What I like and what I don't like about the new Apple iPhones

34 thoughts on “What I like and what I don't like about the new Apple iPhones”

  1. I love Apple products but the 5S isn’t something that makes me want to run out and grab it like the iPhone 5 did. I am excited about the new processor but the Touch ID isn’t something that I can honestly say would be worth the upgrade.

  2. Hi Om, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m an iPhone / iOS user, and one thing that I have continually wondered about when hearing how great Google Now is, is what specifically it does that is so indispensable.

    When it was first released, I heard about it proactively notifying the user about traffic conditions on the route to work or appointments, sending sports scores of interest, and perhaps changes to a flight reservation if it’s in your gmail account. Also, it notifies about the upcoming weather.

    I don’t deny that those are cool things, but for my particular lifestyle (programmer working from a home office and don’t care about sports scores), it seems like none of those particular features are all that important.

    So I’m wondering if you could fill in some details about how Google Now “fits so seamlessly into daily life that you wonder what you will do without it.” Like, what specifically it does for you every day.

    Also, any details on this: “Google Now, by the way makes Apple’s Siri look like a toy.”?

    From what I understand, other than the preemptive notifications listed above, and possibly better inline web search results, Google Now doesn’t do other things Siri doesn’t and is missing a lot of the deep and seamless integration with text messages, emails, music, reminders, calendar, etc. that Siri offers.

    I’m curious because I hear a lot of (surely deserved) accolades for Google Now, but almost no specific examples.

    Thanks!

    1. decompiled, I hope you get a reply from Om and others. I am in the same situation you describe. I love the concept of a phone that is always listening and ready to do things for me, so I’m concidering the Moto X, but the features available today in Google Now don’t do much for me. On the other hand, the iPhone 5S has a lot of interesting hardware and software I would like to try out.

  3. instead iphone 5 power in a plastic case for a cheaper iphone apple would have been better off putting a slower processor and less flash in the 5/5s housing for the discounted price.

  4. 5c is aiming at low end market. With your description, i find nothing wrong with it. It’s not mean for the luxury product and not for that level of consumer. So, i still feel impress in my point of view if you treat is as a different class other than 5s.

  5. You lost me at: The new 64-bit architecture is a pretty big deal as it gives the company an edge over rivals.

    64 bit is completely unnecessary in phones and sub-4GB RAM tablets. You should know better.

  6. Om,

    Bingo on 5s vs 5c. While the strategy might work – I was reminded by Jon Rubenstein’s comment about the old colored tube iMAC (recall the plastic with different color backs). The stock was falling and AAPL had nowhere to go. His comment was ‘Steve was running out of Colors’. I hope Ive and Tim are not. Why settle with only 2 models – why not 3? L, M, H (like BMW 3, 5 and 7 series). 2 does not work. 3 might.

    But the more important comment you made is about the Cloud – iCloud. Eddie Cue has done crap – iCloud sucks. Its not in AAPL’s gene pool to get cloud/infrastructure right (for over 30 years). They need to acquired that gene pool.

    YHOO looks good inside AAPL for that part. Gets the reach, gets infrastructure mojo and a good looking CEO (imagine TIm and Marissa). AAPL needs that now more than ever before GOOG puts more daylight on the cloud/infrastructure.

    rkr

  7. Om, not denying the goodness of 5S, but overall, even the 5S is at best, “meeting expectations”, and nothing more. Of course, thanks in large parts to the exaggerated expectations an Apple town hall creates….

    You talk about the 64 bit CPU – one could argue whether more cores are better than more bits ..the jury is still out on this. Gaming devices have had 128 bit CPUs for eons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion_Engine). My conclusion – 64 bit CPU, even when nicely married to the OS and apps (as in the 5S), is not a true innovation circa 2013. It is just Moore’s law at work.

    Application specific peripheral chips (case in point – Motion processors, speech processors etc) are equally a natural phenomenon in the silicon world. Also, each new generation of chips will swallow an erstwhile peripheral, while reducing cost. Moore’s law at work again – not to be mistaken for true innovation.

    You talk about the iSight camera and how low-end digital cameras a going to die. IMHO, that’s not a direct correlation. Most iPhone buyers are not the target market for low-end digital cameras – in exactly the same way that more sales of Audis and Mercs should be seen as no threat to Mac Donalds 😉

    And finally, about the much touted finger print scanner… While the simplicity of that is a shining example of the brand promise, a lot seems to be left unsaid. Can multiple people use it? Can I register multiple fingers (what if I cut my finger – can I still use the phone with other fingers?). When can (trust-worthy) apps start using it?

    I couldn’t agree more with the second half of your article (about the 5C), and the superb back-handed compliment in the last sentence. Classic stuff!

    A couple more points:
    The much rumored iWatch has remained just that – a rumor! It is not even a hobby.
    Talking of which, all is silent on the “hobby” front. Apple is struggling with the cloud just as much as they are with the TV content food chain. The TV remains Apple’s Achilles heel. Not that their competitors are having a party on this front, but at least they are a little more active. Steve Jobs had famously claimed that the TV is an under-served market, ripe for disruption. Big words that deserve way more than a nearly forgotten hobby.

      1. Blue Cheese, I agree with Alex.

        There is a lot of good stuff in the iPhone 5s, except it is all under the hood. The TouchID isn’t such a big deal today, but it will be. Anyway I feel that is the problem – market is looking for whiz-bang impact and Apple is delivering goodness inside.

  8. Enjoy reading your balanced article. I think the market didn’t get what they want and just want to throw the toys out of the pram. Apple has other ideas than just selling more phones both in terms of protecting margins and eco-system-user experience (I remain to be convinced but I feel it’s pointless for Apples to put iphones in the hands of mid/low income chinese or indians with no credit cards or no grasp of apps).
    Like you, I worry about the impact of the 5C. Surely the reason for launching it is to differentiate the 5S from the old 5 which tells us that the 5-5S evolution isn’t noticeable enough. So they had to widen the gap and have an excuse to reduce the price but really did cheapened the iphone 5 which surely would have been as profitable to make than creating a whole new factory production line. The lack of improvement on iCloud is also a concern.

  9. You seem to have forgot that Apple Product line ALWAYS has been a plastic version and a high-end version (iBook vs MacBook Pro, iMac vs Mac Pro, iPods of all variations…) and the iPhone 3G was plastic. And they have never really been low-cost.

    this is exactly in line with Apple. These will sell just as much as the iBook did to the average 18-25 year old. Whom in reality really never was a fan of the luxury feel. And had to cover it up with millions of iphone covers in colors an plastics.

  10. At first I thought Google Now sounded like an updated version of the insipid paper clip from Office. Now I realize it’s much worse. It’s a back seat driver who won’t stop giving advice, never forgets anything you say, gossips about you all over town and can’t be told to F-off because she’s your mother-in-law.

  11. Your comment about Apple being associated with brushed aluminium just shows how necessary this redesign was. Remember the iPod? Or the white plastic MacBook? Or those chargers that still come in shiny white plastic? That’s what Apple used to be. While they are a premium brand they aren’t Rolex. They must avoid being a brand for rich old people. I like my 4s but if truth be told, recent iPhone models go better with suit and leather briefcase than with jeans and backpack. Not good.

  12. I am not techy in any sense of the word so I only understood about half of what you said. Seems you are saying the 5s is a good phone. I have a 3gs, old little bugger that has recently slowed to a snail’s pace, and now I’m getting annoyed with it. Was planning to switch to Samsung GS4, but my daughter recently got GS3 and does not like it.

    I can’t wait any longer to get a better phone. Should I stick with iPhone and get a 5 or 5s (not thinking I want the 5c)? Another reason I’ve considered the Galaxy is that I have the hardest time understanding and using iTunes. It’s so confusing! Did I mention that I’m not techy at all?

    What’s your suggestion for which phone I should get? I only use it for making calls, texts, checking my email and FB, checking weather, taking photos, just a few basic things. I’m not much into games or watching videos.

    Thanks!!

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