Opinions on the iPhone 4S
For editorial use. Outstanding answers will be featured on PSFK.com:
What are your thoughts about the new features announced for the iPhone4S: Was the chatter prior to the event fulfilled by the actual update and is the 4S strong enough to stave off the competition?
Public unpaid question.
A fair way to look at products in this space would be judge them on form, function and technology. May be, even usability.
As far as a lot of people are concerned, me included, the iPhone 4 is still quite the tops on form. I mean, isn’t it yet quite drool-worthy? It still tops the Samsung SII and a host of others on the ‘hold’, ‘feel’ and ‘see’ test.
Next, usability. This was never an issue with iOS.
The iOS5 and the revamped hardware will boost usability, function and technology. We can’t forget Siri either.
Why is there then a problem?
No doubt it would have been great to see a revamped design and form. But why this compulsion to change and have another ‘model‘ in the product line.
Four iterations is all the iPhone has since it’s launch. That to me is fantastic. Isn’t that the simplicity we got used to from Steve Jobs and Apple?
And going by the million pre-orders for the iPhone 4s in 24 hours, not many people seem to have a problem with the it too.
I can’t wait to get hold of mine.
And btw, in automobile modifications, I would opt for a sleeper (tame/normal from the outside with a beast of engine under the hood). Why not the same for a phone? ;-)
The disappointment in the iPhone 4S release is not the lack of engineering innovation (intrinsically, the upgrades are pretty solid). It is but a weakness in the PR. The flames of rumours were not well "navigated". Ergo, it went out of control, causing disappointments.
As for the iPhone 4S in staving off competition, it requires foresight. No market analyst can be entirely accurate other than giving indicators of where it might head. We can only connect the dots backwards. Here are some past indicators we can use:
1) iPhone 3GS (a successor of iPhone 3G) is one of the most successful smartphone products to be sold. Compare that with iPhone 4S (a successor of iPhone 4) with the current sales since its launch.
2) Apple has never been the first to invent a portable music playing hard disk nor touch screen devices. But it has still done superbly well in providing value.
Based on the facts, Apple seems to stand in good stead for now.
I'm not impressed. The iPhone4S is naturally a competent handset, improving in relevant ways on previous models, and I have no doubt it will find its way into plenty of pockets and handbags. However, the time for it to be revolutionary and magical has pretty much passed. The first iPhones managed to put the user experience in the center, offering something totally new even with somewhat lacking technical features. Now, most of the selling points left for the 4S are technical specs: So many percent faster processor, so many percent more light entering the camera. All numeric arguments for its excellency, where there used to be emotional arguments. That was not the way it used to be; It used to be about the user experience. Now the core navigation in the user interface is beginning to feel constraining, compared to competing offerings, and I remain skeptical about voice interaction in everyday situations. To be honest, I feel that the iPhone magic is fading. Not in the way that it'll become irrelevant, disappear or that the elusive "iPhone Killer" will finally strike. More like the iPhone is now taking it's place among one of many competent phone offerings out there, which of course is ultimately to the benefit of us consumers.
Will need to see Siri in action to see if it is truly a pathbreaking piece of technology. The 8 megapixel camera will put stress on all basic cameras out there. Twitter integration in the OS will, I hope, help me tweet anything within any story.
Not a break thru device, I suspect. But with lower price points, thanks to Sprint and others could eat into some of Androids and other SmartPhone shares...
As with most Apple product launches the Apple iPhone 4S was different to some of the more outlandish claims. What is more interesting is how Apple has used the 3GS and the 4 to extend downmarket and compete with Android and Bada based phones.
The Apple fanboy mindset is reminiscent of the late 18th century miracle-salves and elixirs; Apple tears cure cancer. I mean, a (nano) watch hasn't been this cool since Microsoft's SPOT...oh wait, hmm, but then again they don't have that 'indie' cred. The iPhone 4s is going to be an upgrade device for those hanging onto (unwillingly) their 3gs, people currently manhandling an iPhone4 will most likely pass, unless they drop it. People have been throwing money at voice recognition for years, and while there is a future, it is not, perhaps, yelling obscenities into your phone while riding on the municipal transit system; honestly nobody wants to look like an idiot commanding a device, only friends and loved ones.