New iPhone 4S is disappointing

And so I waited for the iPhone 5. And waited. And waited. And instead I got the iPhone 4S. And, the iPhone 4S is hugely disappointing. I was hoping for more. My expectations were higher. I wanted something extra special, largely because I’ve been waiting for it for So. Very. Long.

There are many things that I didn’t get. And Apple has always been a design-oriented company. When it pushed back the iPhone 4S rollout to the Fall, it just increased expectations that there might be a great new look coming along. Instead, it’s essentially identical to last year’s model.

We do care about design. We do want things that look new and different and notable. Yet if you buy the iPhone 4S, you’re committing to an old design for two more years. Because Apple didn’t upgrade the phone’s design.

It’s not that the new iPhone is not great. It will be one of, if not the, best smartphone available to consumers when it is released on October 14. After all, it is identical to the fantastic iPhone 4, except its antenna will be much-improved, the Internet and the apps will load and run faster and the camera and battery will put its predecessor’s to shame.

And that is the reason why everyone is so disappointed. It is exactly identical to the iPhone 4, except it got some nerd-friendly upgrades on its insides. Faster processors. Improved antennas. Increased camera pixels. Okay, okay, fine: But where is the improvement that I can see? And where is the improvement that my friends and co-workers and ex-lovers will be able to see and drool over and associate with me when I whip this shiny new Apple thing out?

Apple had 16 months since the release of the iPhone 4 to design something sexy or revolutionary or forward-thinking, and they ended up showcasing a product that we have all — for all intents and purposes — already seen before.

Make no mistake, Apple is going to sell millions of of these. Even I may end up buying one. But I’m going to do so reluctantly. For the first time in recent memory, I’m walking away from an Apple hardware rollout unexcited and uninspired. And while I guess the iPhone 4S’ day has arrived, I’m already looking forward to tomorrow.


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