A hands-off quasi-review of the iPhone 5C and 5S

As expected, Tim Cook & Co. materialized this past Tuesday to confirm 98% of the leaks their supply chain "partners" had let fly over the past few months in regards to the iPhone 5C and 5S. The 5C (for "Cheap," "China," or "Charo") is basically the soon-to-die iPhone 5 with a polycarbonate shell, a slightly better camera, a larger battery, and 20 grams of extra poundage. The 5S maintains the 5’s external trappings while sporting new innards and new colors, which I refer to as Space Silver, Space Gray and Space Grey Poupon. The latter of the trio is the gold/champagne version that got a fair amount of chatter flowing for no good reason.

I attempted to dub this version "The Continental," but that sobriquet has yet to catch on. A meme machine I apparently am not.

Anyway, back to the 5C. Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, when leaks were as uncontainable as Miley’s tongue (now try getting that image out of your head), the mass of tech punditry posited that the 5C was going to be a low-cost alternative for what polite econ wonks would dub "emerging Asian markets that rhyme with angina." While that may indeed be part of Apple’s overall strategy, it doesn’t really feel like it. After all, the 5C, in both 16GB and 32GB configurations, is just $100 less than the 5S. While I have no doubt that a number of folks just coming into the Wonderful World of Lifetime iPhone Upgrades would rather pocket the $100 than enjoy the 5S’s biometric home button or new camera hardware, I don’t think the 5C is really aimed at wooing the Chinese masses on price alone.

No, to me, it seems Apple simply grew tired of releasing an upgraded handset and then lowering the price of the existing model. It’s as if they want it to be obvious that someone chose a lesser iPhone. Or, perhaps, more obvious that someone opted for the 5S. It reminds me of the white, plastic iBooks compared to the MacBook Pros. Only this new iBook is actually better than the current MBP. I don’t know; it just strikes me as weird, but I’ve only had one cup of coffee as I write this and, not going to lie, I don’t care a whole lot about the 5C. I’m sure my wife would love it, because she’s still sporting a 3GS that she has come to loathe for its increasing slowness. But she’ll never know. If we upgrade phones, I’ll give her my 5 and get myself the 5S. I know that sounds selfish, but, slowness or not, my wife would use the 3GS until it self-immolated while trying to decipher Facebook’s latest privacy changes.

The 5S, of course, is supernew, supershiny and, if certain pundits are to be believed, a massive superfail. Forget its new 64-bit A7 chip or M7 motion coprocessor. Or its upgraded camera with an f/2.2 lens and color temp-adjusting dual LED flash. Or its seemingly fail-proof biometric finger scanner of a home button. No, the 5S still fits in a normal pocket, doesn’t resemble a small tablet (I refuse to use the word "phablet" unless I’m dropping mad beatz as my alter ego MC J-Fro), and still won’t cure the heartbreak of psoriasis.

I get it. The new hardware, while a significant upgrade spec-wise, lacks any wowee-zowee, life-altering features. (Although I would argue that the biometric home button is rather astounding. I am one of the Apple-claimed 50% who do not passcode-protect their phones, and I’m sure the button’s uses will expand over time.) And that’s the rub. Ever since Apple split up the announcement of the latest iOS from the latest iPhone, the reveal of the hardware has been a bit anticlimactic. After all, most of the awesomeness of the iPhone is contained within iOS. Each successive hardware upgrade usually gives us better battery life and a better camera (and I am impressed with the 5S camera), along with one or two decently significant new items like the Retina display, wide-screen display, or Lightning connector. But as cool as such things are—yes, I believe the Lightning connector was a significant upgrade—they’re all rather meaningless without the OS and apps. And since Apple lets most of the iOS goodness out of the bag at WWDC every year, those wow moments of new hardware running new software are more or less gone.

None of which will have any impact on sales, of course. I wish Apple would be a bit more adventurous in their upgrades, but the truth is that their form of a prevent defense actually works, in stark contrast to the Kansas Chiefs teams of the late 1990s. As much as I grow weary of incremental improvements—an issue that extends far beyond Apple in my world—the pattern will hold until someone like Samsung or, heaven forbid, Nokia does something truly game-changing instead of merely different or slightly better. (While the competitions’ phones have improved markedly over the years and are, in some ways, probably better, there is a big difference between being a viable alternative and being a must-have.)

So, as the owner of an iPhone 5, will I lay down the cash for a 5S? I honestly don’t know. I think it really will take a hands-on, thumbs-on demo to sway me on this one. But if I do, you know I’ll be getting a champagne-tinged handset with a custom-printed Walken case.

Later,

Fox

Comments closed
    • Proxicon
    • 6 years ago

    A cheaper phone!? Steve must be rolling in his grave right now… Apple has always appealed to the “if it costs more it must be better” crowd by charging higher prices for the same hardware as other vendors and having a hipster brand. Steve would not have made a cheaper phone. He would have made a better phone and charged the same or more for it. Never cheaper. The brand has been tarnished and the stock is in free fall. The best the new execs could come up with is the time tested mother approved lower priced cheaper model plan that has failed so many others… R.I.P Steve. Your new blood sucking CEO and execs have no idea what they’re doing or what you envisioned.

      • tipoo
      • 6 years ago

      It’s not cheaper though, not for consumers, only for Apple. It occupies the same price point the 5 would using the old model of just having last years as the one down cheaper one.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    I’m equal parts happy and appauled at the steps apple has begun to take. Since the dawn of the modern age apple has viamently done things its own backa$$w@ards way. If that meant doing it the wrong way that meant doing it the wrong way. Anyone who is familiar with apple’s mindset on port standards knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about. That being said with that mind set they created things that no other company could have created because of that. Finally we are seeing the slow adoption of some logic in them as the realize they didn’t invent the GUI, well at-least not the best version of it anyway. But ultimately though we may be seeing the best apple products right now this shift may lead to a overall decline in innovation going forward. We have Google plowing ahead with one insane idea after another trail blazing like apple used to think they were. Meanwhile Microsoft, RT aside is similarly bold in their complete redesign. They have not only restructured their company internally but externally are dropping the products part of their business strategy in favor of focusing on services similar to google.

    The only trail apple is blazing is the products vs services aspect of their company. Despite the money in iTunes they plow ahead pushing devices like no one else can.

    What an interesting time to be a nerd.

    πŸ™‚

    • indeego
    • 6 years ago

    About the ugliest UI I’ve ever seen. Just the bright neon-ish colors, flat, so not go well with just about any background but the darkest.

    One wonders why they did this?

    • tipoo
    • 6 years ago

    The A7 must have the highest instructions per clock of any smartphone CPU core excepting Intel out there right now. Dual core, 1.3GHz, and it’s landing in the range of much higher clocked quads in benchmark.

    • confusedpenguin
    • 6 years ago

    Space Grey Poupon probably wont be a popular choice among parents, or those who have ever changed an infant’s diaper.

    • jdaven
    • 6 years ago

    Reviews are out and Anandtech has a very in-depth examination of the SoC:

    [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review[/url<] The dual core, 1.3 GHz, smartphone version of the A7 is very close to the performance of Intel's highest end quad-core, 1.5 GHz, tablet version of the bay trail processor. I expect the iPad version of the A7 to surpass it. Good job, Apple!

      • adisor19
      • 6 years ago

      Yep, perhaps a certain chuckula can come and chime in now that the dust is settled.

      Adi

        • jdaven
        • 6 years ago

        Of the two Intel twins, I’d rather have a discussion with Neelycam. I respect his opinion. Chuckula is too irrational because of his love for Intel.

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        WHAT? You mean it isn’t a quad core that is just 30% faster? *snicker* ;D

      • tipoo
      • 6 years ago

      The “iPad Version” or A7X will likely double the GPU performance as always, leaving the CPUs alone or slightly higher clocked, nothing major on the CPU side. But it is impressive, A7 must be the highest performing ARM Smartphone CPU out there right now per core per clock, with just two cores at 1.3GHz it’s getting into the range of much higher clocked quads.

    • bfar
    • 6 years ago

    “After all, most of the awesomeness of the iPhone is contained within iOS”

    I laughed when I read this. It’s just a basic OS! Apple’s real strength is in the app store.

      • trackerben
      • 6 years ago

      A basic OS? You better use it again over an extended period and rethink that.

      Unlike regular desktop OSes like Windows or *Nix, the iOS architecture allows the average guy to easily and seamlessly finger their way through administrative, updates, backup, migration, grooming, security, facilities, and lockdown tasks for both kernel-side and apps subsystems, as delivered out of the box. I have just outlined the lifecycle holy grail of a user-friendly computing system operating at what used to be regarded as Enterprise levels of integration, availability, and reliability. How’s that for a “basic OS”?

      Most of that stuff has to be performed exactingly on Windows or *nix by users and who had to learn a certain level of admin skills to get things right without corrupting volumes or data or obscuring functions. Much has to be also independently sourced and registered remotely without the advantages of a managed app ecosystem like iOS (or Google Play), The ecosystem handles deployment, discovery, installs, updates, extensions, and surveys completely and securely in system. All supported and guided by a centralized policy-based cloud backend which integrates most of the tasking and security burden away from the user.

      Apple’s iOS (and to a lesser extent Android and console ecosystems like Xbox Live) makes all this stuff look easy. Don’t automatically mistake easy and quick for basic.

        • bfar
        • 6 years ago

        I see you point, but you’re talking about back-end stuff to which the user has precious little access or means of control in iOS. That makes the OS far more basic in terms of useability. Does it make the iPhone awesome? Not necessarily; in many ways it makes it the most restrictive platform available. Can I browse the file system? Nope. No way. Never.

          • trackerben
          • 6 years ago

          It’s all of a rigorous systems architecture of connected devices managing certified apps. Much iOS code works to get distributed user data in various nodes interoperating with the backends as well as the device’s bootstrapped presentation and apps layers, all seamlessly and over variable public networks. This is no trivial accomplishment, as Google engineers have said of their similar work.

          Your point about restrictions is well-debated as the trade-off between flexibility and security. Many advanced financial and military systems are purposefully designed to lockdown privileges and partition functional domains and data repositories in order to shape for overall systems reliability and local availability.

          Apple used such sophisticated principles to engineer an ecosystem which is almost foolproof in the wild world of consumers. The rigorousness paid off with a default worry-free and quality user experience. Naturally the restrictions can be bothersome for we’ve all been spoiled by familiarity with OSes like Windows which defaulted to promiscuity. But the filesystem is there. It’s just virtualized into app spaces where files can exchanged between their silos by approved filtering methods. Just like the web-based data operations we’ve come to accept as the price for a minimum level of security.

    • Celess
    • 6 years ago
    • HisDivineOrder
    • 6 years ago

    Curious that you think the biometric sensor can’t fail because it seems like every story that came out afterward said it was more “oft-fail” than “seeming fail-proof.” Moreover, you’ll be using your password more often than the biometric anyway since you go back to the password constantly for a variety of reasons, which means you’ll be turning it off for the same reason you refused to use a password in the first place. Yes, the biometric sensor is just another “Cards” or “Ping” feature that no one will use and will die an unnoticed, quiet, bittersweet death in an iOS update in a few years once the newness of it is allowed to dissipate.

    I think you’re onto something about why the iPhone seems less exciting than it once did, though. I think the division between the iOS and the iPhone releases IS robbing the latter of some of its magic. The problem is this year there still wouldn’t have been much magic given that iOS 7 is Apple lifting features from the other guys (“the pattern will hold until someone like Samsung, or heaven forbid, Nokia does something truly game-changing”) to make iOS 7 seem revolutionary. Lift a bit of MS/Nokia’s aesthetic, a bit of Google’s features, a bit of WebOS’s features, pull Jony Ive kicking and screaming from under his bed to become the defacto Steve Jobs hipster replacement, bada boom, bada bing, everyone’s crowing about a “leap forward.”

    Except it’s not really. It does add controller support into the OS directly. That’s something for the future. (Though Google did that years ago now.) It also seems to have broken apps something awful, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

    That’s the problem, really. If they’d done iOS 7 with this new iPhone, you’d have gotten people saying the total package is Apple riffing on the other guys rather than innovating like they used to. At least this way, with the releases split across months, people (like you?) aren’t making the connection as readily. It’s for the best. Apple’s image of not innovating is already taking a beating a lot. Best not add to it what with reality.

    The 64-bit CPU would be MORE than nifty if meant anything to anything, but when most apps are going to be conventional, it isn’t going to make much difference in the near term. It’s neat super-keen, but I mean technically, meh. The motion processor is meh. They’ll integrate that into the CPU eventually or turn it into software when the CPU’s fast enough.

    And yeah, like I said before, the biometric sensor is this model’s version of Ping, their Maps, or Cards. A “magical” feature that will magically disappear from prominence in future models that will rarely be used because of all the times when it was absolutely most inconvenient that it failed spectacularly.

    Actually, a lot like Siri really. I suppose that means eventually Google will do it right and with a lot more practicality without as much of the flash, but a lot more of the actual use. Apple’s forgotten that simplicity is not a lot of flash and smoke and magic, but a feature just fading into the background and working.

    That’s why Google keeps smacking them down. Because Google just wants their stuff to work. They don’t use exaggerated adjectives and try to turn everything into the next coming of tech-rist.

    The feature is there and you use it (or you don’t, no biggie). Either way, it works cleanly and easily.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 6 years ago

    “the mass of tech punditry posited that the 5C was going to be a low-cost alternative for what polite econ wonks would dub “emerging Asian markets that rhyme with angina.””

    I *so* didn’t know there was a country called Vagina. You learn something new every day.

    • tipoo
    • 6 years ago

    I think the main point of the 5C is to drive people to the 5S. Offering the old 5 model (like they’ve done in the past with old models) would likely please consumers more since it’s much nicer looking and feeling, but it would cut into 5S sales since they look so similar and one would be cheaper. Along the way,it may save them a bit per unit to produce over the glass and aluminum.

      • windwalker
      • 6 years ago

      That’s pretty much it.
      But I’m pretty sure that the main point of the 5C is to attract people away from the 4S and only secondly to push those looking for a fancier build and more elegant colours to the 5S.

        • tipoo
        • 6 years ago

        How do you mean? A 5 at the same price would draw them away from the 4S just as much, if not more.

          • windwalker
          • 6 years ago

          The kind of customer that comes in looking to get whatever iPhone they can get for $0 is much more likely to be swayed by the colours of the 5C than the aluminium of the 5.

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    I know Android sucks and Google needs to get their Android act together, but I just can’t imagine myself buying an iPhone or iPod, at least not in the near future. I guess Android is the PC’s counterpart in the mobile world, and the iPhone is the … well, the Mac’s counterpart. I’m a thoroughly PC guy and I can’t imagine myself buying a Mac, and it’s been that way ever since I learned how to switch on a personal computer.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      I don’t think this is ronch being silly…please do tell in what way Android sucks? If you’re basing it on pre-4.0 Android, it’s an entirely different beast now…in a good way.

        • ronch
        • 6 years ago

        Don’t forget, a huge chunk (half?) of the Android installed base is still running on pre-ICS Android. Even an old iPod from back in 2009 works a lot better than Honeycomb, in my experience.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          [url<]http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html[/url<] 4.x accounts for around 2/3 of all devices. That's more than it should be but the amount still on Gingerbread is most likely not people buying a lot of stuff. They "check in" to Google Play, which includes udpates to pre-installed apps. The numbers of people actually buying stuff on Play is skewed more to the 4.x generation.

            • trackerben
            • 6 years ago

            I think ronch knows the majority of users have low-to-mid end droids and are encountering Android’s well-known fragmention issues. Google engineers are well aware of this and to their credit they are apologetic, but the fact is there aren’t many good workarounds for this on pre-ICS specced hardware.

            [url<]http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/05/google-engineers-discuss-fragmentation-hardware-and-project-butter/[/url<] "...As for why there are legions of users on older versions of Android, Burke answered that there is a predominance of Gingerbread in emerging markets because it runs on lower memory. The lagging effects that some users may experience has more to do with each of the individual applications than the system itself, and those applications are sometimes optimized to work only with newer hardware. "We’re looking at ways to make Android more efficient for the entry-level smartphones to help improve that situation,” he added. Not to mention inconsistent app availability and experience, and the critical problem of malware. [url<]http://www.theguardian.com/technology/appsblog/2013/aug/15/android-v-ios-apps-apple-google[/url<] "...Many developers' lack of enthusiasm for Android is down to concerns not just about the costs of making and testing their apps for it, but also the resources required to support them once they're launched, if emails flood in about unspotted bugs on particular models...." [url<]http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/27/net-us-android-security-idUSBRE97Q15Z20130827[/url<] "...Google Inc's Android, the dominant mobile operating system, is by far the primary target for malware attacks, mostly because many users are still using older versions of the software, according to a study by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation..."

          • Firestarter
          • 6 years ago

          And how is this relevant to buying a iPhone 5C/S vs. a comparable Android phone? Anything competing with the iPhone 5/S/C will be running Android 4.2.2 at the least.

          Unless of course you want to speculate on how the platforms will change in the future and which one will be better, based on how they got here. Speculating on that may be fun, but not very useful IMO.

      • Freon
      • 6 years ago

      Kitkat should help unify updates, but at the same time both Android and iOS seemed to have issues in the past with the latest OS making older phones dog slow. I think most of that has kind of blown over as the phones are so damn fast now. My outgoing Droid RAZR (dual core) is really no slower after Jellybean than when I got it 2 years ago, but my first A855 sucked bad after I think Froyo (2.2? 2.3? I forget exactly), and I remember seeing and hearing how bad the older iPhones were after the 4S came out and whatever iOS that was associated with.

      One way or another, if you want to keep up you’re going to need to update your phone every other year.

      Meanwhile, Apple is still refusing to put micro SDHC slots, removable batteries, and standard micro USB charging/data in their phones, which is retarded. Google is attacking their problems, but Apple seems to ignore theirs.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 6 years ago

      I owned iPhones for 5 years straight before getting a Nexus 4 and I have to say Android is pretty great.

      There are some frustrations when dealing with it, but I do (slightly) prefer it overall to iOS.

      • jamsbong
      • 6 years ago

      I have been a long time supporter of pc gaming. which has been the only reason why I use a windows.
      After moving to a new country, I have been busy settling down. It has been 2 months since I last touch a windows based computer. I DO NOT MISS IT AT ALL. Not even once!

      That said, I’ve started using Mac OSX and Linux. I can tell you now, I will never bothered buying a windows OS machine ever again.

      I have a feeling that I will have the same change of mind when I switch my nexus 4 to an iPhone.

        • cynan
        • 6 years ago

        …and spend 3-4x as much for it. The nexus 4 is getting a bit dated, and by all means, isn’t the perfect phone. But you can get the base model (yes, with only 8GB of memory) for $199. Outright. If you could get a new iPhone 5 (never mind 5S) for anywhere close to that (even at double the cost), I would definitely be taking a much harder look at an iPhone.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 6 years ago

    registers!

    • windwalker
    • 6 years ago

    Seriously, what exactly do you expect?
    Why is 100% performance improvement delivered every year since 2010 “incremental”?

    Ever since Samsung’s advertising budget reached into the stratosphere, everyone has been screaming for Apple “innovation”.
    It had nothing to do with separating the iOS preview from the simultaneous phone and OS releases.
    That latter started in 2009 while the “boredom” and “innovation” smear campaign started in 2011.

    • sparkman
    • 6 years ago

    What about future iPhone 5C price cuts?

    With the 5C’s plastic exterior and it’s mature, year-old iPhone 5 internals, maybe Apple has room to discount this device.

    First they take some profits from today’s shiny-new-thing hype. Next they let the iPhone 4S stocks dwindle. Finally they discontinue the 4S and announce a big price cut for the 5C, vastly expanding it’s appeal into China.

      • windwalker
      • 6 years ago

      For your own sake, stop holding your breath for a cheap Apple product.
      It will never happen.

      There is no “taking of profits first”.
      That’s the price and it stays there many years while the product evolves.
      There will never be “a big price cut”.
      In 2014, iPhone 5C will move into the price slot currently held by iPhone 4S.
      If a product underperforms that means it is either broken and Apple changes it radically (Apple TV) or it is not worth their time so they simply kill it (XServe), but they never ever drop prices to compete.

      iPhone 5C is already vastly appealing in China and everywhere else.
      Those that want it enough will pay for it. Others may wait a year for a $99 discount and many others will just buy a different brand of phone.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 6 years ago

        I dunno, man. They dropped the price on retina Macbooks not long after introduction.

          • windwalker
          • 6 years ago

          Well, they’re not stupidly greedy either, contrary to popular belief.
          It’s quite likely and reasonable to guess that the screen yields improved so they dropped prices as a result.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 6 years ago

            Apple is also not immune to market adjustments in their pricing when there’s a need, like there was with the 13″ rMBP (which I bought once they knocked $300 off the price).

            Their pricing on phones and tablets is generally competitive so there’s no real reason to lower prices there.

        • peartart
        • 6 years ago

        I would be surprised if the inevitable discount is only $99. $150-200 seems more likely, possibly along with a name change from “iPhone 5C” to something like “iPhone Color”.

          • windwalker
          • 6 years ago

          You and throngs of confused analysts will always be surprised by what Apple chooses to do and especially by what they choose not to do.

          The cheapest iPhone will be sold at the price equal to the level of subsidy Apple can get from operators because having an iPhone without a data plan is pointless.
          iPhones will drop in price at the same time the price of mobile data will drop. Not sooner and not later.

        • sparkman
        • 6 years ago

        Was I holding my breath?

        Apple makes a top phone, they aren’t complete idiots. They’ve probably noticed that if they could drop the price low enough, they’d sell like a billion units into China.

        You seem to be saying that Apple will never ever try anything new.

          • windwalker
          • 6 years ago

          No. I am saying Apple will never compete on price.
          If they cannot compete on quality they do not enter a market or a price segment at all.

          You want Apple to go for volume so you can afford their products. They simply don’t do that.
          As long as there are people alive willing to pay more for better products, no amount of screaming from those that aren’t will make Apple change their minds about that.

          It’s similar to how you and me both refuse to quit our cushy well paid 40 hour a week office desk jobs to work 60 hours a week washing dishes. But why? We’ll make the same amount of money and have a larger share of the labour market.

            • sparkman
            • 6 years ago

            > You want Apple to go for volume so you can afford their products.

            I’m waiting for Friday to buy two 64 GB iPhone 5S’s, so I think you have me confused with someone else.

            My interest in the iPhone 5C prices is technological. If Apple ventures into the low-end, it could have a big effect on their business as well as on the entire smartphone market.

            • windwalker
            • 6 years ago

            Good for you and I hope you enjoy your new phones.

            I don’t really see anything interesting about iPhone 5C from a technological standpoint. It’s built from iPhone 5 components in a cheerfully coloured case.

            I agree that Apple venturing into the low end would have a big effect on their business and the effect would be catastrophical.
            I would love to get cheaper Apple stuff, but I’m pretty sure that would lead to an erosion of quality.
            There are plenty others who sell poor and mediocre stuff on the cheap, so there’s no need for Apple to join in.

            Apple has already changed the smartphone market completely. The consequences of their entry are still bankrupting companies and getting CEOs fired more than 6 years later.
            It’s extremely unlikely for anything similarly disruptive to hit this market in the foreseeable future simply because of the fierce competition.
            As long as Google keeps developing and giving Android away for free nothing exceptional can happen in the smartphone market.

      • tipoo
      • 6 years ago

      The 5C will only get a price cut when the 6 is out. At least, officially from Apple. Carriers may subsidize it more, of course.

      • Freon
      • 6 years ago

      Even if the 5C is $0 with contract, is +$199 not worth having a much better device when you’re paying probably $80-100/mo for 1.5-2 years? Even with a bare minimum plan and upgrading early at 1.5 years, that’s at least $1400 or so but probably more typically $1800-2000.

      Same thing happens on the Android side. You can get a crummy dual core phone with a “meh” 540p screen, no 5ghz wireless, no quad core for $0-100 with contract, or you can get the absolute bleeding edge quad core, 5″ 1080p OLED, NFC, N+G wireless, wireless charging, DLNA, etc. for $200 more.

      I just don’t get it.

    • Chrispy_
    • 6 years ago

    It still won’t charge with the Micro-USB cables that every other device I own uses.

    The RDF field has been switched off, and [i<]even you,[/i<] Jason are seemingly getting tired of Apple's sh*t.

      • sparkman
      • 6 years ago

      In my home we have one Apple Lightning connector device and several (at least 4) micro-USB devices, and let me tell you, Lightning beats the !%$@ out of micro-USB all day long.

      I wish the more open Android ecosystem could figure out that the market actually cares about quality beyond mere spec numbers.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 6 years ago

        How is lightning better? They’re both just charging/data ports. Both can do audio/video out (thanks to USB MHL) and both can charge quickly assuming you have a compatible charger. I don’t get the infatuation with lightning.

          • peartart
          • 6 years ago

          It’s definitely more satisfying as a physical thing, but part of that is due to the phone itself.

          • trackerben
          • 6 years ago

          You can plug it in either orientation. The idiot-proof design makes it easy to use, even in the dark.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 6 years ago

            Either orientation? Idiot proof?

            Sounds perfect for Apple users! πŸ˜€

            • trackerben
            • 6 years ago

            You’ve got a point there. With Apple designs either idiots or geniuses look good putting them to their best, fullest uses. Other brands are clunky enough that usually only smarter users can work out their full potential without looking dumb at times.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            That read like a PR statement.

            • trackerben
            • 6 years ago

            But was it true enough?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            No it just looked like PR. Anybody with half a brain will figure out after about 3 attempts how to plug in a micro USB cord. And how is plugging in a connector using the device to its fullest potential? It’s like Steve Jobs invaded your being, controlled your hands, and typed those sentences. And then he said, “Great Jobs.”

            • trackerben
            • 6 years ago

            So you’ve never felt dumb like I sometimes do while trying to plug a microUSB cable in the dark? Anything which better solves a frictional issue allows that much more time and focus on what the device is needed for in the first place.

            If this were so, does it have much to do with Apple’s dead founder? And if it weren’t, would it mean it doesn’t?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            No, I’ve never felt dumb trying to plug anything in. Why would I let the shape of a connector make me feel dumb?

            • Bubster
            • 6 years ago

            I feel dumber when I realize I forgot to plug something in that when I have trouble plugging it in.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            I agree wholeheartedly.

            • trackerben
            • 6 years ago

            It’s not the shape, it’s the physical operation. I usually fumble more than once trying to orient the plug in just right on microUSB ports. At least on Lenovo the port is centered and easy to locate in darkness or while driving, it’s not so with most phones. I have this love-hate thing with cables.

            • Spunjji
            • 6 years ago

            Seriously? I use USB every day and have lost count of the times I have sworn at the 4-dimensional connector. If you can’t see the relative orientation of the connectors (out of reach / too dark) it’s a right pig to get in.

            I used to rip on Lightning ’til I actually made use of it. I don’t know how statistics will bear this out but the design feels much better suited to wearing out several years of use as a charging cable than Micro USB. It’s just a shame that it’s proprietary and thus absolutely bloody useless to most of us out here.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 6 years ago

            So I guess you don’t come home drunk late ate night often and spend 30 seconds fumbling with the microUSB charger on your phone then?

            Because man. That’s some demoralizing shit right there.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            No, I guess I’m the only one around here who doesn’t really drink. A couple beers here and there, maybe a bit of Crown mixed with a soda, but I don’t really get drunk.

            • hiro_pro
            • 6 years ago

            my oldest micro usb devices such as my first kindle are starting to have problems with the connector wearing out. the thunderbolt/display port whatever is definitely an upgrade for something that you plug in every day for years to come.

          • floodo1
          • 6 years ago

          lighting is reversible, and the connection is as solid as it gets, zero wobble. it is superior in every way except compatibility.

            • forumics
            • 6 years ago

            great! simply perfect for people who lack a sense of sight and touch; and those who have only 2 braincells.
            for the rest of us, its perfectly easy to identify which direction a cable is supposed to go into a port, as simple as putting 2 lego bricks together.

            zero wobble? you’d get that from ancient usb cables too. zero wobble isn’t a feature unless you are living in 1970

            • peartart
            • 6 years ago

            Feel free to spend the rest of your life looking at the ends of cables.

            • trackerben
            • 6 years ago

            I can think of a jacketed livewire whose female end is one I’m more than willing to gaze at before plugging in.

            But I’m just being weird. This is nerd space where male plugs are just as fine to hold as behold!

            • Spunjji
            • 6 years ago

            Trust me on this as an Apple-hating technophile: that connector is exceptionally well designed. Arguing otherwise makes you look like like an elitist fool. Feel free to be annoyed by its infuriatingly proprietary nature, but the fact is that for its purpose it is far better designed than Micro USB

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 6 years ago

            *and price

            • Diplomacy42
            • 6 years ago

            i would be with you, except it costs 8x as much. If you could get lightning for 2 bucks a cord then by all means compare them in terms of wobble coefficient.

          • sparkman
          • 6 years ago

          Micro-USB plugs are clunky and cheap. I had one where the stupid little inner tab got bent by a teenager somehow. That’s not even hypothetically possible with a Lightning connector. Micro-USB plugs feel “rough” going in, enough to always make me wonder if I’m breaking the plug accidentally. Once inserted, Micro-USB has too much wiggle room, where Lightning feels snug.

          And the above is not even getting into the misery of trying to orient the stupid Micro-USB correctly when in a hurry or in the dark trying to be quiet. Lightning for the win.

            • sparkman
            • 6 years ago

            Now the old 30-pin iPhone/iPod connectors were not so good. Maybe slightly better than micro-USB on quality except that they were gigantic by modern standards. But 30-pin is obsolete… Apple has gone Lightning and if you care about connectors at all, Lightning beats everything else.

          • melgross
          • 6 years ago

          It’s more sophisticated. While it eliminates connectors no longer needed, it also determines what a line should be doing by knowing what is plugged in. Therefor, it needs fewer lines on the collector for a simpler, and much smaller interface. In addition, the connector allows you to plug it in either way. No more fumbling around to figure out which way will fit, as in all other devices. The connector is also water resistant, unlike the older design (or the USB connectors used by others.).

          Then, lastly, it’s more secure than the older connector. I used to move my device around, and without realizing it, partly unplug the connector. That no longer seems to happen.

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 6 years ago

          It’s technically superior connector in a number of ways none of which matter when you want to just charge your damn phone. πŸ™‚

        • sparkman
        • 6 years ago
        • Selous
        • 6 years ago

        I’m loving the Nokias wireless charging, that is a feature that i use on a daily basis

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]even you, Jason are seemingly getting tired of Apple's sh*t.[/quote<] Did we read the same article...? [quote<]"the biometric home button is rather astounding" [/quote<] [quote<]"I am impressed with the 5S camera" [/quote<] [quote<]"I believe the Lightning connector was a significant upgrade" [/quote<] [quote<]"While the competitions' phones have improved markedly over the years and are, in some ways, probably better, there is a big difference between being a viable alternative and being a must-have" [/quote<]

        • Chrispy_
        • 6 years ago

        The whole article has overtones of “meh”, a hint of “Apple has stopped trying” and a cool afterglow of indifference.

        This is [i<]Jason Fox[/i<] - TR's official Macophile mascot. If he can't drum up any real enthusiasm for it, why should anyone else care?

          • windwalker
          • 6 years ago

          Please, for the love of everything and anything, just stop caring right now and **** off.

          The fact that even the haters like you bother to spend so much time and energy thinking and commenting about Apple is one of the best arguments against their supposed irrelevance.

          Apple fanboys don’t go around badmouthing Dell or Blackberry every time even the most tangentially related subject is brought up.

      • windwalker
      • 6 years ago

      Imma let you finish but microUSB is by far the worst connector of all time.

        • Chrispy_
        • 6 years ago

        That just shows how young and inexperieced you must be.

          • sparkman
          • 6 years ago

          Yes I always hated early IDE hard disk connectors. They got slightly better with EIDE.

      • jdaven
      • 6 years ago

      I have a PS3, Wii, DIY AMD based PC, MBP, 2x iPhones, and an Ipad in my home. I enjoy all types of technology. Your supposed RDF never existed and just prevents people like you from enjoying technology because of market brainwashing.

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        Sooo… No android devices whatsoever…?

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          ALL TYPES, NeelyCam. He said ALL TYPES ALL TYPES ALL TYPES

      • Freon
      • 6 years ago

      The proprietary connector is pretty laughable at this point. As is the lack of a micro SD card slot.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 6 years ago

        I didn’t think I’d ever need a Micro SD slot in a device with 16GB of memory. Then I bought a Galaxy S4 with about 9.9GB of usable storage space. I’m still not at capacity with everything I want on the internal storage, but I’ve moved music to the SD.

          • Chrispy_
          • 6 years ago

          I have to admit that I didn’t think much about it when the Nexus devices abandoned SD support, but I couldn’t survive on a 16GB phone anymore.

          The music collection I have on me is about 10GB, and that excludes podcasts and space I’ll need for the odd TV show (for when I’m on a train or something). I don’t feel like I should have to trim my playlists because of an artificial technological limit. Running out of storage space in your MP3 player is so [i<]last century[/i<], and a 32GB microSD card is a low-price commodity item.

        • windwalker
        • 6 years ago

        One of the most important points of iOS is accessibility.
        And not in the usual software design sense of “disabled people can use it”, but in being inviting and catering to your standard issue human.

        Simplicity follows as a natural goal and from it the controversial stubborness of refusing to allow access to the file system. And as a result of that, there is no storage expansion either.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          So to paraphrase, “No, no, this is better, trust us.”

          Android manages to allow micro SDs to hold media while restricting apps from being anywhere other than internal storage. It’s not even a difficult concept. My 60-year-old mom gets it with her Droid RAZR. The music and photos are on the SD card and everything else is on the phone’s built-in storage. It was true of her cheapy LG dumb phone QWERTY slider, too.

            • windwalker
            • 6 years ago

            No. It’s neither better nor worse.
            It’s their choice.
            If you agree or don’t care about it you buy their product.
            If you disagree you buy something else.
            If you’re an idiot you throw tantrums, bitch and moan endlessly and insult the people that bought the product.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            wtf. Clearly Apple thinks it’s better this way. Same for HTC and LG and Motorola. Samsung seems to be the only big manufacturer left with SD storage.

            • Chrispy_
            • 6 years ago

            I guess that is why Samsung is winning the global marketshare war.

            People *want* SD storage
            People *know* flash memory is dirt cheap
            People scoff at $50-100 for a 16GB upgrade that costs the manufacturer a dollar or two.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 6 years ago

    I think I’m going to get the 5s but honestly I like the color options for the 5c better. :/

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    I think what really happened that gave us the 5C is that the cost of the iPhone 5 wasn’t going to go down in terms of material costs the amount they’d need to hit their margin goal on the mid-level phone. So instead of make a phone that’s cheaper and metal, they redesigned the outside, kept the inside, and gave it a new name. Nothing wrong with that, and making them colorful will make them interesting and distinctly fun in a way.

    Because people who currently have the iPhone 5 and those who will have a Space Silver/Space Gray iPhone 5 will look an awful lot alike for the next year+ until their contract is up.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      Ooh, another random thought – what are the chances that the next iPad Mini is an iPhone 5c-style build?

        • windwalker
        • 6 years ago

        1. Why?
        2. We would have seen leaks by now.

          • sparkman
          • 6 years ago

          > 1. Why?

          To hit a lower price point —> larger mass market.

            • windwalker
            • 6 years ago

            It would compromise the light weight which is one of the most important appeals of iPad mini.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            The iPad Mini weighs more than the Nexus 7. Will plastic really weigh more than aluminum?

            (source for weight: [url<]http://www.gizmag.com/ipad-mini-vs-nexus-7-2013/28450/)[/url<]

            • windwalker
            • 6 years ago

            That’s because it’s much bigger.
            It has more surface area, so more glass and larger battery.

            iPhone 5C weighs 132 grams compared to 112 grams for iPhone 5S.
            I think it’s because of the steel frame they use to reinforce the plastic case.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            The 4s weighs even more yet they continue to sell it. My point is if people want a light tablet they’re already buying the wrong one. If an iPad mini ends up weighing 350g that’s still roughly half of an iPad. I think they’re going to have to go this route in order to go with more expensive panels so they can be all-retina across their iOS devices. I really think that’s a goal.

            • windwalker
            • 6 years ago

            iPhone 4S is an old product marching down towards the end of its lifecycle so everything about it, including weight is water under the bridge.
            It tells you nothing about the priorities of the company.
            Only new products do.

            Retina will make iPad mini heavier anyway because it will need a bigger battery to feed the screen and GPU. They are not going to choose to make it even heavier by changing the casing.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            On the contrary I think that’s the perfect time to make it heavier and cheaper to produce. It’s all a series of trade-offs.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 6 years ago

            To kind of prove the point, every generation from 3GS up through 4S was heavier than the last. It’s not like every time they do this it gets lighter and thinner.

            3G: 133g: [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP495[/url<] 3GS 135g: [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP565[/url<] 4 137g: [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP587[/url<] 4s 140g: [url<]http://support.apple.com/kb/SP643[/url<]

            • Diplomacy42
            • 6 years ago

            the plastic isn’t what made it heavier. they added a bigger battery.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          1. save on production costs
          2. maybe. Probably. We didn’t see much in the way of iPad Mini photos until riiiiiight before launch.

      • TheCollective
      • 6 years ago

      Exactly correct sir. This was my analysis as well.

      • jdaven
      • 6 years ago

      Yes this is exactly why they did it. Spot on analysis.

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