On Oct. 17, Apple announced that it sold 4 million iPhone 4S units during the device’s first weekend of availability. At that level, the company more than doubled the number of the iPhone 4 units it sold during that device’s first weekend of availability last year when sales reached 1.7 million units. It was an impressive showing from Apple and one that proved that the company has a clear understanding of what consumers want with each new device they buy.
However, prior to the launch of the iPhone 4S, rumors suggesting the company would also launch the iPhone 5 were everywhere one turned. According to those rumors, the iPhone 5 would be a major update over the iPhone 4 and set Apple on a new path of potential greatness in the mobile space.
But now, with the iPhone 4S on store shelves featuring only small updates over its predecessor, many folks are left to think about what the iPhone 5 could have meant to them. Perhaps most importantly, they’re left to wonder when the iPhone 5 might launch. As much as Apple tries, the company can do nothing to make the consumer space forget about the iPhone 5.
Read on to find out why:
1. That edge-to-edge display sounded fantastic
Prior to the announcement of the iPhone 4S, rumors cropped up saying that the iPhone 5 would come with an edge-to-edge display. Although the iPhone 4S is almost there, the reports said that the front of the iPhone 5 would be nearly all (if not entirely) made up of a touch-screen. The idea sounded fantastic, and it made many consumers around the globe hope to see it. And yet, they didn’t.
2. A bigger screen
Aside from its unique look, the edge-to-edge display that was expected to come with the iPhone 5 would have given users more real estate to tap around on. In fact, some reports said that the iPhone 5 would come with at least a 4.3-inch display, but possibly a screen that was bigger. The iPhone 4S, on the other hand, keeps the iPhone’s 3.5-inch display. It’s a disappointment. And it’s something that Apple customers are planning on the iPhone 5 to address.
3. The iPhone 4S contains few improvements
Let’s face it: the iPhone 4S, while nice in its own right, doesn’t deliver so many improvements that consumers around the globe will want to jump for joy. In fact, when compared with the iPhone 4, Apple’s latest smartphone adds a dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, a better antenna and Siri support. Other than that, there isn’t anything major that would make customers get so excited about technological enhancements in the iPhone 4S. That alone could be making people desire the iPhone 5.
4. A Google Wallet competitor was on its way
Before the iPhone 5 ended up a no-show at Apple’s Oct. 4 iPhone event, there was speculation that the device would come with near-field communication (NFC) capabilities, allowing customers to pay for products from the smartphone. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t even discuss that. But considering Google Wallet is starting to gain some traction in the marketplace, it would be nice to see Apple respond. The company will likely do so with the iPhone 5-and some customers know that.
Apple Fans Will Keep Dreaming of iPhone 5
5. The iPhone 4S is ahead, but for how long?
As mentioned, the iPhone 4S is such a fine smartphone that when compared with all the other devices on store shelves today, it’s still quite far ahead of the competition. But for how long?Both Motorola and Samsung have their sights set on the iPhone 4S and will offer products in the coming weeks and months that, depending on whom one asks, at least come close to matching Apple’s latest smartphone. The iPhone 5, however, was expected to be groundbreaking and a guaranteed step up over anything consumers have seen yet. It’s that prospect for greatness that makes customers still think about Apple’s yet-to-be-announced smartphone.
6. 4G, anyone?
When Apple showed off the iPhone 4S, it spent considerable time talking about the iPhone 4S’ new “wireless system.” The company said that the device would give users 14.4M bps download speeds over 3G, helping it to match the 4G speeds its competitors offer. However, only AT&T customers will be able to see that gain in speed; all others are left with 3G speeds. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, was expected to come with 4G connectivity, which means any customer on any network would be able to enjoy those faster speeds. The iPhone 4S’ lack of 4G is a problem.
7. A new step in design
Apple has long been the leader in design. And when the company unveiled the iPhone 4 last year, it made that abundantly clear. But this year, with the launch of the iPhone 4S, Apple didn’t innovate on design. Instead, it brought the same look as the iPhone 4 with a few internal improvements. It was a disappointment for some customers, especially those who were hoping for all the design improvements that were rumored to be coming to the iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S design, while still quite nice, is making some folks wonder what the iPhone 5 will look like.
8. An even greater step up in mobility
Although it didn’t get too much attention, a rumor prior to the announcement of the iPhone 4S suggested Apple was planning to make the iPhone 5 a thinner, wider option in order to accommodate the aforementioned larger display, but also make the handset more mobile. It was something that many folks who heard the rumor celebrated, and it’s something that those same people are waiting for from Apple.
9. iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 pricing
Apple’s decision to start selling the iPhone 4S for $199 and up is fine. However, the company’s decision to price the iPhone 4 at $99 and make the iPhone 3GS a free offer might make at least some customers think twice about the iPhone 4S. After all, spending at least $200 this year and then another $200 next year when the iPhone 5 is expected to launch doesn’t sound all that appealing. But only spending $99 or nothing this year to wait until the iPhone 5 launches isn’t such a bad financial proposition. Sure, switching devices might push the price of the iPhone 5 up a bit, but when it’s all said and done, Apple’s reduced pricing on the older iPhones makes it easier for those who want the iPhone 5 to wait a bit longer.
10. A two-year carryover
As mentioned, it might not be long before the iPhone 4S is trumped by competing devices from Android vendors. Furthermore, it might not take long for the device to be bested by the iPhone 5. The problem is, the iPhone 4S does not provide a two-year carryover for customers. Instead, it’s a stopgap for Apple until it can get its next major refresh on store shelves. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, will give customers two good years of market leadership in terms of functionality. The iPhone 4S is fine, but if the rumors about the follow-on device are to be one’s guide, it’s no iPhone 5.