Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Reservations about the New iPhone 5

It seems like every time I turn around, a new Mac product is coming out. I can never keep up; it seems like whenever I get an Apple product they come out with a new and improved version a few months later. Most recently, I upgraded to the iPhone 4S; inevitably, Apple has come out with the iPhone 5 to follow. I am debating whether to upgrade to the new iPhone so I have been doing some research on the main differences between the two.

As far as aesthetics go, the new phone is slightly larger, including a larger screen, but thinner than the 4s. Additionally, the plastic backing of the 4/4s has been replaced with a more durable metal back. The edges of the iPhone 5 are more rounded compared to the old phone, but at first glance, the surface difference of the two phones are subtle. The larger screen offers wide views that the 4/4s does not, but as far as the quality of the picture, not much has changed. There are mixed reviews, but many consumers state that there is virtually no difference in picture quality to the naked eye.

The main benefit of the new iPhone seems to be the speed of internet connectivity. According to Apple, the iPhone 5 is twice as fast as the 4s. Getting on the internet, checking email, and downloading apps almost instantly is my main draw to this new and improved iPhone. Another benefit is the camera; the camera on the iPhone 5 seems to be better than that of the iPhone 4 or 4s. The quality of the picture has improved and the camera now has the capability to shoot in panorama.

A huge drawback is the iPhone 5’s updated connectivity port. The port is now much smaller than it was previously. This would not be such a big deal, if every Apple product before had not used the larger port. The Apple products that many consumers have bought prior are no longer compatible with their phones. Car chargers, radio adaptors, iHomes, and USB ports are just some of the things that will need to be updated upon buying the new phone.

Of course, Apple has announced it will offer iPhone 5 adapters at $29 a pop. It will be interesting to see how well they solve the compatibility problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if many users find their adapter-equipped iPhone 5 unable to fit inside their older iPhone boombox or car cradles.

For example, imagine this…

iPhone 5
iPhone 5

…connected to this…

iPhone 5 adapter change
Lightning to 30-pin Adapter (not to scale)

…fitting into this…

iPhone boombox
iHome iP4 boombox

And even where the iPhone/adapter combination would “fit” with existing accessories, it is far from a good solution. For instance, imagine your brand new iPhone 5, precariously sitting even higher atop the connectivity cradle on a treadmill, as you run at the gym.

I have literally spent years collecting iPhone accessories that were compatible with my previous iPhones. In fact, we share a lot of these accessories at our Spotted Frog main office where I work; chargers in particular. It seems like it would be such a waste of money to upgrade to the iPhone 5, only to find myself having to “upgrade” all of my accessories as well. Plus I couldn't borrow my coworkers' chargers when I forget mine at home, unless they also upgraded to the newest iPhone.

Many people wonder why Apple would not just keep the old port. Besides the obvious business matter that a new port will forced people to buy more Apple products to accommodate it, apparently Apple and other providers are trying to move into a wireless world where accessories can be accessed without having to use the port. The Lightning port is still needed for charging, though.

Regardless of their reasoning, it is still a costly choice to switch to the iPhone 5 and, although there are some definite, albeit subtle, improvements; I am not sure the pros outweigh the cons. I might just have to wait for the iPhone 6.

No comments:

Post a Comment