The cycle begins again. Apple announces a new iPhone, it’s hailed as a huge disappointment and is doomed to fail, then it breaks sales records and all the complaints — save for a few — slowly dwindle away. Aren’t we all getting a little tired of hearing the same thing every year?
Last year the iPhone 4S came out and the initial reaction was that it’s a flop. Apple kept the design, made the phone twice as fast, improved the camera, added Siri, and called it a day. No one would buy this piece of crap. I even know a Best Buy employee who I talked to about this and he said the day of the announcement that no one is going to stand in line for this; Apple failed and everybody is going to buy a Samsung Galaxy S II. There’s only one problem with this recurring theory: everyone does end up standing in line for it.
A day after the iPhone 4S announcement, Steve Jobs passed away. Whether you loved or hated Apple, you honored the man for changing the world so dramatically in such a short amount of time. Then once all the emotions faded, as morally wrong as this is, people started saying that the only reason the iPhone 4S was so popular was because of Steve Jobs’ death and that Apple was milking it to its advantage.
So what’s the excuse this year for what’s being called “just a bigger iPhone 4S?” Let me update you on the stats. Apple announced this morning that it broke sales records with the iPhone 5 by selling two million pre-order units in 24 hours, which is over double the amount of iPhone 4S units it sold in the same time period last year. Also, the iPhone 5 officially goes on sale this Friday, September 21st, and folks already started camping outside of Apple retail stores over a week before its release.
If I were to make a bet, this year the golden excuse would be because Apple’s iSheep are staying loyal as usual. Yes that’s exactly right. I’d rather spend my money on a crappy product for a company I love that doesn’t even know I exist as a human being than spend my money on the absolute star-quality Samsung Galaxy S III. Have I mentioned Android is open?
Here’s a thought: maybe the iPhone 5 doesn’t actually suck. If it did, two million people wouldn’t have pre-ordered it in 24 hours. You can try and spin that in any way you want by throwing in the famous fanboy accusations, but strip away all the bias and opinions and what do you have left? Facts. Two million in 24 hours. I find it hard to believe that all those people bought the iPhone 5 just because they think Apple is a god.
Admittedly, Apple has built up a loyal following and that’s why a good portion of its customers are willing to trust that it makes good products. Consumers’ trust in a company to make good products can only stem from a company making good products. Samsung is beginning to round up quite a few Samsungians of its own. Why is that? Because the Galaxy S III (to pick out one of its phones) is a good product. I can sit here and type all the reasons why I personally feel my iPhone is better, but that’s my opinion and that certainly doesn’t prove that the Galaxy S III is factually inferior. On the other hand, no one can prove with their own opinions that it’s superior either.
I honestly think people just want to see Apple fail because it’s a neat little story to tell when the most successful company in the world is flawed. You can call me biased or a fanboy all you want, but that’s most likely because you’re either biased toward something else or deliberately against Apple yourself — ergo, it takes one to know one. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t get enjoyment out of seeing a company fail.
Of course everything big does inevitably come crashing down, but the chances of predicting when that will happen based on a single product release that only some have generated negative opinions on are slim to none. Judging by the latest sales numbers for the iPhone 5, Apple has a long way to go before its demise.
I wrote up a few days ago about how I’m underwhelmed by the iPhone 5 and I stick by that because it doesn’t seem to have a single “killer” feature this time around. What I never did was call it a flop, say it wouldn’t sell, or admit defeat to the flagship device of a company that has to pay over $1 billion in damages to Apple. Add up all the new features, however, and you have yourself a damn good phone. Whether it’s the best phone on the market is a subjective stance for each smartphone buyer.
The fact of the matter is the iPhone 5 isn’t a flop nor is it a disappointment. If you truly are disappointed with it, fine, there’s a shiny Galaxy S III waiting for you in your local carrier store. Otherwise, numbers didn’t lie in 2010 with the iPhone 4, in 2011 with the iPhone 4S, and they pretty clearly speak for themselves with the iPhone 5 this year.