Some Apple devotees worked themselves up into an iPhone 5 feeding frenzy. If they’re now feeling deflated by the iPhone 4S launch, they shouldn’t be, says Seb Janacek.
The iPhone 5 launch has been a long time coming - 16 months to be precise. That’s a lot of pent-up gadget expectation. That Apple didn’t actually announce the iPhone 5 made some people feel like Christmas had been cancelled.
There have been few Apple events that have been subject to as many wild predictions and hopeful speculation as this one. Most debate focused on a new and slightly improbable case redesign.
Many of the other claims were right but talk of a widescreen, teardrop display turned out to be wide of the mark. Most people had expected a full version increment - iPhone 5 rather than iPhone 4S.
As it happened, new Apple CEO Tim Cook and friends unveiled a solid, though not earth-shattering, update to the iPhone 4 with some impressive technical updates and a host of new software features.
I had three predictions for the event. First, most people would be disappointed. Secondly, people would complain that Tim Cook was no Steve Jobs. Thirdly, Apple would go on to sell tens of millions of whatever new phones it announced.
The first one was spot on. If the phone had been in a different enclosure or had been called iPhone 5, it would have been different. Sixteen months is a long time to wait for a .5 increment.
The iPhone 5 rumour mill made promises of brushed aluminium with larger displays and teardrop form factors. Graphic designers with too much time on their hands mocked up what it would look like. News and Mac websites mocked up physical representations of the device. Chinese manufacturers made cases for it.
Instead, Apple chose the .5 increment, just as it did with the shift from 3G to 3GS.
silicon.com’s Natasha Lomas nailed this point earlier this year when she described the iPad 2 improvements as “evolution not revolution”.
The Apple faithful will point out…