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Why the iPhone 5 is Anything But a Disappointment

Why the iPhone 5 is Anything But a Disappointment

Apple’s iPhone 4S release last year was faced with one of the biggest waves of “disappointment” I’ve seen with a consumer device. Hordes of complainers bemoaned that it lacked an all-new design, a larger screen,  and lots of new hardware features. Some even complained that Apple decided not to call it the “iPhone 5.”

Despite the negative reactions that buzzed around the interweb following the release, including such asinine claims that the 4S was the best Apple could do in light of Steve Jobs’ health problems, the iPhone 4S went to become the most successful smartphone of all time. It flew off the shelves. Apple could not keep the 4S in stock.

This year, the same disturbing trend has emerged surrounding the iPhone 5 – and frankly, I just don’t get it. I’m baffled. Even more baffling is that the same people who are so quick to picker about Apple’s iPhone 5′ will more than likely buy one anyway. It’s a cycle that is repeated year after year.

Why the Disappointment?

Why is it that these people are so disappointed with the iPhone 5? Is it because Apple didn’t create a radical new design? Does the iPhone 5 lack basic, critical features? Or do these people just enjoy complaining to see how much attention they can draw?

I suspect that much of this disappointment is due to unrealistic expectations. People read every rumor that they see and take it at face value. The iPhone 5 doesn’t have NFC! The iPhone 5 isn’t made of LiquidMetal! The iPhone 5 isn’t held together by unicorn tears!

Part of the problem also might be that we sort of all saw this coming. The iPhone 5 was perhaps Apple’s worst kept secret in years. Anyone who followed the rumors already knew what the iPhone 5 would look like, and how it was likely to differ from the iPhone 4S.

The Reality

Has Apple lost their sense of innovation?


In truth, the iPhone 5 is far from being a dissapoitment. Sure, the iPhone 5 looks somewhat similar to the iPhone 4S – but if you think for a moment that the iPhone 5 isn’t the result of some pretty incredible innovation, you’re dead wrong.

What exactly is it that makes a smartphone great? It’s not the hardware – plenty of smartphones are just as fast and feature-rich as the iPhone 5 on paper. It’s not the software – Android and Windows Phone devices can technically do everything an iPhone can do. So what is it?

“Improving on Perfection”

In the end, it boils down to quality, and the user experience. Apple took the iPhone 4S, which was already a great product, and they made it even better. The iPhone 4S had a fantastic camera. It had a solid, stable, and attractive design. Most importantly, it offered the user experience, simplicity, and rich cecosystem that Apple’s devices are so well known for.

The iPhone 5 is one of the thinnest (if not the absolute thinnest) and lightest smartphones ever made. The taller screen allows users to view and interact with more content – it also offers deeper color saturation and a much better viewing experience.

Apple also included faster wireless data – dual-band WiFi and 4G LTE cellular. They significantly improved the camera.They added a new chip that offers twice the performance as the iPhone 4S, and on top of it all,  they increased the battery life. Best of all, they did all of this without compromising quality, and without increasing their price.

The User Experience

Apple improved the iPhone 4S in every single dimension of both hardware and software. They produced something more advanced than any smartphone ever seen before. Apple referred to the iPhone 5 as the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone,” and they were absolutely right.

Instead of spending their time making the iPhone 4 look radically different, adding hardware features such as NFC with most people would never use, and coming out with dozens of half-baked new features that would soon be forgotten about, Apple focused on improving the user experience.

The iPhone 4S doen’t look as goon on paper as certain other devices, which boast five inch or larger screens, quad-core processors, replaceable batteries the size of a small steak, and the “latest and greatest” new hardware gimmicks. But in terms of increasing he quality, refining the design, and improving the user experience, it is the clear winner.

Wrapping it Up

To quote a similar article I wrote last year about the iPhone 4S:

If you’re so disappointed that Apple didn’t release a flashy new design […[ that you aren’t able to notice and give credit for all the amazing improvements that Apple did make to the iPhone […], perhaps you should re-evaluate your reasons for buying a smartphone.

It wouldn’t matter what Apple added to or changed about the iPhone – they could cut the price in half, and offer a free kitten with every purchase, and people would still complain. But in the end, all that really matters is the users – and for them, Apple just unveiled arguably the best overall smartphone experience that money can buy.

Disappointing, eh? If you’re really so deeply disappointed, then walk away, buy an Android or Windows Phone, and leave the rest of us alone.

  1. Sean Belloso says:

    Well said. It’s not a question of being a fanboy, it’s truth. Especially regarding the screens size. Johnny Ive said its a phone and should feel good in your hands. Precisely.

  2. ikillpixels says:

    It’s so easy to criticise. The people who expect will always be let down. It’s also easy to judge appearance as a small change when infact the underlying technology could have taken years to develop. It’s the “I want and I’ll be angry if I don’t get” culture. The iPhone got better. Fact.

  3. PirateGrad says:

    Disappointment was based more on the fact that so much was leaked before the announcement that we already knew what was going to be announced. It felt like Santa tipped his hat before Christmas. I’m going to buy anyway. I still gotta have it!

  4. Tyler Beaucamp says:

    The fact of the matter is that people are biased towards other companies. These people love crap pretty much! Honestly if you like Android over IOS then you just hate Apple because they are successful. IOS is the most stable mobile OS in the world! So much so they only updated their beta 4 times! this time around! Its true in any industry people adore seeing the top dog fail but hate it when the underdog fails! Apple is the best company in the world and they proved it by being the most valuable, profitable, most innovative company that has ever crossed the face of this earth!

  5. Hi Glenn, I agree with You when You say about all that “true” leaked images of parts and total body of the new model. As You wrote:”The iPhone 5 was perhaps Apple’s worst kept secret in years”

  6. ItsaPhone says:

    The only disappointment is all of the hype surrounding this product when it turned out to be more of an iPhone 4ss than a 5. If it was as perfect as you claim you wouldn’t be writing this article defending it. I’m interested in this move for a larger screen however as it gives it the proportions of Android based phones. All in all the iPhone is still great but I’m not selling my 4S for this I mean, what would I do, play Angry Birds twice as fast on Atts cruddy network ruining the 4g lte?

  7. alfie says:

    I still want the ios to consider the option of opting a wifi on/off switch in the notification center. I hate going through settings and switching it on there. Its the fundamentals that apple are missing.

    Anyway, Its just a phone!! All i ever use is whatsapp, calling, and a few other apps like twitter, instagram, facebook. Just the essentials. People are just so insane over a phone sometimes I feel like there should be other important things to think about. I just can’t believe the iPhone has affected the whole phone industry and simply ensures that the whole world MUST have an iPhone, and its working. The world has gone bonkers. Go outside and catch some butterflies or ride a bike! Stop wasting your time and your kids’ entire day on iPads! Peace.

  8. …Something more advanced than any smartphone ever? Really? Seriously? It’s aluminum. I’ll give you the aluminum. Everything else has been done before. Nothing advanced about this phone. Improving the user experience? Maps anyone? How much did Apple pay you to write this lie?

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