Give three thoughtful users Apple’s iPhone 5 and each could easily come away with a different reaction. One sees a leap forward: an iPhone with a larger screen, LTE connectivity, and an attention to detail unmatched in consumer tech. Another spies a stale, lagging attempt to catch up to innovative competitors: a phone without a single industry-shifting pivot, no obvious next-gen features, and a last-decade OS.
Each is a defensible reaction to the iPhone 5, because both are true to an extent. Therefore, it is the third, middle-ground view that rings most true for me:
This is the best iPhone yet, with long overdue additions, tweaks and advances certain to be welcomed by long-time users. But there’s disappointment, too, because Apple has once again played it safe.
Just a week out of the gate, the iPhone 5 is already a huge success, and will continue to be for the next twelve months – both in terms of sales and general user satisfaction. But Apple should be on notice; resting on your laurels can only take you so far for so long.