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Wednesday, 11 September 2013 07:16

Apple releases new iPhones to collective yawn Featured


The release of a new version of Apple’s iPhone was once a big deal. But that was when Apple was setting the agenda. Now it is playing catchup – and failing.

Apple’s two new iPhones, announced this morning Australian time, have been greeted with an underwhelming response, and rightly so.

As widely predicted, there are two new iPhones, the 5C and the 5S. The 5C was to have been a lower cost version of the existing iPhone 5, but it is nothing more than the existing phone with a shiny plastic (sorry – polycarbonate) case and a new version of the operating system. And it is still expensive.

The new 5S, the premium model, is an even bigger disappointment – same screen size, same Lightning connector, same memory, same ridiculously high price. It gets a faster processor (of course) new colour (gold, known as “champagne”), the new 64 bit iOS (which will make no immediate difference), and a slightly better camera (not more pixels, but bigger pixels) with a smart flash that makes skin tones better.

And more games – just what we need.

That’s it. No bigger screen, no amazing new features, no Android killer. What was Apple thinking? Does it really believe these minor improvements are sufficient? It’s hard to imagine it doing less than it has. Yawn.

With these disappointing devices Apple will continue to lose market share, and deservedly so. It knows it is facing a great challenge from Android, and especially Samsung. But it has done nothing. Has its arrogance turned to hubris? Has it learnt nothing?

These new phones are very disappointing. Apple defined the iPhone market, then set the agenda with successive new and impressive models. Now it is boring. Sorry Steve.

How quickly things change.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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