The Most Ridiculous Complaints about the iPhone 5

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By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)

Let me be very clear here. I am as guilty of saying the things I am going to list below as anyone. I “Live tweeted” (is that even a real thing?) the Apple announcement and let’s just say, multiple people asked me if Samsung was paying me to be anti-Apple.

My initial reaction to the iPhone 5 was the same reaction I had to the iPhone 4s. “Come on, Apple?! That’s it?!” Why did I react that way? Mainly because of all the leaks prior to the announcement. In the good old days, Jobs made sure close to no information was leaked about upcoming devices. Putting aside the Gizmodo ordeal, he was almost always successful at that.

What that meant was that come keynote day, there were a lot of surprises. However, with the iPhone 5 announcement, there was absolutely zero shock factor. We knew literally everything about the phone before Apple unveiled it.

A part of me wanted to believe Apple would pull a “One more thing” moment and when it didn’t, I, along with many many people were disappointed. Then I took a deep breath, read the reviews from people who actually used the phone, and thought about my knee- jerk reaction about the iPhone 5.

I have not held the phone yet nor have I decided if I will be getting one. But the complaints I am hearing from so many people are completely out of place, it’s ridiculous. Let me explain…

Nothing New Besides a Longer Screen

First of all, before I get into this point, let me just say off the bat, that it is plain wrong. LTE alone makes the iPhone a huge upgrade. But if you, like me, are in a place with no LTE coverage (yet), then the thing that should excite you about the iPhone 5 is not the screen, the A6 processor, iOS 6 (which you can get on older devices), or any other spec.

What Apple is going for is a refined experience that keeps getting better. A deep integration of hardware and software, both the best of its class. The iPhone 5 delivers that. If you, like me, have been reading too many tech blogs analyzing and over thinking all the leaks, that does not mean it should affect your decision whether to buy or not to buy what is the best overall mobile experience on the market. Apple is about the experience, not the list of this spec or that spec.

Of course it is going to mention screen size because that is part of the overall experience, as is LTE. What Apple will not talk about is RAM or how important megapixels are, because those things mean nothing to the average consumer who is looking for the best experience.

So is there anything new? Not unless you think cars brought something new to the world when it got you from point A to point B faster and more effectively than horses did before it.

New Connector? Is Apple Nuts?

Speaking of horses and cars, many people are complaining that Apple killed its dinosaur of a connector that it  has been using since the iPod. “Why make all my accessories obsolete? Apple just wants my money for the adapter!” Yes, that is it. Apple needs that $29 boost in revenue because $700 billion market cap is just not enough. Or… It is time to move on and when you move on, some things remain in the past.

I mean, I had the nicest Walkman, how could those CD players do this to me? In fact, my record player rocked. As did my CD player. As did my standalone MP3 player. As did my floppy discs, I LOVED those… I think you get the point.

Apple was using a dock connector that was almost as big as the bottom of the device. Is that really necessary? Of course not. So the company called it a day after years of use and upgraded the 30 pin connector to one that is smaller, faster, and adds the convenience of being able to use it in both directions.

This is really a non-issue that people have to stop complaining about.

The Maps! They Stink!

This is not an iPhone 5 issue but more of an iOS 6 issue or more like an Apple-wide issue. “How and why did Apple kick Google out of its OS and start using its own Maps instead of Google Maps! How dare they!” Are you really asking that? Do you really expect Apple, the most valuable company in the world to let its biggest rival and the company it believes ripped off its flagship product to own the most valuable data about its users, their location? Surely you do not!

Releasing their own maps was probably the most obvious next step for Apple. “But what about the consumer? What about the experience? Google Maps are so much better!” Well, since that seems to be the consensus, I am not going to even try and fight that point despite the fact that I do prefer Apple’s maps over Google’s. What I will say is this.

Apple is jumping into the mapping space late. As it did with mobile. As Google did with search and mobile. As Chrome did with browsers. As Facebook did with social… And the list goes on and on. The point is, yes, Apple has to catch up to Google (is what people are saying), but it will never catch up if it does not start. And so it is starting and it is most definitely off to a decent start, there is no denying that.

Give Apple some time here, I think it has proven itself enough times that despite coming late, it can deliver.

And Last but Not Least: “Apple Is Only Catching up to Android”

There is nothing more annoying to me than statements like this (OK, maybe I can think of one or two things more annoying). Let me make this very clear…

  • iPhone = A phone/mobile device manufactured by Apple inc.
  • Android = A platform developed by Google, utilized by many manufacturers, each with their own phones and resulting specifications.

People, stop comparing iPhone to Android. You can compare iOS to Android. Or the iPhone to the Galaxy S3 but comparing the iPhone to Android is like comparing “Ford Focus” to “Toyota”. You tell me, which is better, a Ford Focus or a Toyota? The sad thing is, I am fairly certain some people reading this are now thinking “Of course a Ford Focus (or Toyota) is better! One is a car, one is a brand that makes many many cars. No comparing!

Now to what those people really mean. The iPhone does not have specs that match the flagship Android phones on the market. This is true. You know what else didn’t have good specs? The first iPhone. No 3G, no video, no freakin copy/paste. What a disaster that was! And that 4S had NOTHING new besides some talking assistant that never worked. No wonder Apple couldn’t sell any of those pieces of junk… That is sarcasm, in case you couldn’t tell.

Apple could not care less about specs and here is a secret, neither could most Apple users. Apple sells polish and between the speed, weight, and size of the iPhone 5, combined with the much improved iOS 6, over two million preorders have proven once again, that polish trumps processors.

So Am I Getting One?

Fighting the temptation for now but this post did a pretty good job convincing me that I need one. Who wrote this thing? They should be in sales or at the very least, marketing.

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Hillel is Co Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at ZCast, a company taking on the pain of modern audio broadcasting. Hillel also blogs for many influential sites including TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others.

Additionally, Hillel mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more.

Hillel has been named Israel’s top marketer, has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, and many others and was recently added by Google to its marketing experts program. You can find and talk to Hillel on Twitter. He is @Hilzfuld.