iPhone 4S: I Am Disappoint

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.

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 Australian spring, it just increased expectations that there might be a great new look coming along.

I was hoping for something bold and interesting. The iPhone 4 was just that when it shipped. So too were the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G. A new design would have gone a long way to convincing me to upgrade. 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.

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

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.

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 contract. By the time the hoary old iPhone 4 (like my grandpa used to have!) finally did come to Verizon in the US, 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?

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.

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 f**k 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.

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.

More: - Apple Australia Pricing For iPhone 4S, iPod Nano And Touch - Apple iPhone 4S: Everything You Need To Know - What’s So Great About The iPhone’s New Camera? - iPhone 4S’ Siri Voice Command Is Just As Amazing As We Hoped - Apple’s Siri Personal Assistant Only Runs On iPhone 4S - More Details About iOS 5′s Newsstand


Comments

    The jump to 64GB storage was probably the most significant thing announced today.

    Surely other OEMs have no excuse to skimp on storage now?

      Other OEM's offer 32GB PLUS SD cards which are at least 32GB and SDHC will se this increased. Apple has no reason not to offer SD cards!

        NAND > SD.

        I want speedy integrated performance on my phone, not the ability to swap cards like a camera.

          Actually the ability to remove the SD cards a a LOT more useful than you think:
          1: you generally don't need super highspeed access to that content, unless it's apps installed on there.
          2: When you change phones or your phone is damaged or want to transfer massive amounts of data FAST it helps SO much that you can simply remove the cards and put them in basically anything.

            1) But apps do install on these cards, and run like crap if they do.
            2) A phone like iPhone or WP7 syncs with desktop software and exchange servers, meaning there shouldn't really be many reasons you'd ever need to remove the memory to get data off.

            If I lost my phone, all my contacts, emails, and calendar are in my gmail. All my music, apps and phone settings are on my laptop. Easy to sync back.

              -You don't have to install apps onto SD if you don't choose to, and they don't run like crap if they are on there because they're designed to split intelligently over the SD and the internal memory.
              -Of course all your contacts and e-mails etc are all synced! Android phone have always easily backed up most of that stuff to Google storage or "cloud if you will anyway. What I'm talking about is your music, photos and videos etc: the sort of stuff you actually NEED a lot of storage for and is extremely convenient to have on an SD ;)

                Replacing an SD card or even making lots of copies of it is a lot easier and faster than "syncing". The idea of even considering "syncing" as an alternative is a little laughable.

      Its a phone...yes its portable but what the f**k are you going to do with 64Gb!!!!

        Correct it is a phone, it's also an MP3 player..64GB is easy to fill with music alone then you throw in apps like NOVA 2 which are 1GB a piece....my 32GB has been full since day dot and reshuffling and prioritizing apps and music gets old..

    And theres the typical Apple fanboi comment. After a page gull of complaints we get "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."

      Agreed...!

      What is with that...?

      Quote: "This is the most uninspiring phone released this year, but I'm going to buy it, because that's what I do"

      WTF - I seriously do not get Apple fanbois...

        It's a bit sad people aren't even willing to consider new platforms.

        Let's try and get some understanding here about mobile phones.

        Let's say, for argument's sake, that I have an iPhone 3G on contract for two years, running out in February (I do).

        Let's also say, again, for the sake of argument, that I'd like to upgrade my device (I do). Do I buy the iPhone 4S, that will be old news next year (for the OS that I personally prefer), or do I buy a more current Android phone (with an OS that is as good, in a much different way)?

        My sister just bought a Samsung Galaxy S 1. It's awesome, and it shits all over my mate's iPhone 4. But in comparing the two, I've got to consider that it took me about half a day setting it up for her - I had to root the OS to change the lockscreen, layout, social accounts, remove bloatware. Then I had to go about figuring out how to synchronise it with her computer, taking me an extra hour. After a week of using it, she came back to me, and asked me to fix the widgets/homescreen and bloatware. This took 2 hours.

        I'm not locked in by my current computers, either - I've got a MacBook Pro from 2008, a Hewlett-Packard Elite 2740p from 2007, and a $750 home-build desktop (built in May), so it's not like I have to choose on the basis of compatibility, either.

        If I buy the Samsung Galaxy S2 (or whatever's going around in Feb), I get better integration on the windows side, but it takes me longer to maintain and I have to take a bit of extra time to set it all up to my liking. It'll integrate better with gmail, and it's much more efficient when it comes to communication, though I'll have to switch from iTunes to WinAmp or MediaMonkey and take the time to change my musical ecosystem.

        If I buy the new iPhone, I get to keep my current system, with some more processing power and the same thing I'm used to, but I'll have to deal with tech inferiority for the next 2 years or so. If I buy the new iPhone, I get the simple, clean, iOS that I won't have to modify or re-learn to use.

        Which do I buy? I don't know. I might just buy a Nokia N97 and hold onto my iPod Touch 4 and forget about smartphone prick-waving as I enjoy the significant amount of extra money I save. Seriously.

          "though I’ll have to switch from iTunes to WinAmp or MediaMonkey and take the time to change my musical ecosystem."

          There's some apps for that...
          https://market.android.com/details?id=com.jrtstudio.iSyncr4Mac&feature=search_result

          https://market.android.com/details?id=com.jrtstudio.iSyncr&hl=en

            OR do you consider the other real compeditor, Windows Phone 7.5?!
            Seriously, ease of use, lack of need for 3rd party apps to acheive basic functions, great hardware and "everything where i need it wheni need it" interface.

            Come on people wake up there are three big contenders now not two!

      Yeah I read that and just thought "Wow. Just wow." The mind boggles.

      See this, people? This person has a problem. This is not a normal, rational thought process. Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

      Can't agree more. If I'm not excited about something that is going to cost me most if not all of my weekly disposable income I'm just not gonna buy it. Either the write is a fanboi and overly biased or on an unrealistically high income or both.

      I'm sorry, but I don't think that was an "Apple fanboi comment" at all!
      This Matt guy might be a fanboi but that comment was just ordinary honesty:
      -Apple WILL sell many, many handsets. We ALL know that. It's what happens every time.
      -He openly admits he's getting one by way of honest disclosure. And if you read the whole thing you'll see why- he likes iphones and he's due for an upgrade. If I liked them and was in deed of an upgrade I'd get one as well, even if I was disappointed because my expectations were higher.

        Im sorry, but no.
        If youre disappointed in something why spend hundreds of dollars on it? Why not spend your money on something you like?
        I mean, youre showing your new phone to someone and they ask "Is it good?"
        You say "Well, Im disappointed by it actually."
        They say "Well why waste your money on it?"
        You say "Because Im a gullable Apple fanboi who will buy any piece of Apple crap and Im too blind and lazy to look for better alternatives."

          It's probably more that they were expecting the iPhone 5 and not another iteration of the previous design. It's like a kid at christmas who had unrealistic present expectations, but still got a sweet-ass gift, but cried about it anyway. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

    Only injunctions will save Apple now after this crap...

    Yeah thanks! Almost now a Samsung Galaxy S II. Cool brand though... awesome.

      This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted

        How can you say it's crap? Specs are better then the iPhone. The OS shits all over it, it's got as good a camera, Oh and you can actually customise it! How do you come to the conclusion that it's crap?

          Specs don't make a product.
          I'm on a Samsung Nexus S and it crashes, lags and has the worst user experience imaginable. Sure it does everything but it doesn't do anything properly.

            SOMEONE WHO TALKS SENSE. FINALLY. SPECS MEAN NOTHING. You can have a hot-rodded piece of hardware, but if the OS integration is terrible...

        How much do you want for it?

      Yeah, but once you use an android phone for a while, you realise it's no more easy to use, and all the power and customisation gets old quickly.
      The GSII looks like a great phone, but except for the screen, what makes it such a great upgrade? The software hasn't made any big strides in the last year that's for sure!

    I just wish it had a bigger screen :(

    Lol...excited...relieved - that apple didn't create something to blow my sgsII outta the water... so in a sense... iFail. Such unneccessary hype. But if this is the 4s...the iPhone 5 will truly have yo be something extraordinary...more than just a redesign body... now that memory upgrade and processor are done. Good luck waiting on the one tho...anyone know the time frame between when the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4?

    Still going to buy one, reluctantly? Its people like you who prove to apple they can get away with this. What did they spend 2 weeks on the hardware? Basically waited for evolution of electronics to a smaller size and popped the chips in. Must have cost them all sorts of money.

    This is exactly what apple did with the ipad 2. It's an interim device to line their wallets and fund dev on the next round of devices.

      So Android manufacturers never do this? HTC released four different Desires within a year and put a letter or two on the end of the name. The specs didn't improve as much as this iPhone.

        Each of those Desires were either different form factors (z - QWERTY, HD - bigger screen) or released significantly later than the first Desire. Try again.

          Yeah, HTC are a different kettle of fish as are all other handset makers. None of those "Desires" are upgrades of any product lines, they're completely different phones who just happen to have similar names assigned to them for marketing purposes. In the US the Desire HD is called something like the "Aspire" or some such instead.

          Apple is a PC and software company that only have a single handset type built and sold under their brand every year or so whereas HTC is actually a phone handset maker, that's their business so they design and make many of them to sell to competing phone companies all other the planet.

    Lol...excited...relieved - that apple didn't create something to blow my sgsII outta the water... so in a sense... iFail. Such unneccessary hype. But if this is the 4s...the iPhone 5 will truly have yo be something extraordinary... more than just a redesigned body... now that memory upgrade and processor are done. Good luck waiting on the one tho...anyone know the time frame between when the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4?

      You're relieved that a company isn't pushing the bar as high as the company you're rooting for? That's fanboyism to the highest calibre.

    Oh diddums! Poor dears, the iphone 4 has been out for 12 months now any the appleys are bored with it and want a new toy but have been offered spruce up instead. Don't worry guys you may get an iphone 5 in 12 months.

    Meh... Time to look at the Samsung Galaxy S II now... thanks apple... it's fun, but you've changed... or should I say you haven't.

    ahhh quit ya tantrum.. it make perfect senses to me, iPhone 3G -> iPhone 3GS -> iPhone 4 -> iPhone 4S

    Apple you useless thieving $%^ks Preying on those fools who line up for every apple launch. Here have a phone with an 's' on the end, and a few months later you can give us even more money when we release the next one...then a month later we'll add an 'S' to that. Oooooh!

    Say bye bye to huge chunk of your customers, you've royally pissed them off.

      I totally agree there, my sentiments exactly... I was considering changing TO the iphone, if they brought out a 5, but I'm sure as hell not going to spend money on a slightly updated version of an old phone!

    What's the bet that Steve Jobs himself made the decision that the new model wouldn't live up to the hype as he's not in the CEO role this year.

    Next year, when he's back, he'll no doubt release the iPhone 5 to the hurried fapping of the fanboi's. It'll be like the 3rd comming of Christ.

      I think he resigned from the CEO role because he was really sick. Like really, really sick. He died today.

      Fucking dumbass.

        MMmm! He might be dead but if apple did pull off the world's greatest ever marketing trick with Steve coming back "like the third coming of Christ", then everyone should line up to hear him launch the iPhone 5.

        Shades of Monty Python - "I'm not dead yet".

    It's. Just. A. Phone.

      Nah they actually have heaps of different applications on them that let you do a whole range of things, it's like a mini-computer really. Have a look at some of the apps that come with it: http://www.apple.com/au/iphone/built-in-apps/
      and you can download plenty more.

    apples sales pitch is "The most amazing iPhone yet".... obviously they cant say the most amazing "phone" yet! This phone is still behind the SGS2. The SGS2 HD is released in a month and will be at least 2-3 years ahead of apple. (Super AMOLED 720 x 1280 pixels screen at 4.65 inches, 4G LTE, Dual core 1.5GHz and this is isn't as good as the Nexus prime due early next year). LATER APPLE!

      Oh, awesome, didnt realise that was coming out, I may well get that for a new phone, not waiting for iphone 5.

    I love it how basically every iPhone 5 rumour, of cases and such, has basically been completely forgotten. yeah you got fooled, by some shifty dood in china

    Giz needs to run an article on good alternatives (or soon to be released alternatives) for all the people that were waiting out for the iPh5.

      I agree - ive been waiting for the iPhone 5 (am still on a 3g) but am now considering chaning to a droid - but dont even know where to start.

        exactly in the same boat, got a iPhone 3G.

        Is safe to get the Samsung Galaxy S II, or will there be a new model released to replace it soon?

    I don't get what people were after? For me, the iPhone 4 hardware wise has everything I can think of that I'd want in a phone. The iPhone 4s is just a spec bump on top of that. All of the interesting stuff happens in software.

    Some people want a larger screen, but for me, the size of the current iPhone is perfect.

    I agree with Rob - Just. A. Phone.

      For many it's a lifestyle choice and user preference. Whatever, each to their own.

      Let's all just get along.

    Perhaps if sites like this one didn't spend so much time over recent months reporting on every vague rumour and made-up titbit of "information" on a phone that never actually existed, you wouldn't be quite so disappointed when it wasn't actually released.

      Possibly the most sensible thing I've read all day.

      Yes, we were always going to be a bit disappointed by this device. But the tantrum of fanboys is of their own creation. Every day up to this had some new 'scoop' about device leaks, Apple corporate security chasing down a prototype thief, or some guy in China who made cases.

      The same thing happened with the iPad 2 when there was none of the rumoured expandable memory or Retina Display.

    Definitely buying a Nokia WP7. An iPhone5 may of changed my mind, but not a 4S.

    That is unless the tards at Nokia don't release a device larger than 16gb like the rest of the WP7 OEM's. Then I guess I'll just have to give up and go back to the Apple camp for some decent storage.

    Zero interest in the malware infested Android ecosystem.

      I'm genuinely curious on what in an iPhone 5 over a 4s you were expecting that would have swayed you away from WP7?

        Curved glass, larger screen, different form. Not having two glass sides would of been good too, I've dropped my 3GS tonnes of times and only managed tiny scratches on the plastic back, no broken glass. iOS is still getting pretty stale in layout though which is why I'm leaning toward the fresh WP7 metro layout.

        Every iPhone 4 I've touched I have experienced antenna issues. I hold it wrong, and don't plan on holding it any other way. I personally don't believe the antenna issue is fixed, remember this is coming from a company that refused to recall, gave people a plastic strip for a limited time, and then deemed that everyone past that point already knew it was an issue so could deal with it themselves. I have no idea how they got away with that crap, anyone but Apple would of been raked over the coals.

          Different form, ok, yeah, that could be something. I like the current form, but that's a personal thing.

          The antenna issue has been fixed according to Apple, it has two antennas and will pick the one that has the strongest signal (no other phone currently does this).

          iOS, well iOS5 has some very nice features, but if you think it's getting stale, then yeah, move to a new phone. I doubt iOS will be changing significantly for quite a while.

            Scanning networks with two different antennae => Destroyer of battery life. This would be the first thing I would switch off (If possible).
            I don't own an iPhone 4 but I thought the design was awesome, besides the glass back,the glass back was a horrible idea.

      Agreed. Why is Apple the only company that thinks people will use more than 16GB of storage?

        This is what mSDHC cards (many phones support up to 32GB of *extra* storage) are for.

          Integrated NAND > slow inconsistent quality SD cards.

          Who really has need to constantly swap cards, or deal with possibly shonky cards? I'd much rather speedy NAND built in with at least 32gb.

          WP7 was not designed for expandable storage, the phones that did support it had issues with compatibility and delayed updates.

          Unfortunately the only OEM selling a 32GB NAND WP7 is Fujitsu, and it's Japan CDMA only.

            For storage decent SD cards are perfectly adequate with speed. If you don't want dodgy ones then don't pay $10 for them from some Chinese reseller on e-bay. It's pretty simple.

            They're extremely useful when you want to change phones, have a very easy and reliable readily available data backup in case your phone is lost or damaged, you can even easily pluck out your SD from a totalled phone and put it in a new one or any other device. with no pain, trouble or fiddling around. :)

        Umm, there are already a few phones with 64 gigs... ;)

          Yea but nobody wants meego :p

    These are all the features that people were looking for in the iPhone 5, except the form factor. Actually many people i know were not going to like the wider screen, i would have though.

    Indeed some friends have the Galaxy which waits for you to smile before it takes the shot, larger screen estate etc etc etc. Apple releasing an 8M camera now is catching up nothing less, no innovation at all. Dual processor is here and so is everything else.

    All good news for the iPhone 5 with wider screen and curved glass.

    I'm buying this one; it's what i do.

    "That 8MP camera is going to make my otherwise boring mealtime shots of future poo look fantastic."
    .. I laughed

      Who the heck cares about 8megapixel. The lens is lucky to realistically allow for decent 1-2megapixel pics. Its like driving a Ferrari through peak hour. All that grunt but totally unusable. If I want even slightly decent photo's I'm reaching for a camera not my phone.

        Hey that's probably true but I was laughing at the 'future poo' comment.

        A wise person once said:

        "The best camera you have is the one you have with you".

        Sure the lens is crap, but I'm sorry I just don't travel everywhere with my digital camera all of the time...

          It's not the lens, it's the sensor. Derrrrrr.

    I'm surprised it's taken you this long to not be impressed by Apple's hardware offering. Apple's appeal has always, always been about the software (with a bit of good design) - and I'm really digging Siri.

    WP7.5 vs. iOS5 voice-control will be very interesting methinks. If Siri's natural speech works as well as advertised, that's a big one; but WP7.5 has already demonstrated its utility.

      your really digging siri? your going to hold your phone in front of your face and ask it "whats the time in Zimbabwe" and "send txt to steve, hay steve u up for a movie? fuck work was shit today" out loud in public? lol no one will do that its just novelty for the first week of having it, TRUST me.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now