Gizmodo reviews the iPhone 4S letdown, I review the Gizmodo review of the iPhone 4S letdown

October 4, 2011mike Comments Off

Hype, its something that surrounds James Cameron movies and Apple announcements.  Why?  Letdown after letdown has yet to teach us one simple lesson… hype leads to letdown.

Gizmodo columnist Mat Honan put together an interesting op-ed piece about his personal letdown after the iPhone 5 er 4S announcement today.

(Original article here: http://gizmodo.com/5846563/iphone-4s-i-am-disappoint)

I wanted to do a Mystery Science Theater 3000 side by side commentary of it.

“Straight up: I’m a little disappointed with the new iPhone 4S. I was hoping for more. My expectations were higher. I wanted something extra special, largely because I’ve been waiting for it for So. Very. Long.”

Someone needs to talk to him about leveling expectations.  Everyone knew Avatar was going to suck except Mat and James Cameron.

“What was I hoping for that I didn’t get? A new form factor, for starters. Design matters. And Apple has always been a design-oriented company. When it pushed back the iPhone 4S rollout to the Fall, it just increased expectations that there might be a great new look coming along. Instead, it’s essentially identical to last year’s model.”

Is Mat high? There have been 6 iterations of the iPhone and only one form factor (1, 2, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S) He really didn’t see this coming? Watch out for freight trains Mat, they can sneak up on you.

“I was hoping for something bold and interesting looking. The iPhone 4 was just that when it shipped. So too were the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G. If I’m going to buy a new phone, of course I want it to look new. Because of course we care about having novel designs. If we didn’t we’d all be lugging around some 10-inch thick brick with a 12 day battery life.”

Mat… not all of us have purses, some of us like our phones to fit in our pockets.  That’s why we prefer non-10-inch phones.  Nothing to do with “novel designs” Pockets, they’re on pants now and people use them to hold their MOBILE phones.

“But we do care about design. We do want things that look new and different and notable. Yet if you buy the iPhone 4S, you’re committing to an old design for two more years (unless you pay a premium to upgrade early). Because Apple didn’t upgrade the phone’s design, that means that by the time you’re off-contract, your phone’s design will be three and a half years old. That’s a lifetime in gadget years. Consider that the original iPhone itself only began shipping a little over four years ago”

If you cared about different designs you wouldn’t keep buying iPhones… they all look the same, and the design actually keeps getting worse.  The 3 series looked smoother and thinner than the 4 series.

“And then there’s the network issue. I also was hoping against reason that it would support LTE. I know, I know. I’m well-versed in Apple’s history and understand why it wouldn’t want to roll out an LTE phone when most people couldn’t take advantage of it, thus making a case against its expense and performance hits. But if I’m going to hang onto this phone for another two years, I’d like it to be 4G.”

Magic… its what connects the iPhone to the iCloud.  Who needs LTE (or CDMA, GSM or WiFi) when you have magic.

“It’s already been more than two years since I last got a new iPhone. I held off on the iPhone 4 because I wanted to get out from under my AT&T contract. By the time the hoary old iPhone 4 (like my grandpa used to have!) finally did come to Verizon, I wasn’t going to get it.And so I waited for the iPhone 5. And waited. And waited. And instead I got the iPhone 4S. Wait, what‽”

You were genuinely surprised Mat?  I don’t want to lie… I thought after last week’s Amazon Kindle Fire announcement they would call this pathetic excuse for an upgrade the “iPhone 5″ just to sound snazzy.  Other than that I expected nothing more than the previously announced and platform wide available iOS 5 software update in a glossy new case (didn’t even get a new case)

“Look, there’s a lot of cool new stuff in the iPhone 4S. That 8MP camera is going to make my otherwise boring mealtime shots of future poo look fantastic. As a new parent, I’m super excited for the faster shutter speeds that move at the speed of children. That 1080p video appeals to me like boobs to a teenage boy. I’m psyched for the CDMA and GSM antennas because I do travel. And I’m also sold on the A5 processor.

But it isn’t what I was hoping for.”

I thought Steve left saying we don’t sell Apple on specs but oh well.  While we’re on the topic of specs… an upgraded camera and the renaming of a Samsung processor is a major spec upgrade for 15 months in cellphone time?

“Siri? That looks like the most amazing thing I’ll never use. Like Facetime, which sits in the sad panda corner of my iPad 2 hoping one day that I’ll touch it. Reminders are great, especially with the geofencing. But I’ve been able to set location-specific reminders with Android phones since the G1 way back in ’08. Yeah, iCloud seems relatively cool, but I’m also confident in Apple’s ability to fuck up anything related to the Internet. (Apple: Internet apps :: Google : Social apps).

And besides. That’s all software. Sure, it may be hardware-dependent software, but it’s still software. I have a hard time getting crazy excited about software.”

As you said, all that is software, which will all be available through an OS upgrade to other iOS devices.  As you also said… android has done that for years… at least you came down off your Apple high for a minute!

“Make no mistake, Apple is going to sell a gazillion of these. Hell, I’m going to buy one. No question. But I’m going to do so reluctantly. For the first time in recent memory, I’m walking away from an Apple hardware rollout unexcited and uninspired. And while I guess the iPhone 4S’ day has arrived, I’m already looking forward to tomorrow.”

The whole “Apple will sell a gazillion because they’re apple” paradigm is shifting.  Apple has and likely always will have a niche (schools, video people, Prius drivers, etc).  Apple has never been the mainstream player Google et all let them become.  I say “let” on purpose because android is a mainstream OS, without easy of purchase (one form factor, manufacturer, etc) and ease of use like iOS.  This new Amazon Kindle Fire interface has the potential of blending the ease of iOS on top of android, and more importantly… A COST that is sensitive to the mainstream buyer.

Selling a gazillion is a mainstream consumer idea and Apple may have ended its foray into that market space and may be returning to its niche(s) very soon.

For a bit more on my thoughts on the Amazon Kindle Fire and how it changes everything in the mobile computing sphere check here: http://www.styrofoamsoup.com/tech/amazon-kindle-fire-to-apple-and-google-game-set-match/

 

 

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