The Macalope Daily: Disappointment city

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Remember last year when everyone was so disappointed in the iPhone 4S because it wasn’t called an iPhone 5? Well, you’ll love this year’s sequel!

Wait, did the Macalope say “love?” He meant “loathe.” Sorry about that.

Yes, as much as the huddled masses cried out for an iPhone 5 last year (but still bought the iPhone 4S in droves, albeit bitter and heavily disappointed droves), an iPhone 5 this year is too little, too late.

Wait, how exactly do people know this when it hasn’t even been announced yet? Well, if you think little things like facts and the linear nature of time are going to stop people from whining and complaining about things they know nothing about then you don’t know tech punditry, brother.

For months now pundits have railed about how Samsung and others were totally owning Apple with phones so big that you need a dedicated cargo pocket in your tactical Internet pants. Now that Apple is expected to make an iPhone with a larger screen, we’re told how lame it is. Insufficiently large! Too late! Wrong aspect ratio (even if picking a different one would have meant other sacrifices)!

No one, seemingly, is more disappointed than eWeek’s Wayne Rash. So disappointed is Rash, that he had to spread his disappointment over two pages to maximize page views, just so the hurting would go away.

“iPhone 5, Despite Apple Hype, Will Be Disappointingly Conservative”

Hmm. Despite Apple hype. Which hype from Apple would that be? The fact that the company hasn’t said a word about the thing until last week when it announced an event that it won’t even admit is about an iPhone? That hype?

Secretly, deep down inside, you probably also know that this new iPhone will not be as innovative as you’d hoped it would be.

Actually, no, in as much as the Macalope is not secretly, deep down inside, clairvoyant. Rumors are not facts, Wayne. If they were, we’d all be talking about the cool Amazon phone that was introduced last week.

But while the new screen will have a 16:9 aspect ratio needed by video, it will still only be about 4 inches.

“Only.” People demand aircraft carrier-sized phones, people! There’s no denying it! Well, other than the millions and millions of people who buy iPhones.

I’m sure that there will be some cool new features that iPhone true believers will find irresistible.


But will they make the iPhone 5 something that people who might otherwise buy an Android or Windows phone change course? Probably not.

Translation: I do not understand how Apple designs a phone. At all. Seriously, no clue. I just understand features.

Also, Windows phone? Right now your choices are to buy a dead-end Windows Phone 7 device or wait until after the next iPhone ships to get a Windows Phone 8 device. Yeah, those choices are really killing the iPhone.

This isn’t to suggest that Apple won’t sell a gazillion iPhone 5 devices, because they will.

But it’ll be a disappointment. Somehow.

But Apple’s incremental change process isn’t likely to produce any blockbuster changes that will drive sales away from Android devices…

Apple is not interested in competing on the basis of a checklist. If you’re checklist shopper or motivated only by price, enjoy your Android phone.

…or that will make the people who want the innovations in the new Windows Phone 8 devices change their minds.

All five of them. Who are members of the Redmond, WA Rotary.

The cool features will be fun, and the iPhone fans will love them. But I don’t see them adding to iPhone dominance when the most that Apple is doing right now is playing catch-up.

Playing catch-up to phones that have no price or ship date yet.

Maybe the iPhone 5 or iPhone NeXT or whatever it’s going to be called will be a tremendous disappointment (unlike every other iPhone in the last five years, despite how we’ve consistently been told they were all tremendously disappointing). But maybe you could spare us all the speculative claptrap and wait a few days to actually see it. Or until sales numbers come in and we see how many people buy it.

Or, better yet, maybe you could just not write about Apple at all. Any way we could work that out?

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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