New iDevices and a new version of iOS hit the streets beginning 2013-09-18. What does this mean for Apple? I have a couple of thoughts…
I’ve been in the biz for a while. I started using computers when Compaq was still COMPAQ, giving IBM a very serious run for its money back in 1980-blah, blah, blah. The first real portable computer, in my mind was the Apple IIC, though, honestly, while it was smaller than Compaq’s 20lbs+ portable, it still required a heck of a lot to take with you. Its monitor was small and movable, but it was still a CRT that required special care…nothing like the notebooks and ultra-books of today.
Beginning 2013-09-18, Apple has new versions of its mobile device OS – iOS 7 – hitting the streets. The new mobile OS will begin hitting compatible devices soon. I’ve already had 1-2 people ping me, asking me where it is, and why it hasn’t hit their iPhone yet.
Patience my minions…patience. You’ll get it soon enough.
The iPhone 5C is also available for pre-order as of this writing and will ship beginning on 2013-09-20, with the iPhone 5S available for pre-order beginning 2013-09-20. The devices are in the hands of many reviewers now, and many of them like what they see… as far as the hardware is concerned. The devices are solid, well built, with both the polycarbonate backing and its varying colors being well received. Many reviewers are saying the 5C is a much better feeling device than other, newer, high end Android devices. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to put my hands on one yet.
Reviews of the iPhone 5S are equally positive. The most pleasing and, I think, surprising feature is its Touch-ID Home Button. Fingerprint readers have been around for a while. The Compaq iPAQ 51/5400 series devices had one back in the 2004 time frame that was OK, but required a swipe instead of a press, and half the time, the reader didn’t read the biometric data correctly. I’m not sure if it was a hardware issue, a software issue or both. In general, the technology stunk; and I think many were expecting that the same level of performance from Apple’s latest feature and flagship phone. To most everyone’s delight and surprise, that doesn’t appear to be the case. I think the New York Times put it the best:
“The best part is that [the fingerprint reader] actually works — every single time… It’s nothing like the balky, infuriating fingerprint-reader efforts of earlier cellphones. It’s genuinely awesome; the haters can go jump off a pier.”
The biggest concern, I think, will come from iOS 7, and it will mostly come from iPhone 5, 4S, and iPhone 4 users who are used to iOS 6 and will upgrade. I’ve said this before. The glitz, polish and 3D look of iOS 6 and earlier is gone. The flat, stark white look of iOS 7 is prevalent throughout the new OS and provides a very different look and feel. Many users will upgrade and, in my opinion, immediately regret it.
To those users, I have one thing to say – Wait.
You’ll notice that iOS 7 is faster than previous versions of iOS 6 and iOS 5. Yes, they’ve changed things, added some new system functionality here and there, moved some options around, but give yourself a month or two before you throw your iPhone across the room. While you’re sure to get used it, you may find that you like it.
However, you may not.
A lot of the exclusivity of Apple’s iDevices used to come from the finish of iOS 6’s 3D enabled UI. With it gone, replaced by the flat look and feel of iOS 7, I think many people are going to be unhappy. It’s a radical change over the past 5 years; and I’m not sure it’s the type or kind of change that people were hoping for.
My daughter just got an upgrade notification on her iPhone 5 for iOS 7, and as you can see from the attached screenshot, not only is it going to be a large upgrade, it’s going to take quite a long time to download, and I have a very fast cable connection.
So does this dim Apple’s future? That’s a great question. I think the answer is mixed. Wall Street hasn’t been too pleased with Apple since the announcement of both the iPhone 5S and 5C. Apple’s stock price dipped quite a bit after the announcement. The Tech World’s reaction was also tepid, but has improved over the past week or so.
I’ll have more user feedback as I receive it, as well as the write-up I promised on some of the newer, final features of iOS 7 in the next few days. Please watch Soft32 for these articles.
In the meantime, why don’t you join us in the discussion, below, and let us know what you think of the iPhone 5C and 5S.