A Cell Phone Rant

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I definitely had my fair share of expectations from Apple prior to the iPhone 5 announcement. Most of them dealt with a “complete re-design” of the phone as many in the blogosphere had been hoping/speculating. My hopes of a re-design though were being challenged by Apple’s consistency when it came to sticking with their signature iPhone outlook and marketing the product similar to its predecessor models. I took a step back and realized that as a non-fan of Apple, I too was succumbing to a visual appeal of the product. Looking from a technical standpoint, I knew that Apple would be playing catch-up as rivals like Samsung have pushed the boundaries with multiple devices to set the bar high. So has it come to this? As a company that strives for leading edge innovation (or so it says it does), we haven’t seen a drastic change in the design of its flagship product nor a technical advancement to ogle at.

To give Apple some credit, the whole world is watching and the expectations are high so it can be expected then that fans & non-fans alike would be disappointed in some shape or form. I’m not even going to mention the fact that Apple just can’t keep secrets anymore which leads to nothing new when they hold their events. That of course leads to more disappointments. But then again, they’ve built themselves to embrace that pressure. On the other hand, what more can we really ask for in a cell-phone device which is physically limiting in terms of its size. This goes for Samsung as well seeing as though it’s the biggest rival to Apple and is rumored to unveil its S4 device in Feb of 2013. It’s becoming harder and harder to impress a consumer who if smart would realize that there is a physical limit that prevents manufacturers and design engineers from including certain features. Your cell phone device cannot make you coffee, but you could download an app that lets you control a coffee maker. Not that you expect your phone to serve you coffee or anything…

Cell phone devices will become thinner but what will be the limit? They’ll continue to have better cameras. An increase in battery life will continue to be a successful focus. Faster performance will be there with each iteration. Are all of these really revolutionary? We’ve all come to expect this. So what’s new? At this point in the evolutionary era of cell phone devices, I can only come to expect physical design changes in products coupled with revolutionary UI interaction. If that’s enough to drive sales and keep stocks surging, who needs new built-in features that are as exciting as when the camera was introduced in a cellphone device (which I may add has helped in over throwing dictators across the middle east). That’s big isn’t it? Where are features of that magnitude that have had a profound impact on our global society?

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