Ronnie05's Blog

The Apple 5S is possibly short of what it takes to keep Apple out in front.

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on September 11, 2013

The iPhone 5S and 5C have been announced – and unlike the earlier Apple keynotes have not been able to set the fanboys, device geeks and blogosphere ablaze as is customary. Between the iPhone 5C and 5S, Apple finds itself caught in the middle of nowehere. At $599, iPhone5C is not exactly mid range and it remains to be a Veblen. It remains to be seen if the iPhone 5C with 2 year contract is able to turn the volumes for Apple – the way it would want to.

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However, to me the greater dissappointment is the iPhone5S. Innovation can be looked under a 2-axis paradigm. The Vertical axis is an addition of a feature (e.g Siri, Retina Scroll etc); the Horizontal axis is the enhancement of a feature (e.g 8MP with dual flash over 5MP). The 5S scores minimally in the vertical axis and most of the additions are mostly on the horizontal axis.

1. The look and feel of the device doesnot get better. (0 on both axis)
2. The Fingerprint Sensor has innovation and novelty value. However, the Motorola Attrix 4G stakes a claim to the same feature which it launched 2 years back. The iPhone5S does have a 360 degree readibility. (However, this is +1 on the Horizontal axis)
3. Dual LED Flash- There are niceties here – but most of these are innovations or new features on the horizontal scales.(+1 on Horizontal axis)
4. The 7.6 mm thickness is a wow… but when you compare it to Galaxy S4, its just a drab tie – nothing that pushes Apple past the present standards (0 in both axis)
5. 64Bit mobile architecture and a new A7 chip – While the jury is still out on this.. but agreeably there will be some additions to speeds, performance, feel, battery life, processing power etc. (+1 on Vertical axis). For the 64bit architecture to show true colours, Apple will need to have an eco-system of Apps.
6. The iSight Camera takes the camera experience larger image sensor, aperture and increased sensitivity. In terms of usability, it scores well. (+1 on Horizontal axis)
7. iOS7 takes the incremental route to innovation – (+1 on Horizontal axis)

There you have it…. Apple’s iPhone 5S has 2 0s, 3 on Horizontal axis and 2 on Vertical axis. Thats not very Apple-esque.

The greatest grouse with Apple is taking the screen size ahead… With a 4″ screen, Apple is atleast 50% behind the 5.7-6″ form factors. The larger size screens have led the growth of the Android high end devices by leaps and bounds over the last 2 years. In 2012, when Apple announced the 4″ form factir it had seen large migrationsfrom the earlier 3.5″ Apple devices which really helped garnering record volumes. The success of the larger form factors is evident from the fact that Smartphones with screen sizes of 5- to just under 7-inch, colloquially known as phablets, overtook shipments of each of the portable PC and tablet device categories in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) in the second quarter of 2013, according to IDC.

I dont intend to count out Apple for a few of these misses- Tim Cook and the folks at Apple do think that larger is not essentially better – a sound philosophy – but the lack of tangible innovation and features may be garish to the technology crown leader. Does iPhone 5S have it all that it takes to keep Apple out in front? Possibly not

Apple iPhone 5C and 5S

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