell doesn’t once again dwarf the Android competition. Android phones seem like cheap copies, crappy knock offs these days. They remind me of when you’d see Samsung Audio equipment in people’s homes, and they’d say it sounds just like Klipsch or something.

      That being said, man I wish they’d stop doing the shows. They can’t pull of the eternal coolness of Jobs without Jobs. They put on a show and it’s a bad caricature of themselves. Just announce the products on the website. Take the website down for an hour, watch the excitement build, then bring it back up with the new products. Put everything you were going to say in a video and let it go at that.

      1. TM, if you want to see a big fail, watch Microsoft try to do that kind of presentation. The last one was a copy of a Steve Jobs event. Hardware crashed, Hype was everywhere but no hardware, no cost, no data…

        Now that was a big fail. LOL

      1. @ NHL: actually, no, bicycles are not using the same old boring circular wheel design. wheels on cutting-edge bicycles are nothing like the hand-built “black art” hoops of yore. Modern wheels are carbon fiber wunder-material works of art that can be spotted a mile away.

        For example: https://madfiber.com

        and do you know what? They sell partially because they LOOK like they mean business, not just because they are “new”.

        Apple offers colors in the iPod lines. Apple offers different physical detail in the different iPod lines. Apple could have done a hell of a lot more with the iPhone 5. Apple abandoned its legacy iPhone accessories but tried as hard as they could to make the IPhone 5 look as close as possible in physical form to the iPhone 4. Missed opportunity for sure.

    2. Come on, people, why are you so angry at Mike’s observations? He’s right that the outside style is not revolutionary and most of us wouldn’t even know the difference between it and earlier iPhone models in the wild. Who among us stands on the bus or subway eyeballing everyone’s phone to see if it’s an iPhone or an Android or which iPhone model it is? If you raise your hand and you’re very accurate, then you need to apply for a job at airport security.

      Mike called it what it is. I accept his take on it.

      1. funny how Apple competitors bemoan Apple is never good enough yet you people accept mediocrity and gadgetry over stability, user experience etc.

        funny how you also judge a phone by its cover or why you’re always so concerned that the newer phone has to look different on the outside – who cares – do you buy new stuff just to show off? plus, what matters is the inside, whether you talk of humans or machines. and software counts more than hardware gadgetry – that is Apple’s secret and they are the only firm in the Black for a reason.

  2. Theses sort of pundits have always had nothing but complaints about Apple’s products and people. They hated the first iPod, iPhone, and iPad, and then poor-mouthed every update. They hated Steve Jobs right up until he died, then sainted him so they could bash Tim Cook.

    The screen is the absolute right size, and unlike the wannabes, they are not going to introduce any new feature unless it is useful and until it is ready.

    1. So true. The events have always had the negative. This new iPhone looks sleek and advanced. It’s so much more tasteful than anything else out there. Of course, there are those who like gaudy look, but this is not for them.

        1. Just do like some of us have done when someone else posts using our name: Just add a suffix or “2” or whatever. Makes no difference who was first. We’re all among equals here anyway.

    2. These pundits come in two variants. First, the group that is eager to appear “balanced” and not be branded as fanboys. Second, the rock-throwing mob whose ends—notoriety and money—justify the means.

  3. Personally, I think too much of a big deal is being made of this. What is it with the religious persecution of Apple in the media?

    As it is, Apple has barely been able to keep up with continuing demand for the iPhone. Boring? How about, solid hardware performer, consistency between iOS and apps, and continuing compatibility with the rest of the Apple ecosystem. The only thing preventing me from upgrading today is AT&T’s eligibility requirements for the subsidized price. The only nice-to-have feature that I was interested in was that the maximum storage is still set to 64GB. I was hoping for 128GB.

  4. People who find the iPhone 5 boring can always opt for the exciting world of Android phone where a new and different model is announced every week with meaningless spec-driven changes.

      1. Wireless electricity transfer has way too much in common with lightning for me to think it’s simple & safe solution.

        Wireless synching, on the other hand, would make perfect sense. Anyone know why we still need a cable to sync an iPhone with a Mac?

    1. Just go and purchase a Powermat case for it – and then you’ll have wireless charging. I know someone who has this on their iPhone 4S, and it is pretty cool if you want that. He has a Powermat at work on the desk and one at home. He just sits his iPhone on it when he’s at his desk and it is charging.

      Me? I just plug mine up. 😉

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