I think the dissection of everything Apple prior to their product announcements has finally bitten them a little. Leading up to today’s announcement, people (present company included) got wrapped up in case designs, mock-ups and, most egregiously, extrapolations of the iPhone 4′s current feature set – and we projected these fantasies onto a phantom device that became known as the iPhone 5.
In addition to all this iPhone cosplay, a second device emerged: the “iPhone 4S”. It was hypothesized that the 4S would attack the low-end market, would share some traits of current iPhone 4, but would also be “enhanced” – something I dismissed as ridiculous. The 4S was viewed as sort of like the 3GS – a phone that in retrospect got a bad rap – mostly because it looked the same. Even though it was markedly faster and had a better camera than the 3G, because it didn’t look different, it didn’t represent a significant improvement over the iPhone 3G.
Now that the announcement is over, we know that the 4S is it. There is no iPhone 5. But why am I getting such a whiff of disappointment? Let’s think about what the iPhone 4S turned out to be from a hardware perspective:
- A5 processor
- 8MP camera
- Intelligent switching antennae
- Siri intelligent personal assistant
Now what isn’t it?
- A wider, (maybe) higher-ppi screen
- A new case design
So what was the iPhone 5, really? It was an over-piling of the least plausible, least corroborated rumors about the 4S piled onto some mythical device. So why all the hate (AAPL is down 3.75% as of 3:00 EST)? Because we bought into 2 things: a device called the 4S that would be a “bargain device” – a fucking ridiculous premise to begin with – and the fact that Apple “had” to do something radical over and above it – whatever that something radical was. What we got was a cheaper iPhone 4 to chip at the low-end market (which I, and a lot of other people, called) and almost all of the predicted device improvements included in the new 4S (and at least one no one called – the smart antennae).
I expect the hate to flow into the comment sections of Gizmodo and Engadget articles on the 4S like the Dark Side through Anakin. I may have spent some time in the fantasyland of the iPhone 5 as well, but I have no one but my irrational self to blame for it.