Skip to main content

The iPhone Catch-up Keynote

So Apple launched its bid for this buying season's customer dollar in California today and it looks like all of the leaks managed to be pretty much spot on.

There were two new iPhones - in regular and extra-large sizes. There wasn't really a great step forward for either. The smaller of the two is clearly going to appeal to upgrading iPhone users, it isn't that much less pocketable than the current iPhone 5 generation devices, but packs a significant screen upgrade.

I have to question that screen upgrade though, because Apple short-changed it's customers by failing to drop a 1080p screen in here. We know that 4.7" screens are available at 1080p resolutions - the  HTC One was rocking one eighteen months ago. Apple gave the 6 Plus a 1080p screen so it would make sense, from a developer point of view at least, to give the iPhone 6 generation a single screen resolution to work with. Screen elements built for a 5.5" screen are going to be any less usable at 4.7".

The larger iPhone 6 Plus gets some nice upgrades compared to the smaller twin, that 1080p screen for starters, as well as a bigger battery and a landscape mode a la iPad Mini. It's a big device though, as wide as the Note 4 and taller too, despite the latter's bigger screen. It positively dwarfs the LG G3. And of course both of those devices pack a QuadHD screen which is significantly sharper than 1080p at 5.5".

The camera 'upgrade' looks disappointing too. The 6 gets larger pixels and the 6 Plus adds OIS, but both still have to make do with 8Mpixels. Given that just about everyone else has demonstrated what can be done with more dense sensors that feels like a fail to me. At least a new new autofocus system will allow users to make best use of what's there. There's an even faster slow-motion mode for video capture, whilst time-lapse becomes an option for the first time.

Also disappointing is what has been left off the iPhone 6. No wireless charging, no waterproofing and  no real improvement in battery life (on the smaller phone anyway). Apple spent far too long playing catch-up to features that rivals have had for years. Much of the iPhone 6 looks like it was telegraphed in from 2012 and even the design is less impressive than before.

It does feel to me like Apple played very safe with this upgrade, probably aware that the large jump in device size had potential to alienate loyal users. Those users are going to be snapping up the 6 in droves, though.

It's clear that the smaller phone is going to be the better seller here, but I think the Plus will also build it's own cult following - especially as the more advanced note-taking apps and fine line styli make their way down from the iPad.

Still, there's no question that Apple is going to post record sales from now through to the end go the year. 27% of iPhone users are carrying an iPhone 5 and are probably itching for an upgrade.

I just don't think there's anything here to tempt premium Android users to make the switch.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…