By the time you read this, I hopefully (fingers crossed) will have successfully pre-ordered my iPhone 5. But my acquisition is more need than want – I have to write about it.
But I'm not the only one who's ambivalent about Apple's new super smartphone.
Following Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 5, CouponCodes4u, a coupon site that periodically conducts surveys of its user baser, conducted a flash poll of 1,135 Americans, all of whom own at least one Apple product and 79 percent of whom own an iPhone.
57 percent of respondents were "disappointed" by Apple's new iPhone 5.
Not that I was one of the survey respondents, but I'm not surprised. I felt let down the same way even before Tim Cook took the stage on Wednesday.
What's not to like?
For me, mostly it's the screen size, the most obvious attribute of a modern smartphone. Apple's "big" 4-inch screen is miniscule, below average, not up-to-snuff, compared with the 4.5-inch and larger displays appearing on nearly every new Android phone of late.
I know iPhone 5 uses a new in-cell technology that creates a thinner and more touch responsive screen. But couldn't it have been a 4.2, 4.3-inch in-cell display, just so I'd feel a little less inferior whipping out this…porthole, next to someone showboating the massive 4.8-inch bay window on their Samsung Galaxy S III?
And folks are definitely not happy about having to buy a bunch of new connectors – 53 percent of the CouponCodes4U survey respondents cited their unhappiness with the incompatibility of the new Lightning 9-pin jack. Why does Apple insist on being the ONLY smartphone maker NOT to use the ubiquitous microUSB?
Apple better include at least ONE adapter in the iPhone 5 box so I can use my new phone with some old accessories (i.e. my speaker dock).
And I hate Apple didn't include NFC. Yes, there isn't much mobile payment stuff out there, but Apple could have jump-started the whole virtual wallet revolution all by itself had it included NFC in iPhone 5.
Oh, baby, that's a what I like
Although, now that I've "seen" iPhone 5 (via press reports, of course – I wasn't in SF for Apple's announcement), I'm not AS disappointed as I was a couple of days ago.
Here's what interests me on the iPhone 5 hardware side:
the new A6 processor – apparently, it'll be the most powerful processor in a smartphone yet – which means faster…everything, and slightly longer battery life, which 49 percent of CouponCodes4U's survey respondents approve of as well
Yeah! 4G LTE connectivity! Maybe I'll finally be able to get a data connection in midtown Manhattan
the all-aluminum and glass construction will feel nice (thinner and lighter? I'm just going to put it in a battery case as soon as one becomes available)
3 mics to improve voice recognition – maybe Siri will finally recognize my Noo Yawk accent – and noise cancellation so maybe people can hear me now
FaceTime over cellular so I can video call my baby from wherever, although it looks as if AT&T is going to make you buy a group data plan to video chat over 4G (Verizon and Sprint will let you use any data plan) and I'm not sure if the other person has to have an iPhone 5 as well or if iPhone 4/4S users are restricted to Wi-Fi to receive my LTE video call – but 13 percent of survey respondents like it, too
Panorama photos! I've tried a variety of panorama photo apps and none of them did it for me. Having panorama native, without booting up a third-party camera app, will be nice – and 37 percent of the survey respondents agree
and, capturing a still photo while simultaneously shooting video – not new to smartphones, but a cool and welcome feature nonetheless
iOS 6 anticipation
In addition, iOS 6 looks to have some interesting tweaks – and one of them is NOT the 3D mapping, which is nice, but not exactly new, nor does it really impact my day-to-day use, and I'll reserve judgment on the Passbook ticketing app until I discover how (or if) it actually works in the real world.
The iOS 6 improvements I'm looking forward to include (although I won't need an iPhone 5 to take advantage of them – iOS 6 will work on the iPhone 4/4S and even 3G S):
sending a text message to tell a caller I can't take their call for whatever reason and, for those of us with increasing "memory is the second thing to go…" issues, the ability to set a follow-up reminder
launch an app by voice via Siri; Apple says most of us have 100 apps, and I can never remember in which folder or screen I've hidden the one I want to use NOW
VIP mailbox – being able to automatically filter communications from those folks I really want to hear from, even in Gmail
But that's just me. What about the CouponCodes4u respondents?
Back to the survey
When CouponCodes4U survey respondents were asked whether or not they were impressed by iPhone 5, 57 percent said "uh uh," while 31 percent said "uh huh" and 12 percent said "feh." Another 39 percent said iPhone 5 "exceeded their expectations." Must have been low expectations.
Why the negativity? Eighty-one percent said the release event felt "strange without Steve Jobs" – even though last year's 4S also was announced sans the company's founder (who died the next day) – while 32 percent noted "there was nothing new" that Apple brought to the industry with this release. I hear ya.
More specifically, aside from the vast unhappiness about the aforementioned 9-pin connector, 26 percent cited the smaller "nano-styled SIM card" while 21 percent noted lack of plans or updates concerning a future release date for a "128 GB iPhone 5." Yeah, I would have liked more memory, too. I don't have enough room to store all my photos and all my music.
No one complained about the screen size? Maybe CouponCodes4U didn't ask. Maybe it's just me?
Of the respondents who said they were interested in iPhone 5, 87 percent noted their purchase intent would depend on "the spec" (uh oh) and "price" of the phone.
So who's in? Even with its perceived shortcomings and their general disappointment, 45 percent of respondents said they'd buy the iPhone 5 this month, while 34 percent said they "were unsure." And 21 percent of respondents said "No sale!" mainly due to the "lack of innovation" between iPhone updates.
How do the rest of you feel about iPhone 5?