I picked up an iPhone 5 to put it through its paces and found a few more RDF (reality distortion field)-powered myths to bust along the way. Now, this is a financial blog, not a tech blog, but I do analyze a lot of tech and there's a lot of non-sense out there in the tech blogs that culminate into inaccurate and simply wrong conclusions - nearly all of which end up worshipping Apple products when they are severaly outclassed by Android, et. l.
The press is all aglow with the iPhone's prowess - apparently forgetting that this is just catching up to last year's Android phones save processor speed. This is what the iPhone has going for it:
- Speed - it's very fast. About as fast as a 1.6 ghx quad core Samsung chipped phone, give or take.
- Speaker sound - the best I've seen (heard) on a phone.
- Battery power - it seems quite frugal, but the screen is still so friggin' small the batter doesn't have many pixels to push!
The rest? I don't think it matches even last year's Samsung Galaxy S2, definitely not this year's and will likely pale to the 1080p phones to be announced next month and the Galaxy Note 2. Now to be fair, I've only spend a couple of hours with this device, but I will issue a more complete finding in the near future.
For those that are gushing over the camera, well below you will find a side by side comparison with the now soon to be obscelesced (next month) Samsung Galaxy Note. That's right, last years tech against the flagship released yesterday. This pick was taken at the outdoor seating of S.E.A. in the Meat Packing District in NYC at about 11 pm. Those who know the area know the lighting situation. Look at the pick (reduced overall size since the whole thing was over 5 megs and I don't want you guys crashing my server), and enlarge if you wish to search for artifacts, accuracy and noise. Click here to see the original photos in full size, which allows you to see the difference more starkly.
Remember, this is a comparison of the new iphone against the old Note. The new Note/S3 have a much faster processor which allows the camera software to be configured to do much more. Yet even with this antiquated hardware, the iPhone 5 pales signficantly. The difference is exacerbated when viewed on screen for the Note makes the iPhone screen look like a toy.
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In addition, the demand for the iPhone 5 was obviously significant. The issue is we will never know how significant because the perception of demand has been artificially stoked. Last week's initial thought's on the iPhone 5 announcements contained:
There’s no doubt that demand is extreme for the iPhone 5, but Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) is a supply chain guru by both training and experience. I find it absolutely untenable that Cook cannot forecast demand for his main product and primary cash cow better than that. This is the 5th or 6th iteration of the most important device that Apple sells, and a supply chain whiz can’t avoid sellout on the first day???!!! Come now.
A supposed insider going by "Dry Throat" allegedly corroborated my thoughts, as reported by the UK Register, theregister.co.uk/.../... (h/t BoomBustBlogger Simon Yohan):
In a revelation that seems set to shake the technology world to its very foundations, a clandestine Register source has informed us that secretive shiny-stuff behemoth Apple could easily supply more than enough iPhone 5s to meet initial demand: but that it deliberately chose not to. Our source, known to us only by the codename "Dry Throat", claims to have enjoyed a high level of access to the decision-making process within the mighty gizmo-peddling operation in the run-up to last week's earth-shattering handset announcement. "Cook and all the top boys were worried," Dry Throat told his Reg handlers, referring to Apple supremo Tim Cook. "I mean, think about it. There's no Steve: that's not good. How the hell are you supposed to get mass cult hysteria going without the Grand High Warlock? "Then, look at the damn thing. It's basically a dead ringer for an old Samsung Galaxy, but with a smaller screen. And we really shot ourselves in the foot with 4G. It's a massive power gobbler - and that's going to kind of flag up the fact that we're the only guys who don't let you swap batteries ... basically because we're really insanely greedy.
"So we're left with Mr Dull from Accounts giving a pitch which says 'Hey guys, why don't you buy a Samsung Galaxy, except double price and with really bad battery life and no option to change batteries. Oh, and it costs more. And if you want it with an SD card, you have to buy one built in from us at like five times retail price, and we've chosen not to use an industry standard connector ... basically out of uncontrollable greed, again'
... "Don't let anyone have many," he said. "That way you're not saying, 'hey, buy our mediocre and really expensive offering'. You're saying, 'see this? Over here? Where everyone else is looking? You can't have this'.
"That way if you do get hold of one, you feel really pleased regardless of the fact it's not much good. And if you can't get one, you really want one. It's so simple - but so effective."
"Come off it, like they couldn't have millions of the damn things ready in advance and just deliver them to the shops - of course they could, people do it all the time with normal products. But if you could just buy one straight off, it wouldn't be special any more, would it? It's not special in itself, it hasn't got anything the others haven't got. If a lot of people actually had one early on, even fanboys might just realise that. "As for 'shipping dates have moved back two weeks', don't make me laugh. They were probably sitting there in Cupertino saying 'Huh, nobody's buying it - move back shipping dates by a week, that'll get things moving'. In reality there are probably warehouses stuffed full of the damn things all over the world. Sure, your iPhone 'just left China' ... come on. It's been sitting in a warehouse round the corner for a fortnight while you were shivering in the queue outside the Apple Store like a chump. There are Apple guys rubbing handfuls of iPhone 5s against their naked bodies, using them as paperweights, playing iPhone 5 Jenga - while you're standing outside the shop with your nose pressed against the window, you simp. "I mean, what's next? 'Track the parts of your iPhone, watch as they come together in Shenzhen? Look, it's nearly assembled now - but, o noes! The unpaid slave intern has dropped it and cracked the case - track the replacement case as it moves to the factory by water buffalo ... track the worker as he reports to the motivational centre for corrective electroshock training' "Some people will believe anything."
Well, my visit to the Apple store pretty much said the same. I went by the Grand Central store in NYC about 5 pm, there was no line at all! This lady and I sat there alone talking to the gatekeeper with the tickets. I went to the 24 hour flagship store on 5th and Central Park South, and there was about a 20-30 minute line.
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There was also a catch that plays well to the type of demographic that buys these overpriced products. You see, in the pic above, the Apple employees had you take an iPhone 5 inventory ticket and wait on line outside. Being who I am, I simply took a ticket and went in the store to buy the product, skipping the line outside. After getting in, I found that there was absolutely no line at the register to buy the iPhone and there were about 20 cashiers working. In addition, the store (5th ave, NYC) was not nearly as busy as usual, although there were a lot of people playing with the new iPhones. You see, the perception of a long wait was created, but all they had to do was to let the people walk in, they would have gotten their phones like me (it took me about 80 seconds) and walk back out.
Reggie has busted that Apple long line wait conspiracy, eh?
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