You do not need to be a techie or a mobile telephony guru to have heard of the iPhone. All you had to do was look for a mobile phone to purchase from 2007 onward. Either that or utter the word “Hello” at least one time starting with the 79th Academy Awards Ceremony in 2007, and there you have it, you have just learned about iPhone. If you haven’t yet done any of the above and you are unfortunate enough to have never heard one of your friends mentioning it, do not dare to ask them directly. You will just get a puzzled look for a reply, as if they can sense the time bubble that has engulfed you for the last half a decade and wonder if it is contagious. Use the Internet instead, write an anonymous letter to a tech magazine of sorts or just take a walk to your local mobile phone shop.
Reviewing any of the iPhone models has been and will always be a tricky business. One way or another, the word ‘biased’ will find its way into the feedback you get, either from the side who thinks that you have not stressed enough on the innovative aspects or the one that emphasizes that not enough attention has been given to iPhone flaws. Like any other trend setting product, iPhone will always be sparking controversies with every new launch. You just have to browse some of the iPhone 5 news pieces to notice that the two sides have already started clashing. In the meantime, some of them are preparing for a long day of camping in front of the shop for the upcoming release while the others are already dusting off their keyboards, ready for the ‘I told you so’ come-backs.
The first iPhone model boasted innovative features like the use of a multitouch interface. A very elegant and user friendly solution for input problems that requires no keyboard or stylus, just a soft touch on the screen. The stylish widget like icons, that rapidly allow you to access the various functions, transform the use of the phone into a pleasant experience in itself, as you are sending an SMS, making a call, browsing the internet or watching a movie. You just feel like working that little bugger! And when I say “little”, I mean it was the smallest of all smart phones, with a thickness of only 11.6 mm, and a height of 115 mm. On top of that, you could do all of these things on an unmatched 3.5 inches wide screen with a resolution of 320×480 pixels.
This was made possible with the use of multitouch technology, which allowed for a larger screen area, as there was no need to allocate space for a classical keyboard. Hello wide screen, hello movies, hello a better web browsing experience. Mix all of that with the fact that the iPhone was also an iPad that made use of a 8Gb Flash memory, the built in Wi-Fi and the highly appealing design of the case, and you’ve got all the ingredients you need to make it a “must have” piece of gear. So gather your party of friends and venture forth!
But hang on, for the critics must make their case. Apple always stated that iPhone was “five years ahead of the competition”. Some had disagreed with that, and for good reason. “No 3G compatibility five years from now?”, “No stereo bluetooth?” some wondered. Its camera had only 2 megapixels and no autofocus feature. The world already had smart phones that came with the above mentioned features and sported a better camera, all within the same price range. While its web browsing abilities were probably the best at that time, limiting the download speed to only 2G technology possibilities wore off some of the shine. Especially more so since one of its main features was the possibility to download music. Call quality was not always up to par and battery life was yet another issue.
Things improved with the following releases, iPhone 3G offered access to 3G technology, then came iPhone 3GS, and the current iPhone 4. Nowadays, everyone is waiting to see what the upcoming iPhone 5 will bring to the battlefield.
So who is winning this battle? Both sides in this confrontation have their fair share of valid arguments. If you’ve got the money for it, want to make a statement and enjoy the looks of a beautifully designed piece of equipment or if you decide that other features are more important for you, either way both sides are winning. In the end, it comes down to the priorities of the user and, no matter what the others say, the controversy will keep on going. iPhone 5 is just around the corner and the news and rumors around it are fuel enough till we will get to try it ourselves.