3Apple logoIphone 4S: Just a disappointing catch-up

So, I see that Apple have released the latest iteration of their “amazing” iphone.  Each time a new iproduct gets released I find myself yelling at TV, Radio ads, and other ignorant people who don’t seem to realise that their is nothing special about Apple products.  This time I’m going to share a few thoughts publicly instead.  I’ve just watched the official release video over on the Apple website.  So, with that as the basis, here are my thoughts on the “new” features in the iphone 4S…

8 Megapixel camera
first launches by nokia in Feb-2009. Now available in over 120 phones.

“Now works worldwide”
ROFL. Available since the last millennium.

Siri (aka Voice Recognition)
Google Voice (Actions, Search, etc) has done this on Android since Aug-2010.

1080p30 video
Available on plenty of other phones. First one that comes to mind is the HTC Sensation.  I can even do it with custom ROMs on my 2 year old HTC Desire.

Image Stabilisation
Come on? This is new?!  There are no phones with REAL image stabilisation – its all electrical stabilisation, not optical.

Face Detection
In photo’s? Android is about to bring face detection to the lock screen!  My 2 year old Desire does face recognition.  I’m pretty sure even older iphones do this perfectly well.

Ever heard of google? They do all these things. Its a big part of their key business – taking over the Internet.  They’re already established, tried and tested.  They’re accessible on all platforms on all devices.

Dual-core chip
already in Samsung Galaxy S2, LG Optimus 2X, HTC Sensation, Motorola Atrix, and no doubt plenty others very soon too.  Also, I’d like to take issue with the claim that this speeds up web-browsing.  The limit on web-browsing speed on a phone is nearly always caused by connection speed.  Unless you’re on 4G, which the iphone 4S doesn’t have!  D’oh

What I notice is still missing…

  • 4G
  • contactless payment
  • adobe flash
  • replaceable battery
  • free turn-by-turn navigation

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You have to admit, the hardware is not rubbish. iOS 5 and iCloud put right a lot of what was missing, especially when you compare it to Android. The new hardware and software features have clearly been designed in response to Android alone (Apple's decision to badge up Siri as Beta is an indication of their playing catch-up).

I disagree with you when you say that there's nothing special about Apple products – I would say that there is. As your article points out, they're often not first with features. When they do decide to include them though, they're usually very well executed.

gravatarJon Scaife

The hardware is fine. The software is ok too. Yes – it's a clear response to android, and its a pretty good effort at a response too. However, that's the point – its a catch up – not innovative. And it hasn't fully caught up – there are still things missing. Why pay more for less?

You reckon when they include them they're "very well executed". I don't agree. It usually takes them 3 generations to get it right, if they ever do. The first ipods had terrible audio quality, far inferior to the diamond Rio which came before it, and in some tests I read at the time, inferior to an original Sony walkman from the 1980's! There is also the issue of poorly designed antennas needing a rubber condom before the call quality was what it should be. And of course the fact that Apple laptops lead the way in terms of number of burning batteries. Given that they pretty much only make PCs, mp3 players, phones and tablets, and i've pointed out problems with core functionality or safety in 3 of those 4, I can't see how anyone can think they execute well first time.

On the other hand, their marketing is always executed exceptionally well…

gravatarJon Scaife

Note: I haven't bothered to provide references, as anyone can just use google to verify the facts I've presented. However, if there is enough demand I can and will provide 🙂