Friday, September 14, 2012

And….the new iPhone is called iPhone 5

But did they actually fix the problems the entire lineup had? What? iPhone had problems?

1. Frequent call drops. This has been a problem ever since I got my first iPhone. It's still there in the iPhone 4S. And now it is irritating because back in the iPhone 3GS days, I hardly had to make a phone call. Now I have to make at least a couple of calls everyday. And I get a dropped call almost every day. I've never experienced this back in SL with the feature phones or the Samsung Omnia 900.

You would wanna point the finger at SoftBank and their service is definitely "just OK" at best. But people with feature phones are not experiencing these call drops at the same areas, so it has to be Apple's fault.

I’m sure we will find out about this soon enough, unless people have become so used to dropped calls, that they don’t even know that it is a problem anymore.

2. Extreme fragility. You cannot use the iPhone without hiding it behind some sort of shield. It is not scratch resistant, nowhere near as good as most phones out there. Heck, you can even nail a nail with a Nokia Lumia 900 on the glass side! That's what we call quality. Not some fragile design that puts beauty at first, everything next.

Both the iPhone 4 and 4s (heck, they have the same design) had glass on both sides. Now, instead of having one way to screw it up, you now have two ways. I've seen many people on the train using iPhone's with shattered screens. The screen still works but it's not a pleasant scene at all. I don't think most people here buy the AppleCare+ anyways. They will always get the new phone when it becomes available anyways.

Also, the iPhone might be a beautiful device, but you can only experience it if you use it without hiding behind a shield. Once you cover it up, you lose the elegance it had while naked. If they could make it in a material that does get scratched, then they would easily double the sales. Besides, iPhone 5 is the thinnest smartphone as Apple claims, and you can never have that experience if you have to put it inside a case. 

We’ll know soon enough if they actually did something to make it more durable. It’s a good thing there are so many people who can afford to drop their brand new phone on the floor just to post a YouTube video. Heck, they might even be earning more money they spent on the phone from the Google Ads.

3. Easily breakable Home Button. Home button on the iPhone must be the 2nd most fragile component in the iPhone. I broke it when I had the 3GS. If you search around the Internet, you will see how frequent that is. But it is still there in the iPhone 5. The home button is great; it's very effective - that's not the problem. The problem is that it does not last long. Not even the entire 2 year subscriber contract period.

Seems like the same old Home Button is still there in the iPhone 5.

4. Lack of memory. I don’t know about typical users, but I constantly run out of RAM on my iPhone 4S. I was under the impression that the apps would get terminated automatically when there isn’t enough RAM. But so far I haven’t see that happen. Maybe it needs to become completely unusable before it happens. The culprit was the lack of RAM on the iPhone 4S. 512MB RAM on a phone released in 2011 was lame. Most phones were having 1GB even before the iPhone 4S was released.

Anyways, they seems to have fixed it. A lot of tech sites are saying that the iPhone has 1GB of RAM. Apple never mentioned anything about the detailed specs at the unveiling though. (Right?)

Edit: Seems like GeekBench knows that it has 1GB RAM.

5. Screen size. Steve Jobs was always telling us that 3.5 inch screen size was the perfect screen size, but as soon as he passed away, Apple makes a large screen.

Changing the aspect ratio? Fine if you didn't have a massive app base and you are starting from the scratch. But do you think Steve Jobs would have allowed them to change the aspect ratio so that the millions of apps will have black bars on the top and the bottom? I don't think so. They should have increased the width as well and kept the aspect ratio same. Then they could scale the apps that don't have support for the new screen size. For the first time Apple is losing the consistency in the iPhone.

Their reasoning for choosing this aspect ratio is to make one handed usage possible. But the buttons (“back” button for example) show up on the top in iOS, and a tall screen wouldn’t make things noticeably better than a tall and wide screen.

Anyways, I need to check one out first and see how the new iPhone feels in my hands, how fast the UI feels and how fast LTE is. Hopefully SoftBank will have some for showcase soon enough.

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