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About that said “dissappointing” iPhone 4S

October 12, 2011

Apple has sold 1 million iPhone 4S in just 24 hours.

How’s that for a dissappointing iPhone 4S? Just one simple word: mind-blowing.

Lots of people were dissappointed when Apple didn’t introduce iPhone 5, but instead Apple unveiled the slightly ‘bumped-up’ version of the  iPhone 4. Can’t really blame them though, because I also expected the same. Who we should really blame is the rumors, and those who kept feeding us with it and made our expectation too high for real.

But why were we dissappointed? I believe it was because we were being brainwashed by those rendered images of iPhone 5, how thin they are, and how large the screen they have. So why didn’t Apple push out a new design for iPhone? Surely Apple can make iPhone thinner, since Samsung and HTC are doing it with their Android smartphones. The more I think about it, the more it all didn’t make sense for me.

The first thing came out in my mind is how about if the iPhone 4 design is the best there is, it is very clean and drop-dead gorgeous with glass surfaces, yet it has the best wireless reception thanks to its antenna design. There’s nothing Apple should change, not without a very good reason. Should Apple make it thinner, but with worse battery life? I don’t think so. Should Apple shave off iPhone weight, just to claim the thinnest smartphone title while sacrificing its performance? Not a chance.

It pleases me greatly to know that Apple is still the same company I know, they know when to say “no” to market trend.

But is this mean we will never see different iPhone design from now on? I hope not.. But what I do know for sure is this; Apple will keep using the same design if that is the best they can come up with. We’ve all seen it in MacBook and iMac, both are still the best looking computers in the world market even up till today.

The second, is timing.

As pointed out crystal clear by Horace Dediu (Asymco): “…because an iPhone 5 is not needed meaning that it would over-serve the market and price itself out of contention.”  In laymen term; Apple need to fill the time gap for those who have bought iPhone 4 under contract, and for those who have bought other smartphones also under wireless-carriers contract (Android and BlackBerry users). This makes more sense, and Apple has done this before with iPhone 3 GS.

But would it kill Apple to bump-up the iPhone screen to be bigger? Certainly not. After all, bigger display is the top most requested feature from iPhone users, they’ve been silently watching Android and Windows Phone 7 smartphones’ large screen with envy. But I’d like to refer the answer back to above; Apple knows what they’re doing. They keep using the same screen size on iPhone for a very good reason, as proven by Dustin Curtis:

“…since switching to an Android phone — a Samsung Galaxy S II, the “best Android phone you can buy, anywhere” — 15 days ago, I have realized another huge downside of larger screens: when holding the phone with one hand, I can’t reach the other side of the screen with my thumb.”

It’s not because it will look good, not because everybody is doing it, but because users experience is the upmost important feature. Bigger doesn’t mean better.

Another worth pointing out is user experience when using apps with different display size. First, developers will have tons of headache. Secondly, can you imagine how cluster-fucked the App Store would be? If not, try searching and buy apps in Android Market with different phones or tablets.

So where all of these lead us? Is iPhone 4S worthy for an upgrade or for those who are looking to buy a new smartphone? I’m not going to bother you with technical details inside the new iPhone, you can look for it yourself in Apple website, but the truth is nobody really cares about the guts inside. But the real deal is the only feature iPhone 4S has (for now): Siri.

Just like the sales figure of iPhone 4S up above there, the voice activated “assistant” Siri, is really mind-blowing. It will, literally, change the way we use our smartphone. Take a look yourself by watching the early hands-on video of iPhone 4S using Siri, it will quickly respond and give answer according to your voice accent. Amazing.

But here’s the nut cracker; Siri is still in Beta phase. For Apple, the company known for perfection when it comes to a launched product, this means that there’s still a lot to work on Siri. There is language barrier to overcome, but a greater thing for Apple is the iPhone’s hardware.

This is the very reason why Siri is right now only for iPhone 4S, because it needs high processing power supplied by its A5 800MHz clock speed. AnandTech has the dirty cheat sheet, compiled from all over the web.

Either you pick up iPhone 4S now or iPhone 5 later, it doesn’t matter, because Siri is already here and it will blow your mind. Well, at least until the next insanely great thing comes out and beats everyone expectations, again.

But here’s one sentimental bit about iPhone 4S; it’s the last iPhone presentation watched by Steve Jobs a day before he’s gone, and its name is a tribute to him: iPhone 4 Steve. That makes iPhone 4S as a memorable device for the end of Steve Jobs era at Apple.. And I want one already.

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