For the past year, we’ve endured a near-daily slew of rumors about a device called the iPhone 5. When Apple delayed its release of a new phone until Fall 2011, it only heightened expectations. Surely, if we were to wait more than the usual year between versions of the iPhone, the result must be something spectacular.
Now, at the last minute, we discover that what the company was preparing all along was the iPhone 4S — a faster, smarter, world-phone upgrade to the iPhone 4. It’s on more carriers. It has a better camera and supposedly great voice recognition. But it is, as Tim Cook all but admitted, merely an iPhone 4 with more advanced innards. This isn’t the new, iconic, must-have device that a redesigned iPhone 5 would have been. (Which also means that Apple just lost a lot of potential iPhone 4 upgraders. Why buy the upgrade if no one can tell the difference?)
In the past, Apple has done a great job of managing expectations. The company had previously followed a policy of under-promising and over-delivering. Take the iPad 2: when rumors suggested that the device would have a high-resolution retina display, Apple made some small but strategic leaks to trusted members of the media. (The company isn’t quite as silent and stoic as it would like to appear.) We adjusted our expectations accordingly, and were delighted by the device when it arrived.
So what happened to the back channels this time? It seems especially odd, considering Apple is still trying to establish Tim Cook as an effective replacement for Steve Jobs, that expectations for his first event weren’t dampened accordingly. But only in the last few days did stories about the iPhone 4S begin to appear, and not from the usual trusted sources. The vast majority of the technology world was still expecting an iPhone 5, and with good reason.
Right up until the end, many reporters present at the announcement held out hope for a “one more thing”, the traditional surprise ending to Jobs keynotes. But it wasn’t forthcoming.
So above and beyond the basic fanboy disappointment at today’s announcement is another concern: is Apple losing control of the message? Has Jobs’ famous “reality bubble” finally burst?
And here’s another important question: does this mean we have to endure one more year of iPhone 5 rumors?
Let us know what you think in the comments. Are you disappointed by the iPhone 4S? Could Apple have done a better job of communicating in advance what we were going to see — and weren’t going to see?Source: Mashable