Apple surprises nobody, announces bigger, faster, thinner iPhone 5 [the competition] | webOS Nation
 
 

Apple surprises nobody, announces bigger, faster, thinner iPhone 5 [the competition] 52

by Derek Kessler Wed, 12 Sep 2012 5:01 pm EDT

Apple surprises nobody, announces bigger, faster, thinner iPhone 5 [the competitI remember a time when Apple's product announcements were exciting. A time when Apple could announce a product that the entire world hadn't already seen every part of and thoroughly dissected and analyzed before the announcement. A time, apparently, before workers in China realized how valuable the raw parts they had in their hand could be and started sneaking them out of the factory and posting photos of them online. Much to the chagrin of Apple, and to the delight of bloggers starving for anything on the upcoming Apple devices.

Except for when it gets announced and we already know practically everything about it, thus making for a relatively underwhelming announcement. Case in point: the iPhone 5 announcement today was unremarkable, as we knew practically everything about the new Apple smartphone, and so the exciting part of the whole event was that Apple unveiled a new widescreen touch iPod Nano to replace the little iPod Shuffle-sized version that came before (R.I.P. Nano Watch).

The modern internet news cycle is entirely to blame for this level of disappointment. In the five years since the the original iPhone was announced the blog industry covering the iPhone, and even the traditional news outlets, has exploded and hungers for any scrap of news about the upcoming devices. Apple's covered more aggressively than any other tech company, with only Google even approaching the level of interest from the general public. When the new iPhone gets headline positioning on traditional wide-coverage media outlets like CNN, up there with much more important things like the senseless and galling death of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya amidst the civil unrest spurred on by a purposefully inflammatory amateur video posted online from halfway around the world; the striking teachers union in Chicago and the 350,000 students not in class because of it; and the rhetoric, ideas, and gaffes of the presidential election campaigns (themselves feeding into and thriving off of the high tempo news cycle), perhaps our global obsession with Apple in particular and the latest gadget in general has gone too far.

Is the iPhone 5 impressive? Absolutely. It's thinner, lighter, faster, longer-lasting, stronger, bigger, and everything else you'd expect from the latest smartphone. Apple's yet again managed a strong technical accomplishment, making a phone that is better in practically every way than its predecessors. But Apple's competitors have caught up, and they're starting to differentiate in ways that Apple would not, making devices that are equally, if not more impressive. The Samsung Galaxy S III is still an impressive competitor to the iPhone 5, and the Nokia Lumia 920 too looks to be a worthy competitor. Apple's still at the head of the pack, but the competition isn't lagging far behind - if at all behind - these days. And that's a good thing.

Personally, as an owner of an iPhone 4S on Sprint, I'm not all that enticed by the iPhone 5. Sprint LTE coverage won't be in my area for some time, and I honestly I've got all the inches I need. If I had an iPhone older than the 4S, or honestly any webOS phone older than the Pre3, I might be seriously eyeing the iPhone 5. As always, the latest iPhone will rarely be a justifiable upgrade for owners of the previous generation, but anything with something older would have a harder time justifying not upgrading - especially as their contracts are coming up for renewal right about now.

As for how this compares to webOS? Well, webOS might be lagging on features, even as it makes the transition to open source, but in our opinion webOS still wins on user interface. iOS by its nature cannot match the fluid gesture-based interface of webOS. I've had an iPhone for some time now and I still find myself swiping across the bottom bezel to go back or switch apps. If I could get an iPhone 5 with webOS on it (plus a bunch of the modern software features of iOS 6, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and Windows Phone 8) then I'd be a happy, happy camper.

52 Comments

Just excuses hiding the real reason why the Cult of Apple was not excited: Steve Jobs wasn't there to deliver the devices.

The cult of Apple?

I would call it sect.

I would call it great product. I do not own an iPhone or iPad but it's easy to see why they are so successful if you ever use one, even for a short period of time.

I have had an iPhone for about a year now and every day I miss webOS. Having tons of apps is nice but I miss how easy webOS works and the hackability that webOS allowed us to have!!

Oh. Great the old "Device #1 Fanboys calling Device #2 Fanboys Fanatics" meme.

Hey Derek, just a little tip. Do a jailbreak and put the latest 'card switcher' on your iPhone. Almost the same experience like WebOS (without the gesture area and the wave launcher of course ;).

I think the iPhone 5 is more an improved iPhone4 design, thats how the IP4 should have looked like (aluminium back etc.). It's nothing innovative. Let's just call it, 'the new IPhone 4S' ;).

I'm using 'card switcher' too, but it seems unstable due to iOS limitation. I have to reboot my iPhone4S a few times a day, or it's getting laggy by using 'card switcher.' The experience is somewhat close to webOS gesture, but 'card order' is another problem. IMO there is no such great UI/UX like webOS. I want the original hardware with open webOS installed!

I've tried that. Nowhere near as pleasant as webOS, imo.

More like (but not as good as) that TealOS app we used on Palm OS while considering the Pre.

I didn't know you could renew your "contacts". I have a lot of contacts on my phone but I've never seen the feature of renewing them :P

"Personally, as an owner of an iPhone 4S on Sprint, I'm not all that enticed by the iPhone 5. Sprint LTE coverage won't be in my area for some time, and I honestly I've got all the inches I need. If I had an iPhone older than the 4S, or honestly any webOS phone older than the Pre3, I might be seriously eyeing the iPhone 5. As always, the latest iPhone will rarely be a justifiable upgrade for owners of the previous generation, but anything with something older would have a harder time justifying not upgrading - especially as their contacts are coming up for renewal right about now."

Which is expected behaviour - the upgrade cycle for people within the apple 'family' is two generations, so they would expect you to buy the iphone 5s or 6 or whatever they call it - plus they now (like previous generations) hoover up new customers at different points of the market with the 4s and 4 - hell the 3gs was still selling well when they knocked it on the head.

" As for how this compares to webOS? "

It exists as a product that someone sells?

i'm with you. i'm on sprint. no lte for a while and lte is the big reason i'd upgrade. but my contract isn't up for like 14 months so it doesn't matter. Before it came out i long ago decided i was gonna stick with my current 4S. it does the job ok. But if i was on an older phone and out of contract i'd be all over it. Sort of like when i went from a Pre minus to a 4S. The people with 4s didn't see a big jump and didn't upgrade but from a pre minus it was huge and i was out of contract. But since all the networks got rid of yearly renewals lots of people can't just upgrade cheaper. But totally not surprised as with all the leaks everyone knew what was coming. As soon as i saw it i was thinking meh. good phone but same design.

iOS 6 update will be for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The 3 GS was released at the same time as the original Pre. The Pre was never updated past 1.4.5.1.

Don't let yourself fool around from Apple. The 3GS is getting the IOS6 FOR the 3GS. It's not the same as the IP5 is getting. It's like 1.4.5.2 for the Pre. The 3GS has not the same (few) functions like the IP5.

Yeah, that's it. iOS6 and 1.4.5 are the same.

i got a 4s, it's getting ios 6. that's all i care about.

@TouchToLove

Huh...

New iPhone 3GS iOS6 Features
1) Facebook integration
2) VIP Lists / VIP mailboxes
3) Shared photo streams
4) Safari tab syncing
5) Enhanced phone replies/reminders
6) Passbook
7) Chinese service integration

New iPhone 3GS iOS5 Features
1) Twitter integration
2) iCloud support
3) Enhanced notifications
4) Enhanced photo app
5) Enhanced messages app
6) New Find My Friends app
7) Wifi Syncing

New iPhone 3GS iOS4 Features
1) Unified inbox and email threading
2) Spotlight search
3) Custom text tones
4) Game center
5) Air play
6) Air print
7) Playlist creation enhancements
8) New iBooks app

Yeah... It sucks so bad having a iPhone 3GS. It's never updated and only has 600,000 apps available. Don't we all wish for a Pre that, with HP's world class support, rocks the new feature laden 1.4.5.2. Sheez

As a once WebOS fanboy I (we all really) have to admit that since the 3GS Apple has started to catch up now surpassed every competitive advantage that WebOS had at introduction except for WebOS's more innovative UI. WebOS is this decade's BetaMax.

Honestly since Steve Jobs left us, it's been a big yawn.

how come some people hang around here complaining (or gloating) about the demise of webos when we all know what hapened

This is not an article about WebOS.

if its not an article about webos what is it doing here taking up blog space. If there's nothing to write about webos, don't write.

I don't know why HP hasn't done something like that . I wish we could get webOS "1.5.0" maybe the features of 2.0 optimized for the less powerful hardware of the Pre, Pre Plus , Pixi , and Pixi Plus .

But anyway, the iPhone 5 looks unexciting

"but in our opinion webOS still wins on user interface"

I couldn't say it better... I still prefer my HP Veer phone!

Lets be real here webos was/is a great OS and I wish i could still get a Pre 3 but at this point "[the competition]" headline is a joke until some legitimate webos products are made and put on shelves. Webos isnt competing with anyone sad to say it

Exactly what I thought when I saw this headline. It's all a 'coulda-would-shoulda-been' at this point.

How come nobody complains about Apple's proprietary dock connectors...poor Veer.

a proprietary dock in general or the new dock plug specifically? In general, cause there's like 40 million iphone users, ever electronic store on out there sells compatible devices, even cars now have docks that fit it, i mean clock radios to dedicated speakers all have a dock. People don't complain about the apple's proprietary dock because it's plenty compatible with stuff, big picture wise.

Also the veer was ugly and bulky and detachable. the iphone dock connector isn't.

Now if you mean why haven't people complained about the change from the old dock to this new one? Well they have. End of story. Plenty have complaints about that by people that don't want to pay for an adapter or don't want to lose the function of old devices. on the engadget feed one guy went on and on about the fact that they never mentioned if the adapter was free or not which means it's not cause that's apple.

Why they change though? I've read it's to save space. that to make it thinner and to add different chips for lte, and more battery they need all the space they can get. or that's the argument

oh and regarding the dock connector generally, i forgot to mention, it's also the same for every ipod, ipod touch, nano, shuffle for like 4 years on top of all the iphones.

The connector needed to be updated.

personally, not for me. it will do exactly the same thing: charger and sync. All it does is make me have to pay for adapters. To me, for my needs, it's not something i ever wanted. i was perfectly fine with the connector as is. changing it never once entered my mind. It wasn't broke to me so it didn't need fixing. that's my perspective. now from apple i'm sure they wanted the extra space blah blah blah but for me it wasn't needed. i'm not upgrading thought so it only matters to the extent that new accessories possibly won't work with my phone.

The complaint was that you needed a bulky adapter to plug-in even something so basic as headphones. If the new iDevices didn't have a headphone plug then people would complain.

It's too thin. I can barely hold on to it with my banana like finger. mmm... does any one have an opposable thumb I can borrow.

Derek, I use a 4S (company supplied) and I find myself swiping too. What I can't fathom is that anyone who's ever used a webOS phone marvels at the UI, particularly the gestures. RIM used a similar interface with the PlayBook and they didn't get sued by HP, so why can't Windows Phone or, God forbid, Android so something similar? I think we need to get used to the idea that webOS, as we know it, is dead on anything other than Palm/HP devices. I can make peace with knowing that the legacy of webOS lives on through more successful platforms. I mean, Oldsmobile is long gone but we still have automatic transmissions right?

i think for the hard core webos users stuff you mentioned, the gestures, swiping, and user interface stand out a lot. My mother has an android phone and a ipad. She has no idea that there is even the function of multitasking on her ipad. all she does is close an app where you end up on the home screen then she scrolls to an app. I think for a whole lot of average users, that dont' pay attention to the nuances of phones and operating systems like my mother the differences like that don't matter as much. She bought an android phone cause it was free from Sprint. That's it. so if you told her no buy this webos phone cause it's got great multitasking or a great user interface she'd be like, "no this one's free." If you told her to buy a touchpad she'd have said, "no, i already own a mac computer and this ipad looks prettier." that is such an argument would fall on deaf ears.

I use WebOS and my wife has a 2007 first generation iPod Touch. EVERY TIME I use it I am amazed at how smooth it is and how well it works. This is from 2 years before WebOS. In fact, the Treo 755P was only 5 months old when the iPod Touch was launched..

Doesn't mean u still have 2007 iOS installed! Smarty pants!

I miss my Pre...bought a 4S when it came out and also for the rest of the family (6 Iphones). It is a well made phone...it works pretty well. As far as comparing the operating system to WebOS it's not even close. WebOs is so much more elegant and user friendly. I have 2 TouchPads and a Ipad 3 as well. I use the Ipad most of the time now (because of the aps) but when I fire up one of my Touchpads I realize how badly I miss WebOs.

I will be buying the new Iphone as well, I need a bigger screen. The Galaxy III looks kick ass but it looks a bit hard to fit in a pocket.

Putting [the competition] after a title doesn't justify publishing irrelevant articles. If it's not about webOS, don't bother.

Oh man' I would kill for a high-tech webOS on iPhone 5 hardware.
That be fucking great! I can almost wack to the sound of that! Jesus! Lol

Can anyone say YAWN!!!!!! Again...Apple coming to the table with a very expensive device that offers nothing much over its previous versions. At least going from a Pre to Pre 2 to Pre 3 you got major hardware changes and also major OS changes....example: plastic to gorilla glass to thinner and bigger, and then from cards to stacks, skype, etc.

Palm/HP screwed the pooch totally, and again people are going to drink the Apple koolaid. I have used peoples iPhones before and helped with issues they were having with them - way more issues then I ever have wtih webOS. To me the iPhone/iOS(#) is less intuitive and harder to manage than webOS by far...so why do people flock to it?? They must be brainwashed or so completely tech ignorant they would buy anything. Maybe I should try to sell them a Chevy/Ford at BMW prices.

"Apple coming to the table with a very expensive device that offers nothing much over its previous versions. At least going from a Pre to Pre 2 to Pre 3 you got major hardware changes and also major OS changes....example: plastic to gorilla glass to thinner and bigger, and then from cards to stacks, skype, etc."

This is a joke, right? Every pre has the exact same form factor, and the final one - Pre 3 - got a screen size upgrade that wasn't even as big as the one from the iPhone 4S to iPhone 5. You think plastic to Gorilla Glass is a major hardware change, but having pixels actually attached to the screen or having three noise cancelling mics or a bigger camera sensor with a sapphire covering isn't? LOL.

And who can forget "stacks"? Well, pretty much everyone can because they never came to the first generation of webOS devices, and the second ones sold poorly when they were actually able to make it to market.

Come on, folks.....nothing wrong with dinging Apple for an ancient UI, but they upgraded almost every piece of the hardware on this: Better screen, better camera, better processor, better build quality, better call quality, and supposedly an even better battery.

Not one webOS upgrade had that many hardware perks.

iPhone has 3 mics, only 2 are actively noise canceling. Consider it standard stereo input. Now, the display only contains the digitizer, it does not completely remove it. The screen is still there, otherwise there would be no glass. What Apple did instead was make it unitized, so that when the digitizer fails, instead of replacing just that, you need to replace the entire screen. The camera is also behind the times, as the old Nokia N8 STILL out performs it (that's 2010 tech there). Lastly, the build quality is not better. If anything, it's worse as they could not control the manufacturing of the metal case enough to stock only one size for the glass. Instead, that process is left to go out of control and as such, they need 725 sizes/shapes of glass to compensate. Yet this is a feature and improvement how? Also, for the Pre3 screen upgrade, keep in mind that was 2011. The iPhone is behind the times w/ the 4" upgrade.

well said

Derek great article too

How is this really such an amazing device as the article claims? According to the features Apple lists:

-More saturation on the display. Great, so everything now does not show as it's true color but instead more eye candy and pop is determined to be progress.

-"LTE done right." They really are that full of themselves? They also claim it adds bulk when this is meaningless as a separate antenna is only a wire thickness. Yet, the Razr Max has been out for how long w/ not only LTE, but excellent battery life. Yet Apple claims they do it better, just because they can.

-Beam forming. Fancy term for stereo.

-iOS6. Not sure why it was renumber to v.6 when the only new features are related to built in apps and not the core OS, unless they're hiding something.

-Nano-SIM. So now, users need to get a different SIM, just to use this phone.

-Instead of making the design based on something that can be mass-produced at a cost effective price for consumers, they still insisted on keeping a glass back... by having to use 725 different cuts to account for manufacturing tolerances of the metal case. This is not only absurd, but adds nothing to the device except headaches (during manufacturing and when the user drops it on its back). Nevermind when a user needs to replace it, as I doubt Apple will stock all those separate cuts as replacements (and I doubt they catalog the serial number to determine which cut matches what device).

-If earphone comfort was important, instead of designing it as a one-size-fits all, they would include different size ear-canal inserts, like everyone else to actually ensure a good fit.

So really, how is this device anything better than what's on the market now? Whereas Nokia is advancing mobile photography and HTC/Samsung are pushing hardware to its limits, Apple instead innovates by making the device more costly and adds nothing new. I really can't wait until their bubble bursts.

WoW!!

nice read

When will we see ports of open webos to newish phones?? Apps don't matter, I'd rather have webos ui... Although having an emulator to run iPhone or android apps would be an added bonus...

Ugh... so now the choice I have to wrestle with is whether to Franken my Sprint Pre- to a FrankenPre2, or just punt webOS and join the iCrowd. I love webOS, but I don't love feeling so far behind / left out in the mobile phone world.

Why does it have to be an iPhone? Why not a Galaxy 3 for instance?

Get a pre2 an another one for backup. But if you really feel froggy then go ahead and jump

People talk about the expensive iPhone when new Pre 3s are selling for over $360?

@Derek... I would have thought you were using a Pre3. Isn't it kind of weak to be writing the WebOS Nation blog from your iPhone 4s? Or are you writing this from an iPad, LOL.