Wow. I try my hardest to be critical of new tech products, from Apple and others, but the new iPhone 5 really is a wonderful device. As I’m sure you’ve already read, you really need to pick up the iPhone 5 and feel it in your hand. It feels wonderfully solid yet surprisingly light.
Any iPhone 4 or 4S user will be instantly familiar with the iPhone 5, yet the subtle changes like the aluminium back and the slimmer form factor will make it feel a little unfamiliar. But the biggest and most obvious change is the weight. The iPhone 5 is just so, so light. It’s as if it’s made all of these super-high-quality materials on the outside but the inside is actually empty.
I think the changes in the casing (specifically the aluminium) back contribute to weight reductions but also should make the iPhone 5 more resilient. I’m sure Apple is sick of replacing the smashed glass backs of the iPhone 4.
Everything about the iPhone 5 has been improved, including:
4G networking. In my speed tests I got data rates of 21Mbps down and over 10Mbps up. Maybe that’s why I went through 623MB of data in the first couple of hours I had with the phone.
Taller screen. Intriguingly, to me this seems like the least exciting feature. Sure, you can fit more on-screen but I think it also makes the iPhone just a bit harder to use with one-hand. My thumb just isn’t long enough to reach the top of the screen easily.
HD Voice. If you are using the phone on Telstra’s network and calling someone else on the same network using an iPhone 5 you’ll instantly notice the improvements to voice quality thanks to HD Voice. It’s one of those small things but makes a big difference, especially if you’re a heavy phone user.
EarPods. The new EarPods that come bundled with the iPhone 5 are also a big improvement. They sit more snuggly and their sound has a much wider and noticeable dynamic range. They also come in a plastic case for storage, but I decided to ditch it because I’m pretty sure I’d go crazy trying to wrap the EarPods back into their case every time I’m not using them.
The camera. If you use your iPhone for photography then you’ll love the improvements in iPhone 5. Apple traded the glass lens cover for a sapphire cover which is much more scratch resistant. The faster A6 chip also means the camera starts up faster, and can take pictures more quickly too.
Another nice feature I noticed is the ability to take a still image while shooting a video. That’s the best of both worlds to me. There’s also the new Panorama mode that lets you take magnificent wide-angle images.
As with any Apple product launch these days, analysts and media constantly cite their ‘disappointment’ over the lack of truly ‘innovative’ features. But Apple knows more than others that you don’t need a revolutionary product every year. Technology takes time to evolve and polish and that is exactly what Apple has spent the past five years doing to the iPhone.
In the first 24 hours of pre-orders Apple sold two million iPhones. At an average price of $700 per phone that works out to a staggering $1.4 billion of revenue. That sales pace has continued as Apple aggressively rolls the iPhone 5 out to over 100 markets – in fact, the number went up to five million sold in the first three days of sales.
There’s no question the iPhone 5 will be the most successful iPhone ever (in terms of sales), likely only to be surpassed by whatever model comes next, say the iPhone 5S?