Kasey Cassells (Global) - iPhone 4S- Why I'm Not Queuing Up This Launch Day

So, after a momentous 16 month wait from the last Apple handset, the iPhone 4S has finally arrived. Today it is released in several key countries, with 70 more to follow by the end of the year. Well, what do we think of it? Personally, I can’t help but be disappointed. Since the release of the iPhone 4 in June 2010, the web has been a flurry of rumors concerning the next model – mistakenly identified as the iPhone 5. There have been case ‘leaks’, countless prototype designs and even an apparent iPhone 5 that was ‘lost’ in a bar (sound familiar?). So, when the press invites were finally sent out for an iPhone launch event a couple of weeks ago, I know I wasn’t the only one waiting with bated breath for the iPhone to end all iPhones.

And then, the launch. Poor old Tim Cook had a lot to live up to, following in Steve Jobs’ footsteps as the man tasked with captivating the audience and presenting the next great product. Unfortunately, Cook’s job was not made easier by the fact the product just didn’t live up to expectations. There was much talk of iOS5, the latest platform for iPhone and iPad users, but we were all waiting for the big reveal – many people were even hoping for Steve Jobs himself to step out in his black turtleneck, but of course this was not to be. The big reveal included:  a better camera, a faster processor, and a ‘digital assistant’ that nobody will actually use. Admit it. Would you actually be seen in public talking to your phone as if it was KITT from Knight Rider?

Essentially, the big reveal did not include a new handset, merely a tweaked version of the 16 month old iPhone 4 – almost ancient in ‘phone years’. This is one of the big frustrations with Apple. Few could deny that the original iPhone and its predecessors have been amazing pieces of technology that changed the way we use mobile phones, but five models in more than four years is just not enough to keep everyone satisfied. With the Android platform available on several handsets and a myriad of BlackBerry phones in production at any one time, Apple users have always made the sacrifice of having ‘the’ handset of the moment and sticking with it.

Of course, this is all part of Apple’s marketing genius. There has never been as much hype over the launch of a new BlackBerry or Android handset, and judging by the pre-order statistics for the 4S, few people have been put off by the fact that the mystical iPhone 5 is nowhere to be seen. Before the specifications were even announced, the handset’s reputation preceded it, with 41% of U.S phone owners in a survey saying they planned to purchase.  Were you one of those people, who – like me – vowed loyalty to a phone which didn’t exist, then ended up disappointed with the specifications? Do you think the minor changes are enough? Or are you enough of an Apple fan to just buy it regardless?


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