Thoughts about the unveiling of Iphone 4S

On: October 4, 2011
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About Juliana Paiva
Brazilian, 24 years Graduated in Industrial Design in Rio de Janeiro. Worked on design offices, new media festival and TV channel. Doing a New Media Master and trying to figure out the relationship with behavior and design. Likes films, travel, cartoons, music, memes, design, design thinking and service.

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Today was the official release of Iphone 5. Oops, IPhone 4S I mean.

I followed through the NY Times and The Guardian‘s  live blogs and Twitter. While I was overwhelmed with an incredible amount of data, #letstalkiphone quickly become the number one worldwide trend topics with 40 tweets per minute, the one thing that stood out was the general disappointment with Apple and their beloved IPhone.

The 2 hour press event showed all the innovations regarding the Apple products. They begin with Lion – Mac’s operating system – passing to Ipod and Itune’s numbers – 300million sold all over the world and the number one music store in the world, respectively. They talk a little bit about Ipad reaching to iOS5, which causes more expectations regarding Iphone5.

Among the iOS5 innovations are the upgrades on Notifications, Imessage, Safari browser and Mail app. Also there are new apps and devices, like Reminders – a geolocation app that can remind you of things in your to do list according to where you are -, PC free iOS5 – you don’t need to connect your device in a computer to get started anymore-, FindMyPhone featured also available in Macbook and the new app FindMyFriends – another geolocation app that shares your locations with a group of friends or family.

But the reason that all those journalists are gather there in the event and the fans in the computer are still to go. 16 months waiting for the Iphone5. At 1:55pm (time in NY) they present the new Iphone4S. Not 5, 4S.

All the changes and upgrades are internal. Iphone4S now counts with a new chip twice as fast than the older, last longing battery, better call quality, better camera (8 megapixel sensor, 60% more pixels and 33% faster) and better voice control device due to the purchase of the Star-Up Siri along with all the upgrades regarding the new operating system. And that’s it, no new design. The same outside but with better system and new apps.

As the press event finished, I turn my eyes on the Twitter. People were unbelieving that Apple didn’t show a “proper” new Iphone, something that looked different from the already existing Iphone4. Everybody was waiting for them to come back like a band in a concert. But they didn’t. That was it. The #letstalkiphone was filled with messages of disappointment.

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“How disappointing! Anyone for Windows Phone 8? #letstalkiphone” @chrislowndes
“#letstalkiphone nooooooo! I wanted a 5!!! Totally gutted :( ” @smokey_cat1
“#letstalkiphone  iPhone 4S = total money scheme. If you have a 4 already… You don’t need a 4S.”@AshleyyRoseex
“#letstalkiphone If iPhone 4 and 4S are look twins, how will people be jealous of your new one?” @SharonHeaps
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Of course not all the people who were expecting Iphone5 become disappointed, since there were big changes in the system like Siri voice control, but those messages stood out along with the others for two main reasons: people were not satisfied because the design and name didn’t change. It is interesting to realize that most of them don’t really care about the software changes, they want a nice and shining new phone that everybody knows it’s different. I’m not saying that design is not important – being a designer myself, I could never say that – but putting the visual above everything is a little harsh, especially when this relates to the narcissistic modern way of life. We want the new, and we want people to see its new.
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That raises the question: Why apple didn’t give to us Iphone5, with a new design? It is all a marketing strategy or the pressure on the changes are becoming too much for them to handle? I guess we just need to wait and see…
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For more information regarding the launch of Iphone4S see:
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