As my previous article on Dice mentioned, the second the iPhone 5 was announced, there would be a treasure trove of negative comments (the article is pro-Apple & iPhone, but read the comments), no matter what the feature set.
When you get something mostly right, the next time you revisit it — as Apple has done many times — you don’t have much left to improve. The hardware is great, but the ergonomics still suck. the OS is very good, but can be improved in terms of speed and overall consistency within Apple’s Ecosystem. Looking at the comparisons, the only thing other phones have are slightly larger screens (or denser screens in the yet-to-be-released Nokia Lumia 920 WinPhone8) and one even has a barometer.
All the latest hardware: 4G, BT4, 802.11n, etc. are in all the best phones. Apple also has multiple antennas and mics to improve reception and audio quality most others do not have. NFC is still not ready for prime time in a phone since very few retailers support it. Most people are not even aware of 802.11ac, either. So, what else can you put in the phone without making it a lot larger? Personally, I would have probably used the space savings to install a larger battery instead of shrinking the phone a millimeter, and/or, put in dual front and back cameras (3D photography and gesture recognition anyone?). The larger battery is for any iPhone user who uses the phone more than 4 hours a day. Of all the phones I have seen used the iPhone spends the greatest ratio of time in the hand as opposed to in the pocket.
As far as the OS goes? iOS is the best UI in wide release because of its consistency. Sure it could be more configurable (such as allowing people to add custom touch gestures to bind to application or iOS actions like keyboard shortcuts in OS X) and more open, but the expense of the openness is a greater likelihood of getting a trojan (ask Google Play about that).
Android users tout the openness of Android, but when I ask any of them, “Have you hacked your phone?” maybe 1 in 4 has. But the other 3 always follow with, “But I like having the option.” Fair enough. But having a Go-Bot and leaving it in the form of a car means you have a lot of unused overhead costing you something. In Android, this translates into a lot of inconsistent UI and flakiness. But that’s my view, yours may vary greatly.
And that is what is great about having a choice. If Apple definitely was the best phone maker for everyone, then all the others would wither and die if they couldn’t copy Apple. But obviously one size never fits all. Personally, I’m tired of doing tech support half the time I turn on any electronics. And, I know enough to give me that extra 10%–15% of functionality those in non-walled gardens have. I feel sorry for people that pay $50 or $10 a month to have turn-by-turn navigation, when something like Waze is free on both major mOS platforms. But you may like tinkering with your electronics still, an Android is very still appealing in this category.
Frankly, I am about a week away from turning off my mobile phone voice and data service and go all digital to avoid the monthly gouging and make due with other means of mobile communications for about half the price. But that is only because I have crunched the numbers, and found that will work for me. But more on that next month…