Wednesday, October 5, 2011

iPhone 4S...disappoints?

The new Apple flagship phone,
looking the same as the old
Over a year after the original, ground breaking iPhone 4 was introduced to the world, Apple has unveiled their newest offering, the iPhone 4S, to an eagerly awaiting world audience yesterday, Oct. 4.  As the name implies, their new flagship phone is but an evolutionary advancement over their previous phone, rather than an original.

The specs that have been announced so far, for those that are interested, are a new dual core processor (unknown clock speed), up to 64GB of internal storage, a new 8 megapixel camera, and the ability to record 1080p video at 30 fps.  Again, nothing far ahead of the pack in terms of raw numbers, with older phones from Samsung, such as the Galaxy S II, which was introduced months ago, actually besting the iPhone 4S in many categories.

Apple also announced a new voice-command feature to iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S, called Siri, from the eponymous firm they acquired a while back.  It seems to be fairly efficient, but again, nothing new as other phones and OSs had this feature for a while.

After the announcement, Apple stock actually lost almost 5% to recover later in the day, but still at a loss.  Reaction from the world at large has been muted, with questions as to where was the iPhone 5.  Clearly, rumors that there were production issues with the as yet unannounced product have proven to be true, but that still doesn't explain why it took so long to announce this upgrade to the iPhone 4.  Of course, the iPhone is still the dominant single smartphone in the world, even as its market share is continuously dwarfed by devices running the Android OS.  The new iPhone also lacks 4G radios, but it seems that those that want the iPhone really don't care for it, and even more astounding, a large portion of the buying public actually believes that the iPhone 4, simply by its name, can receive data at 4G bands and speeds.

It is curious that while unveiling products that fail to innovate, Apple is going after Samsung, which has a growing and improving portfolio of mobile devices.  Hopefully Apple can do better the next go round, and break new ground as it has done in the past.

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