News Analysis: Apple's iPhone 4S is widely celebrated as a worthwhile investment for consumers. But its success this year goes beyond simple market appeal.
Apple's iPhone 4S, which launched just
a few months ago, was the best handset released this year. From its solid
design to the quality of its software, Apple's handset went a long way in
pushing the industry forward, and showing other handset makers how to build a
Of course, there might be many out
there who disagree with that sentiment. They'll say the iPhone 4S' lack of a
big, 4.3-inch display or 4G connectivity is enough to disqualify it. They might
also point to Apple's odd decision to keep the device's design the same as its
predecessor, iPhone 4, as a reason products that brought something new to the
marketplace this year should top it on a "best of" list. Those
critics might even say that by virtue of their operating system, Android-base
handsets deserve to be placed above the iPhone.
But those critics are wrong. Apple's
smartphone is still the top choice for consumers and enterprise users around
the globe. And to say otherwise, given how many poorly conceived products hit
store shelves this year, is ridiculous.
Read on to find out why the iPhone 4S was this year's best smartphone
Best design on the market
Apple's iPhone 4S has the best design on the market
Its glass finish gives it a sleek look, and its prominent display and small
physical home button leaves no question on how to use the device. It would have
been nice if Apple had shown off a totally new iPhone design this year, but it
didn't. Even so, the device is still better looking than competing products.
A new wireless system is a welcome addition
When the iPhone 4 launched, consumers
found reception would cut out when the device was held in a "death
grip." The iPhone 4S, however, comes with a new wireless system that
addresses that issue and also allows for 4G-like data transmissions over
AT&T's 3G network. The device might not be 4G, but it's close, and as
Consumer Reports reported earlier this year, its signal quality is outstanding.
Siri is one of the biggest advancements
made this year in how users interact with devices. Now, iPhone 4S owners can
talk to their smartphone to write SMS messages, check for appointments and
more. Siri still has a long way to go, but it's the first step toward an
entirely hands-free approach for using smartphones.
The apps are still tops
Google's Android Market made
significant strides this year in delivering apps to customers. However, the
marketplace is still far behind Apple's App Store in terms of high-quality programs
that people want to use. Plus, the Android Market has many apps that have been
found to include malware.