The iPhone 5S and 5C: Everything Is Amazing and Nobody Is Happy

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do tricks such as dynamic tone mapping that you don’t see even on high-end DSLRs. My iPhone 5 is already my default camera, and to me the iSight improvements are the single biggest reason I might want to upgrade to a 5S.

—With its new A7 chip, the iPhone 5S is the first handheld device with a 64-bit processor. That’s partly about enabling faster graphics processing, which makes room for things like the new slo-mo feature. But it also future-proofs the device and means that developers can more easily write applications that will work on both iOS devices and Macs (which are already 64-bit).

Incremental improvements? Yes, but meaningful ones that should help to influence the only two groups that matter: 1) New smartphone buyers who are trying to decide between Android, Windows, and iOS, who’ll see that Apple is still on the bleeding edge in most hardware and software areas, and 2) iPhone 4 and 4S owners whose wireless contracts prevented them from upgrading to the iPhone 5, and who needed a good reason to stick with Apple.

And when, exactly, did we start expecting anything more than that? Why all the garment-rending when Apple fails to deliver something “drool-worthy”?

Apple, like NASA, is the victim of its own successes. Most companies would feel lucky to have introduced just one category-defining innovation before they fade from history. Apple has come up with five—the Apple II, the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Just because the last two came more or less back-to-back in 2007 and 2010 doesn’t mean Apple will ever be able to pull off something like that again. As I argued back in June, it’s bad math to expect even one more world-changing advance from the company, especially now that it’s operating without its powerful, mercurial, maverick founder.

Apple is still the world’s best product-design company, and its lineage of premium phones, tablets, and computers will continue for many years. Let’s be glad that they’re so competent, meticulous, and user-centric, and that they’re headquartered here in America. Let’s stop acting as if they owe us something. And let’s remember that the gadgets in our pockets are already way better than anything from Dick Tracy, James Bond, or Star Trek. I call that amazing, and it should make everybody happy.

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7 responses to “The iPhone 5S and 5C: Everything Is Amazing and Nobody Is Happy”

  1. WaG84 says:

    Amen, Rught On, + priceless commentary!

  2. cag4 says:

    Witheringly appropriate!

  3. LifeSciRcruitr says:

    Totally agree with “Apple is still the world’s best product-design company,” but therein lies the problem. They continue to be obsessed with form over function. The many new “features” may be relevant to a 14 yr. old girl, but for me, who views my smartphone as a no-nonsense business tool, I’d be much more impressed with improvements to the OS that allow for customization that has been available on other devices for years, but which the paternalistic Apple development team believes we don’t need. I’d much rather be able to remove the VIP mailbox or Newsstand than have “a nice bounce” when I open an ap.

    • JonJ says:

      Fine; buy another phone. Nobody’s stopping you. That’s the good thing about competing companies. Some people like a Ford; some people like a Toyota.

    • cvrichard says:

      > They continue to be obsessed with form over function.

      I would say Apple is more obsessed with function over features. We’ve known for decades that Apple products always has less features and are less customizable. That’s what makes Apple Apple. Can you imagine A B&O product with many buttons? It’s called a Panasonic.

      • LifeSciRcruitr says:

        You don’t need more buttons to be able to delete newsstand or VIP mailbox or to enable flash or…

  4. Gibram Andres Diaz says:

    Apple is becoming boring, actually it already is. They need to make a different style and phone size:bigger screen