back to article iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

Rumor has it that an Eritrean goat-herder with the unlikely name of "Bob" was unaware of the fact that Apple would unveil its iPhone 5 on Wednesday. Frankly, we find that hard to believe. In all of recorded gadget history, few product announcements have had as much pre-event hype as did today's iPhone 5 roll-out at an event in …

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Anonymous Coward

"Rumor has it that an Eritrean goat-herder with the unlikely name of "Bob" was unaware of the fact that Apple would unveil its iPhone 5 on Wednesday."

I've just seen Bob. He's at the front of the queue outside the Apple store in Regents Street drinking his coffee made by a Samsung phone owner

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Headmaster

Actually

Mobile phones are very big in Africa (As I heard at a conference session on challenges to mobile interaction research*) - cheaper to build a mobile phone infrastructure than a fixed line one.

So Eritrean goat-herders looking for faster access to goat auction prices might have a passing interest in today's news.

*However the biggest hurdle facing African mobile users is recharging. So the Jebus phone isn't ready for Eritrean prime time just yet.

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Meh

And?

As an iPhone user I say UNDERWHELMING, I cannot see a need to upgrade my 4S at all, the comparison spec sheet on the Apple site confirm what I know.

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Anonymous Coward

Expecting to be Tango'd

There is no fizz in this can no matter how hard you try to talk it up.

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Re: And?

> I cannot see a need to upgrade my 4S

Surely thre reason to upgrade is that now there's a new model out, the days of the "old" one will be strictly limited.

This does seem more like a X.1 release than being worthy of a whole 1 digit increment. I wonder if the reason for there being so little difference (a few percent here, a couple of millimetres there) is because Apple have run out of ideas, or because the iPhone is so near to perfection already?

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Anonymous Coward

It's a little tall for my tastes and will require longer pockets.

Have Apple patented the new shape, 'tall but thin, with rounder corners'?

Though I believe that LG bought out such a shape in 2009 The LG BL40 though it has sharper corners.

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Anonymous Coward

DID THEY...

just heat it up a little over a gas cooker and just stretch it a bit?

Except for LTE which we won't have for a year or so it's functions the same as a 4S look at the Apple site comparison page. I'd wait for the 5S next year which will iron out all the niggles.

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Facepalm

There really is no NFC?

Wow, this is a bigger piss take than letting the fanbois think they were getting the iPhone5 last year then just giving them the same one with an "S" at the end.

Seriously - this is what they call innovation?

Its a larger screen, of the kind the Android handsets had 2 years ago.

Its got LTE, of the kind Android handsets had well over a year ago.

Its cameras and speed now match the Android handsets from a year ago.

Its adapter has changed from one proprietary format to another just to take the piss.

A bundled app found on every platform over the last 2 years to stick photos together is trumpeted as a huge breakthrough.

And existing apps look shit because they only stretched the screen in 1 direction, and are new to fragmentation unlike Android which has been dealing with this for years.

This could almost make microsofts offering look good.

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Re: And?

Maybe not a good upgrade for your 4S, but it looks like a nice replacement for my 3GS!

You don't *have* to change your phone every 12 months!

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Headmaster

Re: There really is no NFC?

@bdam

This is a first. I think.

An apostrophe disaster where someone gets it right by mistake. In several different ways. Some errors are even ambiguous.

Impressive.

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WTF?

Re: There really is no NFC?

"This could almost make microsofts offering look good."

Steady on, now.

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Gimp

Bob the Samsung guy?

You misheard- he's a BARRISTER.

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FAIL

Re: There really is no NFC?

Its' always better to shoot messengers when i'ts not possible to deal with any of the points raised, although I see the upvoters find 'its message came though loud and clear :-)

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"It's a little tall for my tastes and will require longer pockets."

But for someone else it will be just right. Different people have different tastes / needs (for example, I want a small phone that's comfortable to hold). It seems mysterious to me that Apple are only releasing one size of phone. Surely it would make good sense to target all sections of the mobile phone using market. Am I missing something here?

I like the battery life they report for this thing. I think the "HD Voice" thing is present on several existing phones already though and we're just waiting for more network operators to provide the service....?

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WTF?

Notes

So, they're calling the mini-dock a "Lightning" connector? Isn't this the same term AMD uses for their Thunderbolt-alike DisplayPort technology? I think someone may be getting sued shortly....

These spec lines read rather underwhelming. Not even a full 720p screen? Seriously? At least they finally got the camera to 8MP like all the Androids. The list of features they're enumerating to merit the "iOS6" tag sound more like the list of features you'd read about in Sense, Motion, or other GUI mods from manufacturers. Task switching, GUI overhaul, hardware-accelerated 3D, and SMP ALL TOGETHER may merit a full version bump, but being able to tweet from the notification pulldown and throwing a few app upgrades in merits iOS5->iOS6? Guess they're on the Firefox versioning system now: numbers for the sake of numbers.

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Re: There really is no NFC?

No NFC is a good thing, imo. I wouldn't be happy buying a phone that had NFC and no way to turn it off. It's a security concern and nothing more.

My busted old Android phone works well enough so considering the only real "innovations" are things like NFC, I'm happy to stick with what I got.

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Re: Expecting to be Tango'd

flatter than a deflated tyre on a flat bed truck that is parked outside a block of flats in the flattest part of Essex .

I think I'll now go back to sleep.

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FAIL

Re: And?

Exactly - even better, upgrade the 3GS to a 4S; then I can still dump it on my hifi dock and use it to play music and watch movies - something the stupid adaptor for the 5 won't do, as video and audio don't come out of there any more :-(

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Re: And?

Uh-oh, if this is the deal I hope everyone has their AAPL shorts in place. I don't see any 80 million iPhone5s being shifted like Munster thought. As expected, it also looks like a big swing and a miss by JP Morgan. I don't know what all the hypestirs were on when they did their numbers but it only stands to reason that Apple couldn't continue the streak much longer.

Set up your AAPL options wisely folks, my gut says short iron condor or butterfly based around today's price, long iron condor/butterfly around the price in two weeks. Expiry should be just after the earnings call in October. Sure, I've been wrong before but I can feel it in my hallux rigidus.

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Devil

Re: And?

Apple user population are on 2 year contracts. This may not be a compelling reason to throw out your shiny No 4. It will however clean up the "upgrade shiny No 3/3GS" market.

By the way - same as you are I am underwhelmed. This does not mean however that it will not be a commercial success.

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Re: Bob the Samsung guy?

"You misheard- he's a BARRISTER."

Shouldn't go there - the legal professional is even lower down the foodchain in my experience.

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Coat

Re: There really is no NFC?

"Seriously - this is what they call innovation?"

Ah, but as we have been told - repeatedly - over the years, the "thing" with the iPhone is not the technology, but the design and userfriendlyness. (We need a Dustypuppy icon).

So you shouldn't look at the minor technology updates, but focus on the vastly improved design and userfriendlyness.

Enjoy!

Mine's the one with the sarcasm in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

"I've just seen Bob. He's at the front of the queue outside the Apple store in Regents Street drinking his coffee made by a Samsung phone owner"

And off we go.......the ladies are sharpening their claws to defend the indefensible.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And?

Just don't get what people expect - it's about 20% thinner and lighter despite a larger retina screen for no letter boxing, it's up to twice the speed yet the same battery life. It supports 4G and iOS 6 has some really good looking new features like panorama, Facebook integration, better maps etc.

I guess NFC would have been nice but it's hardly a mega deal - anyway for all you know it could have it but they just did not reveal it yet. There is also a lot more they could do with iOS 6.

I like that it's the same width so fits in a normal human hand - the new connector is an improvement.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And?

That's precisely the point - Apple phones have a much longer life - I see plenty of people still using 3GS phones (which are now 4 years old).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And?

I would not call nearly 20% thinner AND lighter a minor issue when the screen is larger.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And? @twelvebore

That is his point, its not a wow upgrade, they've stretched it, so it looks more like an Android phone...

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Re: And?

Congratulations LarsG!

You can see no reason to upgrade a phone that is (at most) 11 months old: common sense has prevailed!

To those on a 3GS or original 4 now out of a 2 year contract on hardware originally released OVER 2 years ago I suspect the reaction may be different.

HINT: apple don't aim their new models at owners of the previous model (although they are quite happy to sell you the latest shiny even if your previous shiny is still factory fresh, and they know some people are daft enough to upgrade EVERY new model) they know the vast BULK of purchases will be from owners of earlier generations (excluding the just replaced generation) and iPhone virgins.

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Re: Notes

"Not even a full 720p screen?"

Why on earth would you need a 720p screen on something that is 4"? There are televisions that are 720p. About six years ago, you would have thought 720p on an 18" monitor was nice. I'm all for progress, but some things just seem excessive to me.

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Re: And?

Exactly. I'm out of a 24 month contract this month and considering I can unlock and sell my original 4 on ebay for £200, it would daft not to carry on with my £30 a month and get a 5.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There really is no NFC?

Er- Blackberries have nfc and you can turn it off from the same menu that allows you to turn off wi-fi, Bluetooth etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And?

3GS = quite a slim sexy groovy shape.

4/S = fat, heavy lump, sharp front and back edges makes it uncomfortable in the hand unless you wrap it in a decent case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And?

Me for example.

... and it will run the yet to be released iOS6 and I have never ever felt the need to have a micro-SD card for extra storage nor do I feel the urge for NFC communications. I see no reason to upgrade yet, and when I do, it will be for a dramatically reduced cost 4S to maintain plug compatibility with my somewhat expensive ghetto blaster.

Only the camera is sub-par on the 3GS, but I have a real camera, so it's not used that often anyway.

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FAIL

Re: And?

This does *not* look like a good upgrade from my 3GS. Just about the only feature of any interest is the extra row of icons on the screen, and that, my friends, is not worth several hundred quid.

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Re: Notes @h4rm0ny

I would just like to point out that your thinking that 6 years ago 720p on a monitor was nice? 10 years ago I was eunning at 1600x1200 on a monitor. Just because the TV companies took things backward does not mean the whole world should folllow. When monitors started to pop up at 1920x1080 this was a backward step to save them money by using cheaper panels so that they could use the monkier "HD" . But they were less HD than we were used to.

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Trollface

Re: Expecting to be Tango'd

"Flattest part of Essex"?

If you really want flat, you should go to Lincolnshire. Now that's Apple country!

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Facepalm

Re: And? @twelvebore

"That is his point, its not a wow upgrade, they've stretched it, so it looks more like an Android phone..."

Oh great! Another pending look and feel case.

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Re: And?

My thoughts Ed Zachery

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"It's a little tall for my tastes and will require longer pockets."

Anybody in the habit of buying Apple gear - by definition - has deep pockets. So that shouldn't be a problem.

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WTF?

Re: And?

"but it looks like a nice replacement for my 3GS!"

Why? What exactly does it do that will make the quality of your life so much better than your 3GS doesn't? Or are you just yet another dribbling Ooooh Shiny! acolyte who would part with their money if Apple released a turd with their logo on it?

I just don't get this upgrade obsession, its a fucking phone for gods sake. Anyone who upgraded their landline phone every year because a new one had come out with a slight better processor and screen would been seen as an obsessive wierdo. Why is it ok for mobile phones? Is it perhaps because they're more fashion than technology and its the male equivalent of buying a new handbag?

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Re: Notes

@h4rm0ny: "Why on earth would you need a 720p screen on something that is 4"?"

I would actually like to see my webpages, not have some 500x100 header image or some such nonesense (register title image perhaps?) throw everything off the low-res screen TYVM. I suffered on a low res screen and it made web browsing terrible. 1280x800 gives a normal rendering so I can find what I need and move on with life. Not all of us are blind.

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Meh

Re: And?

Because my 3GS running IOS 5 is a PITA. The OS cripples this old model and I'd quite like something that could run IOS5 or 6 without me losing my temper. THe basic operation of the phone and it's Apps could be much the same as far as I'm concerned, just responsive.

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Pint

Evolutionary

No 'very exciting' changes over the 4S.

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Re: Evolutionary

Yep - it does seem that way, but then to be honest nothing much "new" or "interesting" was expected with this phone despite all the hyperbole.

It would be nice if iOS got a refresh though, it's now feeling very clunky and unloved and while there have been some incremental improvements, they've not been a lot. Keeping it similar does aid continued adoption rather than the "arg... where did they move that to this time" feel that can come across otherwise.

I know a few people have been putting off new phones for iPhone 5, will be interesting to see how the sales (not shipments) go. It's beyond time apple did something interesting rather than evolutionary with their phones. The displays are nice, the camera sounds good, siri will doubtless continue to be a useless waste of space and making a nicely presented and designed phones thinner and thinner only to have ugly-as-sin cases to enclose them just seems an ongoing exercise in futility.

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Facepalm

Re: Evolutionary

Ah yes the usual "not very exciting changes" post: well just LTE support while keeping the same battery life, larger screen, thinner, lighter and in a now mostly metal body.... oh and a better camera too finally with a good front camera for videochat.

But yes, I guess it's still a phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Evolutionary

Yep not very exciting, about as different from the 4S as that was to the 4. Even RCJ over at the BBC has been hard pressed to find anything good to say about this release:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19572820

Anybody who doesn't think this is a piss poor attempt at a flagship phone really does need to open their eyes and look at what other companies are doing with mobile technology - there is actual innovation going on outside the Apple eco-system.

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Re: Evolutionary

I also think the A6 is quite a surprise. All the predictions were it would just be a downclocked A5X or a clocked up 28nm version of the A5 like in the recent iPad 2 refresh. Of course it could still be one of those two, just with a new name, but for it to deliver double the performance it might have more under the bonnet than expected. I doubt it's a quad core though as I'm sure they would have mentioned it!

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Holmes

Re: Evolutionary

It's just a v. next, really. For a company that's hyped up by fanbois for its innovation, there's not much innovation in the iPhone 5.

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Re: Evolutionary

Ah yes the usual "not very exciting changes" post: well just LTE support while keeping the same battery life, larger screen, thinner, lighter and in a now mostly metal body.... oh and a better camera too finally with a good front camera for videochat.

You're missing the point, old bean. These changes aren't that exciting because people on other platforms have had them for donkey's years. I mean, browser sync? Really? That's on my N900, for feck's sake.

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