Like many, I was disappointed with the announcement of the iPhone 4S. For anyone who has been living under a rock or is my mom or girlfriend, the iPhone 4S is outwardly identical to the iPhone 4, but features a significantly faster processor, a significantly improved camera that rivals most consumer point-and-shoot cameras, and a new antenna design which allows for significantly faster (theoretical) data speeds. It also features a new voice assistant feature called Siri which uses some fairly impressive artificial intelligence to perform tasks based on your voice input, ie, "Schedule a meeting with Tom for lunch on Friday" or "Should I bring an umbrella today?" Of course if Siri was really impressive she would learn that, as a born-and-raised Seattleite, I consider using an umbrella to be a sin which falls somewhere between taking up two parking spaces and outright murder, for reasons I'll save for another post. For the past 6 months or longer, rumors have circulated about the new iPhone, or even iPhones. Depending on which set of rumors you believed, you either predicted the iPhone 4S or you expected the iPhone 5 with a redesigned form factor, larger screen, NFC payment system and 4G/LTE capability, or maybe you even expected both.
I loved my iPhone 4. It's easily the best phone I've ever owned and probably one of my favorite electronic gadgets of all time. So by the time I stepped off the rumor train and started actually thinking about what I would want from the new iPhone(s), it was easy for me to realize that I really strongly prefer the iPhone 4's square edges to the round, tapered edges of the iPod touch and iPad 2. So why would it make any sense for Apple to expect me to downgrade to something like this? Or for them to make most of the screen unusable? I've already shared my feelings on that matter. Once I actually started thinking about it, I realized that if Apple really did announce two versions of the iPhone, I actually might want the iPhone 4S more than the theoretical iPhone 5. So why was I disappointed? Note the distinction in my opening sentence: I was disappointed in the announcement of the iPhone 4S, not the phone itself.
I posted on gdgt about a month ago in response to the question of what I was looking forward to from Apple's fall event:
As someone who follows tech blogs so carefully, it's been a long time since Apple has managed to show me anything that was a total surprise. The thing I'm most looking forward to seeing is the thing I don't know anything about.
The announcement of the iPhone 4S was disappointing because it was so predictable. And not just predictable, but predicted. Every rumor had pretty much agreed that there would be an iPhone 4S and that it would be a spec bump with voice controls. And that's what it was. Which, as it turns out, was exactly what I wanted from the new iPhone.
It's just not what I wanted from the announcement.