OPINION: Are you really disappointed by the iPhone 4S? Really?

OPINION: Are you really disappointed by the iPhone 4S? Really?

It's beyond me how could anyone possibly feel let down by the new hardware and features of the iPhone 4S

Many voices in the media and analyst community have expressed disappointment that Apple launched only an iPhone 4S.

All Things D's John Paczkowski provides a good summary of a number of analysts including JP Morgan's Mark Moskowitz, for example, who have expressed disappointment in the iPhone 4S. Similarly, Computerworld's Jonny Evans singles out some technology journalists who have understated the changes in the iPhone 4S, including one who accused Apple of "releasing the exact same phone again with marginally upgraded specs".

Numerous others flooded Twitter and Web forums with similar sentiments. It just hadn't lived up to expectations, they crowed.

For those who believe everything they hear on the rumour mill, that's perhaps understandable. No support for LTE, no teardrop design, no larger screen and no NFC capabilities were announced by Apple last night. If you'd been expecting these features, then you're bound to feel let down now. But it isn't like Apple promised that you'd get these features only to pull them at the last minute, is it?

As several wags have put it, how dare Apple create all this hype over the next-generation iPhone by sending out that invite (pictured) with the words "Let's talk iPhone" and little else on it?

Perhaps they feel let down because it's more usual to come away from an Apple keynote - especially an iPhone keynote - having been completely and utterly wowed and they didn't this time. Perhaps if Steve Jobs, the master of presentations, had been the man on stage, they would have had that feeling.

Again, perhaps if they'd been shown some features that they hadn't already heard about on the rumour mill they'd have been satisfied. But with Apple under increasing scrutiny from the big media organisations as well as dozens of tech blogs and rumour sites, its increasingly difficult to keep everything under wraps. So perhaps if Apple had been a bit more secretive these people wouldn't be complaining?

Let's look at the plain facts here. The iPhone 4S has a dual-core A5 processor, an upgrade from the iPhone 4's A4 chip and the same processor found in the iPad 2. There's 1GB of RAM in the iPhone 4S - twice that in the iPhone 4. As well as the dual-core processor, there's dual-core graphics as well. The graphics performance of the iPhone 4S is up to seven time faster than the iPhone 4, Apple says. Then there's the camera. It's 8MP - compare that to the 5MP snapper in the iPhone 4. It's also capable of shooting 1080p video. Also, a dual-mode chip means you can connect to GSM and CDMA networks.

I'd hardly call this a let-down so far. But that's not all the iPhone 4S has to offer. As All Things D's Paczkowski states in the title of his piece: "It's The Software, Stupid." There's Siri, for a start. A voice control system (or in its own words, a "humble personal assistant") that not only listens, but speaks to you as well. And don't forget about iCloud and all this promises to bring us. And iOS 5.

Of course, what we actually know about the iPhone 4S has come direct from the mouth of Apple, and shouldn't be used as a basis for forming a complete opinion. But, on the face of it, I find it hard to understand why some claim to be disappointed with the new hardware and services Apple has announced in the iPhone 4S. Would these people be satisfied if the shell were a slightly different shape and it had been called the iPhone 5? I suspect they would.

So am I disappointed by the iPhone 4S? No. But I reserve the right to be. I'm just going to make that judgement - one way or another - when I've actually spent some time using the device.

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Tags iPadsmartphonestabletsAppletwitteriPhonehardware systemsconsumer electronics


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