The iPhone 5 Isn't The iPhone For The Masses

Now that we know exactly what's in the iPhone 5, we can say this out loud: it isn't the iPhone for the masses like the iPhone 4 was. It's not the phone you're going to whip out at parties and wow the room with, nor is it the one you can give to your parents and blow them away with all the new shiny tech. So who is it for?

Here's what the spec sheet will likely say when it goes on sale in telco stores around the country: 4G speeds, 8 megapixel camera, larger screen, fast processor. Bar the screen and the networking, that's pretty much what the last price tag said, which isn't going to have people throwing money at Apple Stores.

When you run down the changes in the actual hardware, though, it's far more impressive. The iPhone 5 is much thinner, much lighter and holds a shrunk-down A6 Cortex processor, the same 8-megapixel camera optics from the 4S (with some shiny improvements, a bigger battery, a 4G/LTE antenna and a bigger screen. It does all this while maintaining an 8-hour battery life during 4G browsing, and a 225-hour standby time.

Looking at the hardware in detail and understanding it makes it an impressive phone, but when you do a brief overview of the headline features, it's boring and same-ish.

The iPhone 5 then is the phone for the engineers.

The tinkerers. The gadget faithful. The ones who know just how hard it is to squeeze that much into such a small amount of space. The ones who love seeing the nerd porn that is the iPhone 5 with its back cover off.

Truth be told, the engineers is who Apple needs to win back. They've been busy all this time tinkering with their Android handsets. Now with this nifty new piece of hardware might they start taking notice.

Check out the official video to see this engineering porn in action.

More: The iPhone 5 - Everything You Need To Know


Comments

    if its the "techy" iphone then why did they give it only slightly better specs than the LAST generation samsung galaxy 2. a techie person wants to be at the head of the game and dont mind size and slickness so much as customisation and function. surely they should be up with every other handset maker with quad core and 720 graphics if that was the case.

    Well here's an engineer that totally agrees with your post Luke.

    Firstly to the anti-apple commenters - To suggest that Apple users are all blind idiots that will buy anything with a lowercase "i" in front of it, is a total fallacy. While I certainly agree that Apple has its fair share of crazy fans that need to reassess their priorities, the same can be same for many brands, and there are still a large amount of iOS users like me that are brand-agnostic in general with our technology, but when it comes to mobile devices, some of us actually do currently prefer Apple hardware and the iOS experience. As hard as that might be to grasp for the Android users that think “my hardware and OS is so good, you must be an idiot if you’re not using it”. What these fanatics don't grasp is that different people have different needs and expectations of their hardware purchases and I try to respect that, rather than belittle people for their choices.

    Every brand and ecosystem also has its inherent strengths and weaknesses which every honest well-educated geek should be completely aware of. Android unquestionably has a lot of advantages over iOS by being open, and therefore offering a plethora of choice, and iOS unquestionably has advantages over Android from being closed, curated and being the sole manufacturer of it’s hardware (excellent build quality, timely ubiquitous OS updates, no carrier or manufacturer skins or bloatware, huge range of games and tight product integration leap to mind). For instance I love the simplicity of things like iCloud and Airplay, and yes I know that Android has DLNA and MHL, but coming from someone who has worked in home theatre and messed with these standards for years, the experience isn’t even close to the integrated reliable airplay button, that appears next to all media content on my iPhone and iPad, that instantly throws the picture and/or sound to my AppleTV (which is actually now a jailbroken dedicated XBMC media box, streaming content from my desktop PC).

    Rather than some kind of "iSheep" I'm a tinkerer who loves to jailbreak to easily overcome Apple’s restrictions and add a range of tweaks that greatly enhance my device’s functionality. In fact I jailbroke both my iPhone 4 and iPad 2 within two hours of purchase of both of them, as I couldn't wait to see what they could really do and add all my previously purchased tweaks (controlled by your Cydia account).

    Basically I enjoy the fact that I get access to all of Apple’s ecosystem while still being able to heavily modify my Apple devices to bypass sand-boxing and sideload whatever I want.

    Do I wish that I didn't have to jailbreak to allow Android-like functionality? To a degree. Does it turn me off buying Apple? No, as I’m heavily engaged in the jailbreak community, and have invested a lot of time and a bit of cash on top quality unofficial apps (to support the jailbreak devs and get features added when requested) which are available from a variety of repos from around the world using Cydia.

    So yes, contrary to popular belief and just as Luke suggested, this phone will be just the powerhouse I'm looking for. All I care about now is iOS hackers who will begin looking for an exploit on day one of purchase, to eventually turn into an untethered jailbreak (usually happens within weeks of a new Apple product, but the iPad3 took longer than usual).

    btw, I've never owned a Mac (although I must admit I'd like the new Retina Macbook Pro) as I'm a PC/Windows man on the desktop. It is possible to not be blindly in love with all things Apple and still like aspects to Android and WP8, but simply prefer Apple's mobile products.

    tl, dr: Most Apple users are not idiots, many are jailbreakers, and enjoy tweaking iOS immensely. Oh and rather than bitching over who's OS and hardware is best, can't we all just get along? :-)

    I have to disagree with the premise it this article. You say 'bar the screen and the networking, it's the same as the last one'. Why would you bar the screen and the networking, they are important to a lot of people (admittedly me not included). But the idea that this won't wow your friends is a mistake I think. It's a shiny new apple product which looks different to the last one. That alone will provide the wow factor for a lot of people. When the specs for this phone were released I was initially a little shocked at how small an update it was and then I started thinking, what was I actually expecting/want more in a smartphone these days. The list is pretty short. Just to be clear though I'm not buying one. I have a 4S and wouldn't have upgraded even if the new one had rocket boosters attached.

    Phone just to get bigger and bigger as per Giz Au . . Bring it on SGS4 6inch 1080p . . that ll be a WOW fone for all the android fans

    Who is the iPhone 5 aimed at? iPhone 4 owners whose 2 year contracts ran out a short time ago.

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