iPhone 5: Opinion and analysis

Experts, analysts and consumers alike have been poring over the iPhone 5 specifications since the official unveiling of the new device.

Now the initial excitement of the launch –  which featured an introduction by CEO Tim Cook before marketing guru Phil Schiller proudly took us through what his baby can do – has died down, Shoppersbase takes you through the reaction.

While some industry analysts are predicting that Apple is set to get a bigger bite of the market with its new gadget, others say the US technology giant hasn’t gone far enough to impressive increasingly demanding customers.

Among fans of the iPhone 5 is uSwitch.com’s Ernest Doku, a telecoms expert, who said Apple had lived up to the pressure which came following what he descried as an “underwhelming” iPhone 4S.

“Fortunately for Tim Cook, his beautiful iPhone 5 should put the bite back into Apple,” said Doku. He said supporters would not have put up with another software upgrade disguised as a new phone, but thankfully they don’t have to this time.

“This time, it had to be all about the hardware as much as software,” he said, “and in this regard, Apple has delivered, and then some.

“It has enough new features courtesy of iOS 6 to keep ardent fans and technophiles happy, whilst simultaneously appealing to the mass market.”

So, so far so good, and Gary Buchan from digital marketing agency Render Positive agreed that Apple is in the ascendant. He said that Apple had faced “unbelievable hype” in the run up to the launch, but initial impressions were the iPhone 5 had lived up to it.

“Slowly but surely,” he said, “the iPhone is embedding itself deeper and deeper into the fabric of our lives. With these latest enhancements in the new device and further social integrations in iOS6, Apple is poised to become even more central to how people work, socialise and live.”

Praise was won also from analysts. Francisco Jeronimo, research manager of European mobile devices at International Data Corporation said Apple’s iPhone had lost some of its “coolness” recently, but added that the increased screen size and improvements to software and hardware gave “current iPhone users strong reasons to upgrade”. He predicted a strong Christmas season for Apple.

But others didn’t feel Apple’s iPhone 5 would be featuring on many lists to Santa. Tudor Aw, KPMG’s European head of technology, said he was surprised Apple wasn’t jumping on the mobile payments bandwagon.

He said hopes had been high that Apple would kick-start the widespread adoption of mobile payments by consumers but there was no NFC chip to enable such transactions. He described the lack of the chip as “perhaps the biggest surprise and disappointment.”

And Guy Potter, director and market researcher at Usurv said his firm had run a poll straight away about the launch of the iPhone, finding that while 44 per cent of existing iPhone users wanted to upgrade, 39 per cent said none of the new features really appealed to them.

Apple will definitely be hoping those 39 per cent can be converted.

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