Disappointed by the iPhone 4S? Here's why you are missing the point

The iPhone 4S does not signify Apple's shortcomings - it's a sign of highly evolved mobile times...

...Out of the 20 features listed as must-haves, and nice-to-haves, and not-a-chance-of-ever-having-in-an-Apple-product, around half have been delivered by the iPhone 4S. They are:

  • Enhanced voice control: via the Siri voice assistant app
  • More memory: there's now a 64GB iPhone 4S
  • Improved homescreen and notifications system: delivered in iOS 5
  • Better cloud computing support: via Apple's iCloud services
  • Better camera: 8 megapixels plus a larger sensor; supports macro photography, 1080p HD video recording
  • Dual-core processor: via Apple's A5 dual-core chip
  • Improved 3D graphics: up to 2x faster CPU and up to 7x faster graphics via the new chip
  • Better battery life: up to eight hours talk time on 3G vs iPhone 4's seven hours (albeit the 4S' standby time is worse than the iPhone 4 - up to 200 hours vs up to 300 hours)
  • Fewer failed and dropped calls: via an improved antenna design

Still feeling disappointed? I thought not.

And here's why - iPhone 4S disappointment is as much a chimera as the iPhone 5 has so far proved to be. There's no substance to it, it's all surface.

And under that familiar shiny surface, the iPhone 4S brings a raft of coveted updates. The handset holds its own against the vast majority of high-end smartphones in the market today. It's one of a select group of dual-core smartphones, for instance, but a dual-core device that brings 2x and 7x performance bumps to processing and graphics.

Any lingering disappointment about the iPhone 4S is not down to any failing of the device. As I wrote earlier this year, smartphones have evolved to such a high standard that iterative improvements - not seismic leaps - are the order of the day.

The mobile industry desperately needed disrupting in 2007. In 2011, it's sitting pretty thanks to Apple's quest to turn gnomic mobile phones into user-friendly pocket computers - thereby forcing other mobile makers to do the same.

Many smartphones are already excellent. Sure they can get better - as any technology can get better - but improvements are a bonus not a bleeding necessity.

A high-end smartphone from a variety of mobile makers - not just Apple - is an amazingly powerful and capable device today. And that's a feature of the mobile market that should disappoint no one.