Without reading or hearing many of the details from Apple, what is it about the new iPhone which evokes such strong and disparate emotions?
iOS 6? Nope. There’s plenty to like about iOS 6, but it’s an evolutionary advancement, rather than another revolutionary advance (as did the iPhone in 2007).
Design? Nope. By all accounts the iPhone 5 will look similar to iPhone 4S. It will be thinner and taller, but will still have the typical 4 look and feel.
Hardware? Hardly. It’s safe to say the iPhone 5 will be faster, have improved graphics, perhaps better battery life, and have a better camera, but it’s unlikely to be anything revolutionary.
4G LTE: Ho hum. Boring. 4G LTE is rolling out among cell phone carriers faster than Republican check books in a presidential election, but speedy phones using the new standard have been out for a year already.
Two emotions seem to rise to the top. The first is general euphoria. There is plenty of pent up demand for a new iPhone, and tens of millions of iPhone 4 customers are ready for the latest and greatest. That demand all but assures the iPhone 5 will sell in greater numbers than any technology product in history.
The second emotion is depression born by disappointment. All the Apple secrets leakers have been able to come up with is that the new iPhone will be thinner and have a longer screen.
What happened to Apple’s famed revolutionary innovation? Where’s the next great thing?
Yes, I’ll order an iPhone 5. Of course. So will many tens of millions of iPhone 4 and 4S users. Even an evolutionary design won’t send iPhone customers flocking to the latest Samsung Galaxy S Whatever.
Apple tries hard to manage expectations, but Apple’s history of innovative new products is usually followed by boring evolutionary and incremental improvements for a few years. Siri might get improved and be integrated elsewhere into iOS, but that’s not a surprise. Smart phone cameras are already pretty good.
Let’s face it. The emotions wrought by Apple’s latest and greatest are more reflective of customer and pundit expectations than they are reality. Apple doesn’t wow everyone all the time. Apple switched to Intel CPUs. That’s a big wow.
Apple launched the iPhone. Big wow. The iPad. Big wow. Thinner Macs? Not so much of a wow, right? OS X Mountain Lion? No wow.
It’s been years since we were wowed by the iPhone’s launch, and pleasantly surprised and pleased at the iPad’s build quality and aggressive price tag.
It’s time for another wow. Otherwise, my euphoria might turn to depression.