Yesterday, Tim Cook officially introduced the newest Apple iPhone named the iPhone 5. As with any announcement of this nature, there was a mix of hype, leaks, surprises and the unavoidable disappointment. The one sure thing though is that Apple fans weren’t the only ones who tuned in to follow the unveiling, but also Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry fans joined them.
The iPhone 5 brings the first significant UI modification to the iPhone line. By using a 16:9 4″ screen, instead of the regular 4:3 3.5″ screen, Apple was able to squeeze in a fifth row of icons and add a lot of vertical estate for applications. This also results in a taller yet identically wide device that keeps a very similar design language to the iPhone 4 and 4S family. It is, however, thinner and lighter.
Other important changes include a faster A6 processor, support for the LTE connectivity, HD voice and a requirement for the even smaller nanoSIMs instead of microSIMs. There’s an improved camera with the same 8MP resolution, a battery that’s ready to handle the bigger screen and LTE without compromise, Apple’s new proprietary Lightning Dock connector, and it ships with an improved set of earphones, the Ear Pods.
When you observe the small details, the iPhone 5 is an impressive new beast. However, if you take a step back to look at the big picture, it is simply an incremental update over the previous generation. Aside from LTE, there is no “new” feature, only improvements of pre-existing ones. By comparison, several Android devices have started including NFC and WiFi-direct, as well as utilizing sensors in innovative ways like Samsung’s Smart Stay that keeps the screen awake as long as you’re looking at it.
It seems that we’ve reached a point where there’s a real schism between these two ecosystems. The iPhone is the “safe” device, where every function is pushed and simplified to perfection, whereas Android phones are on the bleeding edge of technology adoption, with a lot of room for improvement in many aspects. I personally chose the bleeding edge, and got a Samsung Galaxy S3 before even knowing what the iPhone 5 would offer.
What about you? Did you wait to see what Apple’s iPhone 5 would bring to the table before deciding to upgrade your device? Or are you a hardened Android fan who would never even look at Apple’s announcements?