For innumerable bloggers and tweeters who fueled fervent speculations right up to the last minute leading to Apple’s much-hyped launch event, the adrenaline has finally faded away.
The last few weeks have been extremely fast-changing for smartphones, with events including Samsung’s humiliating $1billion lawsuit defeat to Apple and the launch of Nokia’s new Windows Phone 8 device.
New Features, New Devices – Changes Mostly Incremental, Some Major
Apple’s September 12 launch of iPhone 5, along with the improved iPod touch and nano devices throws light on mainly incremental changes rather than radical leaps. Many of the specifications were guessed on the basis of public leaks long before the launch and several turned out to be true, dampening the company’s pre-launch secrecy policy.
Hands-on video from The Verge
The new 4G-capable iPhone 5 comes with a taller screen which allows an extra row of icons. The device has an upgraded Apple-designed A6 processor and GPU twice as fast as the ones running its predecessor.
An improved camera functions in low light and can capture panoramic shots as well. The voice activation is enhanced, Siri can now talk sports and there is Apple’s own mapping system for turn-by-turn navigation (TBT). TBT may not work well in India, due to the low level of Apple device penetration in the market.
The biggest change in the device seems to be the LTE support, which may not be relevant to India in the immediate future due to low expectations in terms of customer adoption here.
Even though features like the panorama shots have long existed in Android phones, the iPhone 5 is still a decent phone and is likely to be sought after by fans of Apple looking for the newest gadget with their beloved company’s logo.
Apple mostly continues to find support from the high end of the market, though some of their devices have found appeal among the mid-end customers as well.
There’s some consolation for all those who gathered the choicest of adjectives to be used after the launch event and were disappointed — the iPod touch is completely redesigned and comes with an important processor upgrade, with the A5 at its core.
The battery is strikingly improved, and the rear camera is upgraded to 5-megapixels, with 1080p video capability. The FaceTime camera in the front offers a 720p video experience, with facial recognition. The voice assistant Siri is also included in the new iPod touch.
The iPod nano has received only slight improvements, particularly with a longer screen. Apple also announced that its music store iTunes was being redesigned.
The Future Scene in the Smartphone Market
Apple has left some observers unhappy with the fact that the company left out features like near-field communication and wireless charging in a bid to make their flagship iPhone 5 thinner.
The new smartphone’s performance in the market will decide how Apple fares at a critical juncture with Samsung’s handset sales continuing to pick up and Nokia making a bold entry with another smartphone, the Lumia 920. Motorola is expected to make the scene even more interesting with a new Intel smartphone announcement later in September.