The iPhone 5 Deconstructed


For such a tiny product the iPhone 5 has certainly polarised opinions this week. Even in the context of the smartphone market war it seems excessive. But actually it's very easy to see why this has happened.
 
iPhone change has to be evolutionary, if Apple were to stir the mix too much it would introduce significant risk into its business model. Why? Asking customers to accept radical change will prompt those customers to consider an even more radical change to a different ecosystem and once they start thinking outside the Apple box there are a lot of excellent phones out there.
 
For current or former iPhone users this is the perfect upgrade, not too challenging but enough to create perceived value. Important when you're committing to spend somewhere north of £500.
 
That group of buyers are currently rushing to pre-order the new iPhone and be deliriously happy with their new phone when it arrives. I would suggest that the group will be almost exclusively made up of previous iPhone owners.
 
For people currently using other smartphones, particularly Android, this will look like a bit of a lame duck upgrade. All the reasons why they didn't buy an iPhone previously, added to a slightly bigger screen. Unlike the 4S which offered Siri or the 4 with its new industrial design, the iPhone 5 adds nothing to entice new users. All of its new capabilities have been present in Android phones for a while now. And if you're not locked into the Apple ecosystem now there's little compelling about the iPhone 5 to persuade you to do so...
 
So a phone that's both a brilliant upgrade and awfully disappointing at the same time? That'll be the new iPhone 5.

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