iPhone 5: what our writers think
"It's hard to not like the iPhone 5, seeing that this is the phone that everyone envisioned to be with the iPhone 4S last year. What's not to like about the new iPhone? It's bigger, sleeker, and faster than its predecessor, but even though it doesn't necessarily break the threshold, those who are already heavy invested in the iPhone's ecosystem will no doubt make the plunge of buying it. Still, with another year to go before we see the next iPhone, it'll be interesting to see how it'll stem the onslaught of competition knocking at the door."
- John V.
"Like all big events, the iPhone announcement was designed to excite the Apple fanbase, and I think it achieved that goal. The iPhone 5 is nothing revolutionary, but it's a nice hardware bump, and a nice evolution of the design. Tim Cook carefully set expectations for the hardware, so we knew what to expect, and we got it. The big problem with the package is still with iOS, where Apple hasn't done enough to upgrade the iOS experience, which is disappointing after seeing the leaps Google made with design in Ice Cream Sandwich and performance in Jelly Bean."
"The presentation didn't exactly knock my socks off, but the iPhone 4S was already a solid handset and the iPhone 5 will surely be even better (especially if battery life holds up when using LTE). It's all but certain that Apple will reap the rewards of the pent up iPhone demand from the last couple months as people held off on buying the iPhone 4S, but for me the larger concern is whether Apple's choices in industrial design and (especially) operating system structure are limiting what they can do going forward. If we see an iPhone 5S next year, we will be looking at almost half a decade of shipping a phone that looks more or less identical. Will Apple continue to look like an innovator to consumers if that's the case?"
- Scott H.
"My opinion about the iPhone 5 was formed when iOS 6 was announced. The incremental update in the OS as well as with the new hardware was more about Apple than it was about its customers. Apple took a cautious approach while weaning the Google elements out of iOS and rounding out the social integration. Being cautious is a double-edged sword though. The features are nice, but they are not ground breaking and the user experience is going to be seven-years-old-stale. Despite that, it will sell rapidly and be a success."
- Maxwell R.
"It was inevitable that Apple had to use a larger display this time around, and a 4” screen on the iPhone 5 is a welcome improvement, although it is still smaller than competing high-end smartphones from other companies, which usually offer a 4.3" display or larger. I’m personally more interested in seeing how images and videos captured with the new 8MP iSight camera on the iPhone 5 will compare to pictures and videos from other smartphones, and if the new HD Voice feature with three microphones will make a noticeable difference in call quality."
"There is little doubt that the iPhone 5 will be a really successful smartphone, with outstanding hardware and excellent software support. So were the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, and their successor will follow in their footsteps. However, the iPhone 5 will also be way too overrated. People will keep on sacrificing an arm and a leg just to get one, led by the belief that it is the ultimate gadget in the history of the universe and that it is so much better than their iPhone 4S. And that can easily grind a geek's gears."
- Nick T.
"Overall, no groundbreaking upgrades, unless we got the first Cortex-A15 processor with the A6, but their aggregate usefulness is wrapped in a unique aluminum-and-glass body that is one of the thinnest and lightest out there making average users want to reach out and have it, so if we look at the iPhone 5 and say "meh, it's just a 4-inch phone with LTE", it's very likely that we'll be proven wrong by its sales numbers."
- Daniel P.
"The iPhone 5 seems like a pretty decent update to the 4S, although it certainly lacks the wow-factor (probably because everything about it was already known). It's new design is very good, way better than anything from the competition, but doesn't seem as cute as the previous iPhones, to me at least. Still, things have changed since 2007 (who would have thought there will be so many apps and games?!), so the slightly bigger screen is a welcome change. At the end of the day, as Amazon's Jeff Bezos said, people no longer want just gadgets, they want services. The iPhone is becoming just that - a gateway to tons of content, information and entertainment. Change and new features shouldn't be added just for the sake of it, they need to have their wide practical implementation, in order to find a place in the iPhone."
- Ray S.