I've just spent the better half of this morning covering the Apple event, where the company announced its new iPhone, which comes in two sizes: 4.7- and 5.5-inch. After I had written it all up, I sat back and thought about it: I'm just not impressed.
I remember when the iPhone was first announced: I couldn't get it in Australia and had to import it for close to $1000. Barely anything worked on it, with MMS messages not working, the Internet barely having functionality, but at the time, it was ahead of its time. It was a truly revolutionary product, seemingly years before its time. Apple had to create an ecosystem around its new iPhone, and it literally changed the world. Everything we do on our smartphones now can be taken back to that moment, as it's the moment Nokia was shot and injured, and the moment that Google gave birth (through acquisition) of Android.
The last iPhone I personally owned was the iPhone 3G, after which I moved to the HTC Desire. Android was still in its infancy then, but I persisted, at the time, iOS wasn't much better. This was before Siri, before the Maps debacle, before the big fight between Apple and Google. After the Desire, I moved to a Samsung Galaxy S II and never looked back at Apple.
My friends and family purchased iPhones, and even when the iPhone 4 launched, it did nothing for me. iPhone 4S came along and was such a slight iteration, I didn't see the point. Apple began losing millions of consumers to Samsung, and then built the iPhone 5 from the ground up. Even then, with a 4-inch display and no notable features over my Galaxy S3 at the time, I still didn't see myself persuaded to upgrade. Apple then launched the iPhone 5S, another phone that I simply didn't see the point in.
By this time, I had started using many other devices, such as the Nexus 4 which had wireless charging. Once I had used wireless charging, it was incredibly hard to go back. Then came Full HD displays, waterproof smartphones, and much more. After using the Galaxy S5 - which I didn't like at all, and then the Sony Xperia Z2 - which I think is one of the best Android-powered smartphones on the market, I started to pretend to get excited about the new iPhone.
I expected Apple to wow the world, wow the world in the way that Apple once again took the reigns as the leader of the smartphone industry. Revolutionizing the way we use our smartphone, offering technology that is a generation or three ahead of the competition. I expected some next-gen screen technology (something that no one expected, not even the analysts or other experts), wireless charging, expandable storage, and more technologies that would've dragged consumers from other devices, back to iPhone.
Apple has bled tens of millions of consumers to Samsung through its Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, Note 2 and Note 3. Tens of millions. Android is far bigger and badder than iOS can ever be thanks to Google's undisputed services. Google Drive is multitudes cheaper than iCloud, and includes so much more than 'just cloud storage'. Google Maps and Navigation are so much more superior than anything Apple has offered lately. Google Now is absolutely incredible, and very, very useful - but the same cannot be said for Siri other than playing around with it when you first buy your iPhone. Apple has bled these customers, all while keeping this cult-like fashion label on its iPhone.
The iPhone 6 was just announced, alongside the iPhone 6 Plus, but both smartphones offer nothing new. Sure, we have an improved camera, a faster processor, a higher-resolution display - but nothing, new. Everything is just improved on the iPhone 5S, but we have nothing that truly stands out from teh crowd. The iPhone 6 and its 4.7-inch display isn't even Full HD, with a resolution of 1334x750. Sure, that's better than iPhone 5S, but we're getting to the end of 2014, and Apple's iPhone 6 doesn't even feature a Full HD display.
Right now, I'm using the Sony Xperia Z2 and I love it. Fully waterproof, Full HD display, expandable storage, Android OS, wireless inductive charging, 3000mAh battery (lasts all day, then some), and much more. For me to be pulled away from Android, and all of Google's services, I needed something truly revolutionary. The same can be said for the tens of millions of users on Samsung devices: why would they move away, or back to, an iPhone? There's no reason. The new iPhone is for current iPhone users, so that they don't jump ship to other smartphone manufacturers who are offering bigger screens.
This is all it comes down to: the bigger screen.
Before Steve Jobs' passing, Apple, and Jobs himself, said that bigger screens were useless, or a fad. Now we have Apple announcing two new iPhones, both with bigger displays. So it's obviously not a fad, and something that Apple is pursuing - because they know where the market is going.
The new iPhone isn't a great smartphone at all, if you aren't looking through Apple's rose-tinted glasses. But if you're an iPhone user, Apple has just unveiled something that might actually keep you from leaving their embrace for the dark side, or just putting up with your piddly 4-inch display. Not that it's a bad thing, but I'm coming from a purely technology enthusiasts point of view.
The new iPhone doesn't have wireless charging. The 128GB model will most likely hover close to $1000 outright. iOS 8 is still limited by its services, for as many options and bits and pieces it offers, Google's services are far superior (and cheaper) in almost every way. The iPhone 6 doesn't even have a Full HD display. No expandable storage, even in late 2014/2015.
Then we have every other media publication out there with nothing but glowing reports on the new iPhone, with every single site I've looked at so far having nothing but positive spin on the new handset. I'm not going to name names, because frankly, everyone is doing it. I don't know what it is about Apple, but tech sites can't seem to judge Apple harshly. Samsung offered more new things with the Galaxy S5 over the S4, and even then, it wasn't a huge leap - but Samsung didn't receive anywhere near the praise that Apple did today.
Apple announcing a new iPhone is almost like the second coming of Christ himself, no matter what he says or does, people would listen.
All in all, Apple disappointed me today, and it's not like I didn't expect it - but I wanted to see more.