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?
Mark, I count myself among the most loyal and dedicated Apple enthusiasts. Sadly, I have to agree with you on the "ho-hum-ness" of yesterday’s announcement. Sure, it’s an upgrade in every sense of the word: better chip, better graphics, 7x speed, a few new features. But in terms of what we’ve come to EXPECT from Apple, this did feel a little, um, like a dud.
Your most salient point might be about Mr. Cook. He really could have cemented himself into the Apple pantheon had he been giving something juicy to present. I’m sure he would have liked to make a bigger splash. But with a million shares of Apple in his name maturing in just three years, he’s likely to not rock the boat.
I guess we’ll have to hold on until iPad 3/iPhone 5 next year.
Until then, see you at the mothership!
Thanks Nader – On the expectation level is what I find most surprising. My BB Storm is nearing the end of its life and I have little faith in the entire BB platform so I am thinking about a new phone. Android vs. iPhone. I have resisted the Apple platform for a long time. That time may be coming to an end.