It’s hard not to be underwhelmed, really. Not particularly about the device – more about that in a moment – but because all the rumoUrs seem to have panned-out. One of the delights of an Apple event is to see the pundits thrown off course by something totally unforeseen. This time, the rumourmongers – well, the sensible ones – pretty much nailed it.
So what of the iPhone4S?
To be disappointed that it looks identical to the iPhone4 is to miss the point, and forgets history as Apple did exactly the same thing with the iPhone3 to iPhone3S. The notable difference is that time they didn’t wait 16 months to do it (11JUL2008 – 19JUN2009 according to Wikipedia). Of course a new design would be good eye-candy, although as Gruber pointed out the ‘teardrop’ design was unlikely, to say the least, as the iPhone is meant to be used in both portrait and landscape mode… and something that is thinner at the bottom than at the top would feel very odd indeed when held landscape.
I’m kidding no-one to suggest there was ever a chance I wouldn’t be getting the next iPhone whatever it looked like – I refer you to the aforementioned 16 months and the 12 months before that, since I bought my last iPhone (the 3GS when it was newly released). If there was a reason to seal the deal, however, it would be the camera. I’ve yet to see anything but the snaps taken at the media event and relayed in live blogs, but the announced spec seems impressive. The commentators I was following seemed awed by the examples shown at the event.
Siri – the voice command functionality – seems to have been developed by Gene Roddenberry. First impression is one of geeky admiration, followed quickly by scepticism. I hardly dare use the current ‘voice control’ function. When I say “Play Meat Loaf” expecting the iPod to burst forth, it actually replies “Calling Obscure Person Who Happens To Still Be In Your Address Book Because You Rang Them Once In 1998”. I’m confident that particular gremlin is history in Siri, so my third emotion is eager anticipation with just a hint of scepticism.
It was noticeable that of the 90 minutes the event lasted, barely 20 of them were devoted to anything new, with the audible sound of barrel scraping forming the back ground to the “Cards” app. The commentators were palpably bored right up to the moment Phil Schiller got to the iPhone4S announcement.
Right. The Apple site has been updated. Time to start digging for small print…
Apple.com/uk is fried by all the traffic…