Bored now.

Bored now

There's a sentiment running through the technology community that, following the iPhone 5 event, Apple has become boring. That the iPhone looks pretty much the same this year as it did last. Of course, this meme is unburied, reanimated, and set to lurch following every new device announcement. Never mind that the iPhone 5 has been completely rebuilt at almost the atomic level, it's still a rounded rectangle. Apple's not designing by dice roll. They're relentlessly working towards something they've had in mind since 2005. Something inevitable. Something unmolested by the whims, vagaries, and expectations of kitsch and chaos. But before anyone utters "bored now"...

Let's look at how much Nokia has changed their design every year, from the N9 to the Lumia 900 and Lumia 920.

Samsung from the Galaxy S to Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III.

HTC from the EVO 4G and Thunderbolt to the One X.

And, of course, Lamborghini's from the Murciélago to Gallardo and Aventador.

Calling the iPhone 5 boring is easy. It's a talking point. A tag line. It's the first ten words. What are the next ten? Tell me those. Tell me how the new manufacturing process with metal back and chamfered edges is in any way the same and I'll admit to being "bored now" as well.

Chances are nobody can. And that's the real "bored now".

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Bored now.

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I you recall, the Lumia design imitates one of the discarded Apple designs (other than colors) that came out during the Samsung trial.

Don't you feel like Don Quixote charging up against windmills? Or like Bill Murray trying figure what set of actions would get him out of the time loop in Groundhog day?

Hopefully this boring meme will burn out in another couple of days. If the sales are really good, Apple could just say "Scoreboard!" and call it a day.

"If the sales are really good".... Stock for the pre-orders was allocated to customers in a matter of a few hours... how's that for "if"? :)

Why revolutionize something that isn't broken? The iPhone updates aren't going to be as "dramatic" as they used to be, unless Apple decides that the iPhone design isn't good anymore. But the design is fine, so why go out and totally change it?

In fairness, RIM used to say the same thing. There is some danger of being left behind if you do nothing but iterate rather than innovate, but I don't really see anyone completely overtaking Apple in the next year or so.

Give it a few more years, Apple could very well trail in the footsteps of RIM. Besides, it will take that long (at the least) for Apple to wake up and realize that they can't go on brand or reputation alone. They need to be innovative, but of course, they say they are to all the blue shirted geniuses who work for them.

I'm not sure RIM is the best analogy. The difference was that RIM really was broken, as evidenced by how many people stopped buying their product, due to their refusal to innovate. And if you listen to the rhetoric of Lazaridis and other RIM peeps during the time, thats exactly what the goal was: avoiding innovation and keeping BlackBerries as much the same as possible-this even after the future of smartphone trends were clearly evident. I mean, you can find apple saying weird self aggrandizing stuff etc., but there is no comparison between that and the stuff coming out of RIM all the way up through 2010. When RIM's 2010 market strategy is to build the best speaker-phone in the world, because "that is what consumers truly want in a phone," you can't compare that to Apple at this point.

Apple isn't avoiding innovation. They are just not worried about reinventing their phone every release cycle. Their game is consistant iteration and progression, with a magical new feature every twice in a while. The demand for their phones is evidence that their system is not broken but is actually serving the needs of customers better and better. Will somebody else develop and execute a better strategy? Perhaps. But the Apple-RIM analogy doesn't really hold water at this point in time.

Yeah we all know about the tick-tock release cycle. The thing is, where was the tock when everyone was looking for one this round? The way I see it, the 5S better be made out of rainbows and unicorns.

I'm not saying they'll never revolutionize the iPhone ever again. I just meant that for now, it works. The iMac/Macbook lineup hasn't changed that much over the years lately, just the necessary tweaks and upgrades here and there, and that's kind of how I see the iPhone at this point. I hope when the time comes to revolutionize, Apple will do just that. But for now, the iPhone is just fine. At least, that's how I see it.

I, for one, love the new design. I hope that the next iPad shares the same beautiful design. I'd even go as far as to say the Macs should come in Slate or Silver (I'm not sure if the silver = aluminum), but that's just my opinion.

In other words, you love the design from 7 years ago! Lol. Why is that the iPhone is like that pair of Levis 501 jeans that are quite durable but offer no cosmetic or wow factor any more?

I don't get people. I want my smart phone fast, small and capable. Take race cars, jets, guns and DeWalt 18v drill. A smart phone is a tool to get things done. Great it entertains you too and keeps you connected. The iPhone has gone thru amazing iterations to get where it is at. Visually I think the Gallaxy III is very apealing. But people, thats not why you buy a phone. As quoted by someone else, what form factor factor do you want? An octagon, ninja start, circle phone? Toasters are boring too but the damn things does what I need it to do, MAKE TOAST!

Yes, but Apple is supposed to be different from those other companies. They are supposed to lead by amazing design. They have a long history of wowing, and inspiring its fans. They always unveiled at least one major surprise at almost every event.

This event had no surprised. Not one. The iPhone 5 looks like a nice upgrade, but it isn't exciting. iOS 6 was a retread. The iPod nano was beyond bizarre.

I hate to bring up the "Steve Jobs" red herring, but I just felt better hen he was at Apple. Like I KNEW surprises were in store. I'm not sure I feel that way anymore. I hope I'm wrong.

Did RIM ever have lines around the block at each launch? Did they sell out in less than an hour?

I am baffled at this. What was the iPhone missing? A gargantuan screen? Very few people who still have an iPhone after all this time are wishing the screen was huge. NFC? Why. It's not an adopted technology.

What else? What else should be done? They're perfecting a design that works and that people love.

Increasing the screen size, changing the details, improving the screen, the back, the weight, the thickness, they're perfecting and moving toward what they originally set out for.

The only thing I see Apple needing to really innovate is their OS. There is a lot they can do with it now, but no one thinks that Apple is focused on supporting as much as they can, going crazy with their OS will alienate people using older devices, and apple has always stood behind doing that as much as possible, clearly, with the 3GS getting iOS 6.

They're getting there. But at their own pace. They Don't allow crazy customization with their devices because it then makes them unstable. I have seen what happens when jailbreak tweaks get out of hand, the device bogs down and it no longer operates perfectly. Apple prides themselves on never giving out something that could sloggishly perform, something that's easy to happen with Widgets, I've seen it.

Lots of people are happy with how apple is taking it.

Like the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. No sense innovating just to say "ooh we innovated!"

When that happens, we get Ping...

Ask your partner or spouse if increasing your length by 0.5 inches is really considered an increase and if it feels any different or functions differently?

It's pretty obvious the supporters of the latest iPhone are praising it on a very granular level which is completely ridiculous. In fact you probably wouldn't even notice the difference between the 4S and 5 as youtube video on Jimmy KIMMEL's show has proven. You can't keep pressing your luck and not become innovative.

Don't be surprised if this is the beginning of slow and low sales for Apple, especially how everyone else is moving at almost light speed with innovation.

BS - th gets of this thing include a new SOC that no one has managed to produce yet that's faster and more power efficient on a new CPU process node. New screen tech, single chip to handle LTE, HSPA, GSM, CDMA. The new unibody design is impressive. This isn't coasting, this is iterating.

What innovation? People keep tossing this word around with Android devices and I have no clue what that is in reference to. I can't think of any innovations. Surely a large screen isn't the innovation...

@Andsoitgoes, quite true about Android widgets -- for the most part they are incredible resource hogs. You have only to run a test, nuke your widgets and run it again. But Apple needs SOMETHING beyond their admittedly nice folder scheme to make their home screen more useable. As is, I've go row after row of folders that can't be read at a glance. What's the answer? Over to you, Sir Jonny.

The answer is have Siri open apps for you. In iOS 6 Siri opens all apps and she does it quickly. Make sure also that you organize your apps better so you have a sense of what app is in which folder.

I totally agree. I've had Androids with all of the customizing and it was not stable I'd call it simply crash-tastic. I've also jailbroken an iPhone and the tweaks cause the phone to slowdown and do things that it was not programmed to do. The beauty of apple is that it just works. The only think I want is a better notification system where you can see at a glance what notifications are awaiting your response I.e. android with the icons at top of menu bar. Other than that I love my iPhone to pieces. So glad to be back and off the droid!

Take the Lumia 920's screen though. Incredibly fast refresh rate and the ability to use it with a glove on. That's a useful innovation that actually provides a benefit to users, versus the new screen tech the i5 offers.

Apparently, this was the last design of the iPhone Jobs worked on. So you can say the success or failure of the iPhone 5 is his doing. In Job's mind, he probably felt from now on, the iPhone just needs slight tweeking. People will flock no matter what Apple produces. Clearly, bigger is not better to him. One could say his thought process and even logic was impaired in the final few years due to his illness.

Nonetheless, even the leaks or rumours of the 5 were spot on. This is genuinely unprecedented in the Apple world. Apple's empire will soon start to crack. Whether or not those cracks are visible to others, make no mistake, they will occur. And when the empire crumbles, it shall all be recorded in history.

Were you surprised when Samsung went from S2 to S3? Every other android phone that comes out has a new name but looks exactly the same as the previous one. Go to Best buy and take a look and see if you can point out which android phone is which by just looking at them. If Apple could throw in a toaster for your bragging right then they would.

I think you need some glasses. They don't look the same. Plus they have better cameras, faster processors, new features, and the Android OS is improving, however it's still not their yet in it's efficiency, simplicity, and how everything works together compared to the iPhone. However, when people upgrade many people don't want something to look virtually identical to what they had before. They expect significant differences and improvements especially from an inventor who has had a history of wowing consumers for several years up until the last few. then again, if you have low or no expectations then any change is a big change.

Apple just did the same thing my friend, better camera, faster processor, better OS and still very easy to use. Why call one phone changed and other virtually the same?
So going from square corners to round corners on S2 to S3 is different but having a bigger screen from 4S to 5 is virtually the same. Apple doesn't have to come up with something totally new because they have a phone that works and works well. They keep improving the user experience.

I guess the way to be surprised next year is to stop reading sites like these :)

But thats not something I plan on doing.

For this device being referred to as "Steve Job's last project" this device doesn't seem to have the wow factor that Apple products have brought in the past. But whatever. They will sell millions of these things so it doesn't matter.

You may not believe this, but Apple is a leader. They don't even march to the orders of their customers. They trust that their customer can appreciate quality and refinement. They will dramatically change the design when they believe that have something worthy of the change. The competitors approach is "Oh crap! Apple may come up with something new, so let's pump out as many designs as possible and cover all bases before the next new iPhone comes out".

The great news is you have a choice. If you're bored, move on.

I will choose top quality over popularity or trendiness anytime.

All leaders eventually fail and become followers. Apple may still be the leader, but they are just catching up in most but not all areas compared to the competition. This strategy may prove to be Apple's undoing.

@Spaz888, that's just plain wrong, The competition has only just begun doing its own innovation beyond "copy Apple." That's great and I'm enjoying the results, but there are SO many areas where Apple is innovating like crazy. Comparing my Galaxy S3 with the iPhone 5, I truly believe the iPhone 5 has passed Samsug once again. The unprecedented event came when the S3 truly lapped the 4s -- a sign that Apple must pick up the pace. But to say they Are "just catching up" is just plain wrong. Aside from screen size and NFC, I can't think of a single area where iPhone has not surpassed the flagship phones of Samsung amd HTC.

"I will choose top quality over popularity or trendiness anytime."

That just might be the most ironic statement ever made by an iPhone user... congrats!

Agreed! Translated that says "I will always let Apple dictate what I think. As long as all of my friends have it, I will too."

There's quite a bit of irony their because if that statement was true, that person wouldn't be an iPhone user.

It's an evolution not a revolution. What were people expecting. I think it looks stunning, like with all great design the beauty is in the detail. I'm looking forward to picking up my 16GB Black & Slate next week.

The iPhone is being saturated in the market. I see it in almost every movie, TV Shows. A lot of people (Including teenagers and senior citizens) have the iPhone. I would think that its cool factor has got to die off soon. Time will tell.

@UndergroundWire, this reminds me of a quote from Yogi Berra, speaking of a once-cool NY restaurant: "No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

But for Steve Jobs, COOL was the ability to deliver fantastic design to everyone in earth who could appreciate it, at a fair price. I agree. Just because Miles become amazingly popular doesn't make his music any less cool.

The thing people fail to realize is that the iPhone is more than being cool. It's an inter generational device that anyone can use. Coolness be damned it just works. My 55&56 year old Aunty and mother are getting iPhones now because they want functionally phones that work. I took the to the store to play with droids before they bought and both were disinterested. Ease of use and functionality are important. My aunt who doesn't own a computer is brand new to smartphones, and she is really liking her new phone and finding it easy to use. My mom loved how easy it was to book her flight to Cali on my iPhone, the ease of use and typing. Coming from a blackberry she is happy to make the switch. In the last 6 months I've gotten 4 new people using he iPhone and they love it!

I have been an iPhone user for 5 phone generations now. But I held in my hand a Galaxy SIII this week and was thoroughly impresses, wishing it were an Apple product.

But Apple now is doing the safe upgrade strategy, don't want to piss off grandmas by changing the UI, or making the screen usably larger and having 9 year olds complain about not being able to reach.

And because of the costs and business practices that have alienated carriers, heavy enterprise users like me no longer get annual early upgrades without paying $449, even though my monthly bill is north of $200.

So as the autumn arrives, I await the Microsoft Surface, and if it delivers what I think it will, not only will my iPad be for sale, but when my contract expires, by then I will most likely opt for a Windows 8 phone and go 100% windows integration. Lots of friends and coworkers are in my same mode of thinking.

Time to move on.

Yes because MS has such a strong history of innovation in the mobile space. WP7 flopped hard and MS shafted every user they managed to get when they announced WP8 wouldnt run on any existing handsets. At least Apple gives you 2+ years of OS updates with your hardware.

@Hammer, if I may offer some observations -- I own an iPhone 4s (biz), Samsung Galaxy sIII (personal) and my wife has a Nokia Lumia 900 (business).

Guess which phone impresses me most? The Nokia, because it's a gorgeous piece of design and engineering with the most advanced OS in the world. My technophobe spouse hated iPhones, Androids and Blackberries, but adores this. Unfortunately, the app selection stops me from considering the Lumia 900 for business use. It just doesn't have enough of the apps I need every day from my Apple gear.

Now to the Samsung. Like you, I also have wished that my iPhone could have the same awesome, 4.8 inch display as my Samsung sIII. I keep reaching for this Android phone because it's so fun to look at. But again, the Android app selection, uh, inhales mightily -- if you're a business user. You can customize the crap out of it and make NFC tags, and you cannot beat the alarm sounds on the Samsung, but when it comes to PDF markup software or WebDAV clients or word processing or voice-to-text, yes, there are a very few apps, but the experience stinks. It takes me two or three times as long on my Samsung to do something that's duck soup on iOS. It's better than it used to be, but I'm not ready to swap my iPhone 4s for the Galaxy sIII -- not for business use.

Now to the iPhone. First, I think Apple made a very serious mistake to stick to the "Seldon Plan" in the last two update cycles. They should have rolled out iPhone 5 LAST October, and they could have -- but sales were so strong they felt they didn't need to. As a result, they let Samsung lap them with the Galaxy sIII, which STILL feels a generation ahead of iPhone 5. I strongly feel they need to come up with a more ambitious, riskier design next year -- NOT just iPhone 5s -- or they may see a sales decline in fourth-quarter 2013. More on that later, elsewhere. But right now, I just ordered a fully loaded iPhone 5 for my business, because it's going to be the smoothest, most powerful, most app-laden phone On the market, and will easily pay for itself in enhanced productivity. PLUS its AirPlay capabilities really make it untouchable right now for people like me with AirPlay-capable equipment and Apple TVs. My Samsung has several apps that aspire to be AirPlay compatible, but so far they have proved so tempermental as to be useless. If Apple licensed the technology to them, I have to wonder if they secretly crippled it. Not
Iikely, but sure feels that way.

So there you have it. YES, the Nokia has a better OS, YES, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a bigger, more colorful screen. And I enjoy them both -- LOVE the s3, actually -- but for now, I need the apps and ecosystem that only the iPhone can offer. Next year? Who knows. Android is catching up on the app front and if Google can come up with a worthy competitor to AirPlay, the whole game could change. I kind of doubt it will. But I dearly hope Apple will put as much effort into the NEXT iPhone as Samsung will with its Galaxy sIV. If not, well, I'll just reach for a different device. We don't really depend on Apple as much as they do on us. And they know it.

@kingofkats - thanks for the info and I agree with your comments. Like lots of others I just liked it better when Apple pushed the envelope more.

I'm just really bored with the stale old springboard and phone form factor. I feel like I'm running DOS.

Some Porsche picts would have been even more on point!

The 911 is still the sports car to beat for many, and yet it's looks haven't changed from the beginning.

People are so dumb... The revolution occurred with the Apple II, the Mac, IPod, iTunes, Apple Retail, App Store, IPhone and iPad. Yet for many years Apple has EVOLVED many of these products, making them better and better until new technology allows for another revolution. Like the iMac before it and like iPod and every other Apple Revolutionary product, the launch of the iPhone in 2007 changed the landscape of smartphones forever. Now it is time for the market to grow and mature until technology allows for another amazing innovation that will enhance people's lives. hopefully... Apple can be the trailblazer in taking us down that path and like all of their previous revolutions, impact consumers in a positive way.

Bingo. Improve your product that sells. When the time comes someone (not just Apple) will come up with a product that amazes and sets a new standard. What else can you ask for from the iphone 5 these days?

Rather than reinventing the iPhone, Apple should add something new, like they did when they added iPod, then iPhone, then iPad. There are so many things for the taking:

-Get into automotive entertainment. Like Ford using "powered by Microsoft", iOS based car entertainment&communications could revolutionize many things.
- Revive Apple TV by buying TiVo. TiVo is still the leader in providing TV when you need it, apple could build on top of this to own the living room. Run apps on the living room box, make it the game console/home entertainment server/home automation server/etc. Simplify everything in the living room: TV, receiver, remote, etc. Right now this stuff is still so last century.
- Buy a major online company, such as Facebook or Yahoo. With the drag of the devices, this could be a powerhouse and rival Google.
- Provide a hybrid iPad - Laptop combination. If Apple doesn't, this will be the way Microsoft will hurt them. Also a subtle way to draw in those iOS lover/MacOS haters, like myself.
- Reinvent iTunes. Such a looser software compared to iOS.

Come on Rene, if you are gonna use photos of other phones as reference points, don't manipulate the photos like you have. You clearly show the iP4 and iP4 as being the same size and then showing the iPhone 5 as larger, which it is. On the other hand, when it comes to the One X and the S3, you have them displayed as they are the same sizes as all the previous phones. The One X is 12mm taller than the Thunderbolt and the S3 is 11mm taller than the S2. My problem with the "Bored Now" is that yes, the new iPhone does look very similar to the previous two years of iphones but not only that, is the lack of things they have been holding back on. Many say NFC is a waste, I disagree but it WOULD of been nice if it was included. Apple knew they should of added another radio so CDMA iPhones could talk + surf. but I'm sure they are waiting for the 5S to give individuals those features when they should been included in the 5. It's all the little things that add up that give many people a bad taste in their mouth about Apple.

People's expectations towards Apple are insane. I keep making fun of Tim Cook with how many times he uses "Only Apple" on stage but that's why! That "boring" situation doesn't happen with other companies. People want to be wowed every year, maybe even every 6 months if we include the iPad! Man, it can't be done that quickly!

It's still too early, but I can see Cook resigning or changing positions within Apple in the next few years.

So, to counteract the complete lack of excitement, we're sticking with the 7 year old design theory eh? Perfection was achieved in 2005, now we just have to get there? I wonder what would be the excuse if this "purple" nonsense had never come up at the lawsuit.

BTW, project purple looks exactly like the iPhone 4, not the iPhone 5, so we can argue that inevitability was achieved two years ago, and now we're into the muddy waters of the post Jobs era.

It's still the best looking out of all the other even after 3 variants. The s3 is ugly. The lumina is nicely designed and the one x is not something I'll aww over. I think people will have a different view once they have the phone in their hands and get to see the detail and work that went in to this phone. It's not Just a bunch of plastic pieces put together.

With the Samsung phones you can very much tell they have different design language yes they are slabs but they are defireent shape to one another have different screen size different button size and the design language of the s3 is all curves with no straight line of course putting them as a flat pic it is hard to tell. The Iphone 5 from the the front looks just like a taller 4 and 4s where as the galaxy phones and HTC phones from the front are obviously have to different design... All the lumias look the same too.

Nokia is just starting to get their feet wet, Give them time. They'll be a great alternative to the horrible warranty and customer support Samsung provides.

Taz89, Lighten up. I love my wife and see things in her perhaps nobody else will notice. Same thing with you and the sIII. I agree it's cool my sIII is all curves, but don't expect others to notice. And they don't. Not even friends who hold it and play with it.

The Iphone 5 looks good but I think it's elongated shape looks wired and if they had kept it similar aspect as the 4 and 4s it would look much nicer... So far everyone I know they have said the stretched out Iphone doesn't look right.

Finally why are the galaxy phones made to look like they are all the same size when they clearly are not... See how the Iphones show there correct size to one another but the rest they resized so to be the same size lol

You don't know why? All you have to do is look at who wrote the article.

Rene has become one of those writers (and I use that term loosely) that has become laughable to read. Unfortunately, nobody in the other Mobile Nations sites have set him straight because they are too nice to embarrass him.

I think the article was making a facetious point and y'all ate it up as fact. Point is as much as the iPhone is being called boring, other manufacturers haven't changed much either but they're called exciting. Stop trolling and get a grip.

Exactly what is being said. All of those other "Great" cell phones have basically minimally changed (hardware wise) since the conception of its original flagship phone. The iPhone was created. It was a hit. It took what was "imperfect" about it, and changed it. etc etc etc. The iPhone 5 will be the hottest phone ever released in more ways than one. I've owned an android top of the line phone. I was quickly bored. I rooted it. I became bored. I switched to Apple. I have been forever happy. Was the 4s a HIT!! No--- it wasnt GAME CHANGING... but it was successful. We should all expect a 5s--- which will basically be faster.. 5 is the realest. Anything else is clown music

The 4S was a hit to me because it was the first iPhone on Sprint. I waited a long time to get an iPhone on Sprint. Got rid of my Evo and made the switch, haven't regretted it one bit. The whole iOS vs. Android argument is BS. If you want more functionality with iOS you jailbreak, the same thing happens on Android, they just call it rooting. Some people will not buy anything Apple, I can understand that. I held that same sentiment as well, until I purchased a MBP some years ago. All the whining and back and forth is useless. If you don't like a company, don't support them. It just so happens that a lot of people buy Apple products and support them, they all can't be sheep (I'm no sheep).

Its like saying a TV set is boring. The most important thing about a TV is the movies/shows. The most important thing about the iPhone is using its apps (including the phone app).

I used Android phones with "exciting" widgets running on top of live wallpaper. The only excitement that caused was the phones constantly crashing, running out of battery in a few hours, and being slow to respond.

After switching to the elegant, easy-to-use interface of iPhone, I can finally enjoy more and better apps without crashes or lag or confusion.

love how rene did not choose to show the back of all the other phones but did for the iphones. if anything, the back design are vital components of what consumers wish on a phone for they wish to show to people what device they are using. the person above has a point. design usage is similar to its purpose on tvs. all have the basic color pattern and shape yet you do not see tv companies suing each other for infrignments on squares shapes. as for the previous poster's statement on widgets, how about u dont use widgets if u dont want to bud? to criticize android for how u use ur phone is like criticizing ur car for how u drive.

Excellent point (on all counts). But let me add, the iPhone is good for people like the previous poster's statement. Some people just need boundaries and limitations. Kinda like kids do.

I think that the phone itself, the hardware, is fine. Its still one of the best if not the best looking phone out there. Its the software that's getting boring.

Yeah I actually like the two tone look. And I am a die-hard Android user. But iOS it self has not really changed. At least Windows and Android have changed the UI (for the better).

I think the iPhone could use some widgets and NFC. I find it strange that their Mac line has widgets, but their iOS line doesn't...

Those two HAD to make UI changes, the status quo wasn't working with the introduction of iOS. Android was a copy and not matured in it's introduction. Both Windows and Android have gotten better, but it wasn't out of progress but necessity to remain competitive.

The answers are always the same, if the I-Phone doesn't have the ability to do something it is no big deal I can live without it, Apple didn't feel it was time or whatever, If the I-Phone has something others do not have it is always ground breaking innovation and they are just looking into the future. Smoke and Mirrors, Apple spent all their $$$$ on litigation because there wasn't any innovation. Still waiting to see just how big this miracle battery is, 8 hrs on LTE, ought to be at least 3000 mAh. Maybe 3300 mAh.

Could you not level a similar accusation against........?
Samsung spent all their $$$$ on copying because there wasn't any innovation.

Might not be true now but it certainly was. Kind of makes Apple right to sue, no?

Seems like after all this time that Apple could have text wrap on the iPhones. I just don't understand.

sorry, it's not without it's strengths like adding lte and a biggers screen but honestly, i was stunned when the 4s didn't have a 4 inch screen and a new design. A year later to still not have a new design and largely playing catch up with android with things like maps to me is truly not that special. surely not enough for me to ditch my 4s as much as i'd like lte. But my 4s was acceptable because i was coming from a pre minus, a phone by the way that for years did exactly the same thing: release pretty much the same hardware with very little difference except a little larger and absolutely nothing softwarewise that wowed anyone but the webos addicted geekset. touch to share? yeah that wasn't something i was asking for. lol. regardless i'm not in favor of change for change sake, but when it comes to ios i'm a big surprised we haven't seen more and better apple made apps. i think navigation looks cool but the podcast app is short on features and a not very intuitive design. And i can't believe the camera isn't the equal, featurewise, of camera plus. my two cents.

The only things shared between the 4 and the 4S are the screen and the case - does something have to look different to be different? Do you think every DVD is the same movie?

Sales will speak for themselves. Though appearance has not changed much on the outside other than getting stretched out and the backing..... as boring as everyone may one to call it... I personally wasn't crazy about the 2 tone at first, but it has grown on me and I actually like alot. As for changes LOL.... well we know a couple things.... Samsung defintely made some changes to their phones in the last couple years (copying iphone). So many tablets and phones want to be like Apple's. The biggest of all.... Why change your phone when it is outselling just about everything out there.... Apple had a vision on the iphone and each year though it may look similar, they try to perfect it. Apple will know when it is time for cosmetic change.... and that will be when sales start declining. Right now, sales are only getting bigger.... WHY CHANGE?

having an iphone either teaches someone to be content or will constantly frustrate you an drive you mad and while i wish the design had been changed i feel like whenever i get my hands on one i will be satisfied... at least until the next one :)

@Rene Ritchie, bingo. You had me howling by the last photo. I truly think the only people who care about year-to-year spec changes are tech writers, geeks and product developers-- but I also gotta say that I think Samsung has been testing more different designs and features than Apple ever could, given its mission. This may either drain Samsung dry and fatigue their user base -- OR give them a critical advantage. I find it inconceivable that Apple could be drawn into an arms race with Samsung, but at the same time I wonder if this means they'll lose the war. Time will tell. We consumers benefit either way. But I do think Apple at very least must accelerate their development cycles, so as to bring us a NEW design every year instead of every other year. Otherwise, next year I'll probably opt out of buying iPhone 5s and treat myself to a truly new, probably 5.1 inch Galaxy sIV.

What a bunch of cry-babies - "Apple delivered the best mobile phone ever but they didn't provide some neat widget or feature that makes the tech media folks scream in ecstasy". Tech media types live in their own little bubble - you guys don't measure innovation but rather you measure some sort of adolescent desire for change-for-change-sake. Why don't you stop being so narrow minded and selfish, and start doing your job by providing useful and insightful commentary to your readers/clients??

Re: "...the iPhone looks pretty much the same this year as it did last."

Exactly Rene. That's what people who have never used an iPhone keep telling themselves. As they try desperately to ignore the rave reviews, the industry-leading user experience, the massive content management infrastructure, and the record-breaking sales.

Dismissing iPhone 5 because it looks like it evolved from the 4/4S is like saying "Nah, that's just a tiny little iceberg. We'll sail right past it." iPhone is just the tip of the iceberg. The hardware is the easiest component of the whole end-user experience.

The hardest part to get right, the part that will sink you as a would-be competitor, is all below the water. The massive app and accessories ecosystem. The content deals. The content management infrastructure. The seamless integration. It's enormous, it's extremely difficult to cultivate and develop over time, and it all supports Apple's devices.

Happy sailing.

I just wanted to chime in to say awesome picture with Willow from Buffy The Vampire Slayer!

Oh, and yes, I was bored, too! That's why I bought an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus from Google Play about 2 months ago because I knew the iPhone 5 leaks were real. The GNex is AWESOME! The only thing I can say I don't like about it is there is no "Undo" in Android's OS's and the battery life blows. Other than that, I enjoy it immensely.

And just so you all know, I've owned an iPhone from the 3G to the 4, and you can check my history on these forums if you don't believe me.

Wow. Rene you couldn't bring forward a Better Point of View. But I'm always happy when people start commenting after every Apple releases But the Sales shut all the crap.

I actually like the design. I'm happy they stayed with a similar design (new polished edges, new 4 inch screen, thinner screen, metal back, with some glass, centered camera, new charging port, new speakers, ear phone jack on the bottom. I LIKE IT!

Apple's design quality is second to none. They are timeless pieces of industrial design art. Simple improving on the next, like stones sharpening stones. Each has made huge strides in the mobile device's demanding masses.

Apparently you've not seen the new Lumia line from Nokia. You've obviously also not seen a Wired.com poll that showed approx 13,000 out of 25,000 respondents choose the Lumia 920 over the IPhone.

Read the comments as well, very telling.

I do own two Ipads and love them.
Now having said that, if the iPhone is soooo good why is Jail breaking so popular? Seems like if you have to JB the phone then there is something fundamentally missing from the OS. I'm just saying.

It also seems like it’s way easier to JB and iPhone than it is to Root a Android phone and it’s simply not needed on a Windows Phone.

Actually it is typically much harder on iPhone, and it is a small percentage (a few million iPhones are jailbroken). As for Windows phone, it hasn't been out long enough for rooting to become popular, but there are definitely tools out there.

It must be human nature to want whoever or whatever is at the top to fall. It's like Michael Jackson trying to follow up "Thriller" and finding out people will never be satisfied. Apple has left the door cracked open though but I doubt anybody will kick it in.

Whenever I am bored I go to gizmotakeout and rent a new gadget. BTW the Nokia Lumias have an awesome design, the Note is also just awesome in terms of functionality.

Here's the thing- The "minor tweak" approach works for the fanboys and fangirls because they will buy the product regardless of what it is or what it does. If Apple intends to continue to grow as a company, they are going to have to attract new customers who aren't fanboys or fan girls and that just isn't going to happen long term, with the minor tweak approach. How many 4S owners sold their 4S's and are paying full price for an iPhone 5? No carrier is doing annual upgrades any more, so unless you're contract is up for renewal, you're not getting a subsidized iPhone 5. Fanboys and fan girls might part with that much cash for an iPhone 5, but the average consumer isn't going to do that. So Apple will eventually have to realize that the incremental upgrade approach isn't going to continue to provide growth and at some point, it will be shareholders demanding innovation in order to spur continued growth. Apple can ignore what consumers want, but they have a duty to pay attention to what their shareholders want. Stale design isn't going to cut it, long term.

Hm I had only signed up for the iphone5 competition but you do make an interest blog...
And I love this one, although I would like to say the idea to make the iPhone's screen bigger was customer request and nothing else, and now I've already seen polls on "wether it's too big."
Ridiculous

The great thing about iPhone screen size is that, people who don't want a 4" screen can stick with a 3GS, 4, or 4S. I think that having the iOS6 software bridges the gap and makes the necessity of getting an iPhone 5 much less. That is, unless the Sapphire over the camera is the real attraction. >:-)

I agree with your article 100% Rene, but I wonder this...With the change in staffing that apple has had recently, mainly Scott Forstall no longer in charge of iOS development and Tim Cook replacing Steve Jobs, do you think we're liable to see some major changes to the iPhone and/or iOS 7? This would be the first iPhone and iOS release with either Scott or Steve working on the project at all, assuming they're not using any previously brainstormed ideas from either of them. Also how does Jony Ives play into it? If I remember correctly, he's stepping up and doing more since Scott is gone. If you just listen to any interview or video of Jony, you know he's a very intelligent person with a lot of great ideas under his belt. How much could all of that come into play? That's what I'm curious to know.