Steve Jobs has ceded his CEO status to Timothy D. Cook. Apple aficionados (I do not count myself among them) were more than eagerly awaiting what they thought would be another watershed event – the unveiling of the iPhone 5. On Wednesday October 4th Mr. Cook introduced….the iPhone 4S. Huh?
Virtually indistinguishable from the iPhone 4 but billed as a ‘new’ version, the iPhone 4S comes with a so called virtual assistant ‘Siri’, that recognizes voice commands. I looked at Siri and thought – Iris spelled backwards. What does that mean? Having voice commands does not seem all that new or revolutionary to me.
Apple says it is packed with better technology, including a more advanced camera. It also includes a more powerful chip known as the A5, the same microprocessor that acts as the brains inside the iPad.
The company also said the new phone would run on two kinds of cell phone networks, GSM and CDMA, allowing it to operate worldwide – which is only something new for Apple since many other smartphones have been able to operate on both networks for years.
Thankfully Mr. Cook did not try to copy the black mock turtleneck and jeans look displayed by Mr. Jobs. The ‘new’ phone will be available on A T & T, Verizon and Sprint. Maybe the bigger news is that the now ‘older’ iPhone 4 will drop in price to $ 99 from $ 199 if customers commit to a two-year contract.
Apple has come out with a new version of the iPhone each year since its initial release in 2007. So Mr. Cook HAD to come out with something to stave off what would be inevitable questions of how different things would be ‘post’ Mr. Jobs. Unfortunately there were many more questions raised by the release than were answered. The iPhone remains the most important product for Apple as it is responsible for nearly half the company’s total sales.
There’s no question Steve Jobs will be sorely missed at the world’s largest company (measured by market capitalization). However, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for Tim Cook’s desultory debut as the lead dog. Mr. Jobs is very sick and his sudden departure no doubt caused a huge ripple effect as well as a change in plans for future releases of Apple products. I cannot imagine Steve Jobs having a press conference to announce such a boring and ho-hum upgrade.
Agree or disagree?