The iPhone 5: A Tale of Adventure & Delight

| Editorial

The iPhone 5, and yes, it really is the “iPhone 5” is just about what we expected, in name and features, based on the rumors and leaks. Before today’s event, however, it’s been like the story of the blind men describing an elephant. But when we see the product, in its totality, the iPhone 5 is so much more.

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Perhaps what’s most exciting about an Apple media event like today’s is not a list of features, taken in isolation, but rather Apple’s wholistic approach in the presentation. The event is really more like a fairy tale story in which we’re introduced to the characters (features) one by one, and then they’re woven into an adventure story in which they interact with each other.

iPhone 5 Image Credit: Apple

For example, a faster processor enables a more refined Siri. Siri is then used to interface to OpenTable. The final goal is dinner reservations with success, and each component supports a desired human goal. A larger display leads to more and better information displayed. Each piece of the hardware fits together like a jigsaw puzzle in order to create a pleasing picture.

That’s probably why the iPhone doesn’t have NFC, although I have heard of a company that may provide that in add-on hardware. The mobile payments industry is still in its infancy, and there’s little opportunity to integrate, exploit, and celebrate this hardware technology. Yet.

But that’s not all. This integrated functionality is wrapped in a device that’s like a giant jewel and is a pleasure to hold in the hand. In fact, the jewel-like design includes a camera lens protected by sapphire. If the joy of all the things this new smartphone delivers isn’t enough, the eagerness with which we hold it in our hand seals the deal.

One September 11, John Kirk pointed out that this integration puzzles some pundits. They look for missing features that would seem odd in the auto industry. For example, no one criticizes a Ferrari for having an undersize trunk. The Ferrari is an integrated whole for one purpose, and no one misses the point of having one.

Apple’s presentation on the iPhone 5 is marketing in its most brilliant form. If you subscribe to the smartphone experience, Apple presents a compelling vision of what can be done with the device. Apple’s insightful design is intended to do one thing: make sure millions of people, perhaps a hundred million, will sign up for that kind of experience. A missing feature or two, things that don’t yet integrate smoothly, won’t even be noticed.

With Apple, as always, the whole is more than the sum of the parts. The experience and utility is more than the sum of the features. One feels that it's a fabulous technology adventure that one wants to be a part of. We play the part of technology heroes in a fairy tale of Apple's making. And ours.

Comments

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

It’s still a 4” screen, while the smartphone market has been trending to 4.5” and 5” for a year now. It will take a lot of magic pixie dust to continue to swim upstream on that size issue.

Besides people just generally gravitating toward bigger screens, the place it really makes sense is in the car, using the phone and driving directions to replace a dedicated GPS unit. Bigger—even with reduced pixel density—is better and safer for that use.

Garion

Bosco taking a dump on the new iPhone. Wow, I totally didn’t see that one coming. *sigh*

JonGl

I guess that’s why Bosc-off needs a large trunk in his Ferrari…

John Martellaro

Brad: A screen larger than 4 inches is not a de facto advantage. Rather, it is a differentiating factor. Some of the disadvantages of a larger screen include a higher power requirement, higher cost, and the loss of that elusive “feel” in the hand. Especially women with smaller hands.

I’ve seen a naked Galaxy SIII, and I imagine that, in one of those highly protective cases, it would feel like a small tablet.

The bottom line is that Apple competitors have sought to create a perceived advantage and millions of people are making their choice for Android phones. If Apple thought a 5-inch screen were a killer feature and were causing serious loss in market share, we’d see it.

MOSiX Man

Don’t hold back <redacted>. Explain to us iFanPeople how none of the new capabilities that have been added to the iPhone 5 are worthy of any positive consideration, and how every aspect of the new phone is ~obviously~ sub-par compared to what’s available on competing devices. Everybody needs a hobby, I guess.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

[censored] MOSIX Man. I talked about the size of the screen. That was all. I’m sure it’s a great phone that is more wonderful than the last one. It just bucks one very important trend.

@John: A GSIII with an Otter-box like case, yeah, sure, probably feels like a clunky tablet. A GSIII with a gel protector is quite workable for average men’s hands. I can no longer palm an official sized basketball (when I could, it was hand strength, not size that enabled me), and my thumb can reach all areas of a GSIII screen while holding the device comfortably in my palm.

Ideally, Apple would just license iOS and the various manufacturers could meet a lot of diverse needs, but monkeys aren’t flying out of my (US English) fanny, so that’s not going to happen. If there could be only one size, it probably needed to be closer to 4.3”. At 4”, it matches “entry level” of the Android market.

Every phone model on the market these days is, necessarily, a summation of trade-offs. The iPhone 5 is no exception. If you want an iPhone, there are no larger screen options.

JY

I guess if I wanted a larger screen to see while driving in the car I would use an iPad to really let me see the maps, not an entry level android or a reduced size tablet. A retina display and larger screen, hmmm, yup that works for me.

skipaq

I am delighted the width is the same. Having held and tried larger smartphones; I wouldn’t buy one. My hands are average size. There is a whole lot to like about the iPhone 5. Looking forward to upgrading from my 4.

Apple licensing iOS is a nightmare we will never see.

daemon

If any of you actually cared about a 4 inch screen, you would have bought a phone other than the iPhone five years ago…

dhp

Sometimes it’s not about size or specs. Remember, the desktop publishing revolution was ushered in on a 9-inch, black and white screen.

daemon

Yeah… sure it was dhp.

There’s a whole lot more BBS in this blog than Macintosh 128. But then I actually used BBSes when they were the only way to access the internet. And I used the Macintosh 128 too. Gawd awful machine.

iJack

“I used the Macintosh 128 too. Gawd awful machine.”

Compared to what?  It had no competitor for DTP.
Remember Ready, Set, Go?  Those were the days.

I still have my 128K, tote bag, 512 baud modem and Apple line printer.

Andhaka

“t’s still a 4” screen, while the smartphone market has been trending to 4.5” and 5” for a year now. It will take a lot of magic pixie dust to continue to swim upstream on that size issue.”

And the market can keep those huge screens and gently bash itselves on the head with them. wink
I’d like to have the top tier performance in a form factor I actually like and find comfortable to use. wink

Cheers

daemon

“I’d like to have the top tier performance in a form factor I actually like and find comfortable to use.”

I thought that form factor was 3.5”....

skipaq

@ daimon. For me it is the width. I’d still be happy with the 3.5”. The new 4” is nice but it is not a big deal IMO.

I do not like the wide phones on the market. My wife hates them. But we both completely enjoy the iOS and OSX ecosystem. It is as was said “the whole package” that is Important to us as well as many others.

Chris

This article is just great , your writing is superb. I agree with everything you said.  I and six other persons will be buying the iPhone 5 immediately. And many many people I know who cannot buy it desire it strongly. 

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