By Elizabeth Tzagournis, ’13
About a year and a half ago possibly one of the greatest advances in smart phone technology was released. What was this revolutionary product? The iPhone 4. The iPhone 4 gave users an entirely different experience with the new display, multi-tasking capabilities, high-definition video camera and additional rear facing camera that allowed video chatting, according to an article from The Huffington Post. On October 4, 2011 the world seemed frozen in anticipation for Apple’s next iPhone release. Numerous Apple fans were confident the new creation would be the iPhone 5, according to various websites and polls. Website Mashable Tech polled over 12,000 people and found that about 84 percent were expecting the iPhone 5. This phone was rumored to include a larger screen, a different display, 4G Internet connection and other innovative additions. Coincidentally, Oct. 4 did not yield the phone countless people were expecting. Instead, the iPhone 4S was released.
The iPhone 4S came with several new features—but it did not deliver the impact that so many were craving. It lacked various key changes. The screen size remained 3.5 inches, and the design was exactly the same as the iPhone 4, which had been released over a year before. The battery life was virtually unchanged and the coveted 4G network was also absent from the newly released product.
To say consumers were initially disgruntled would be an understatement. On the Tuesday that the iPhone 4S was announced, Apple stock dropped 5 percent, according to NASDAQ, a computerized system for stock trading. A Washington Post poll of over 5,000 people showed 77 percent believed the iPhone 4S announcement did not live up to the hype. One Twitter user complained, “It’s like expecting George Clooney and getting your old boyfriend in a new car,” according to ABC news.
Though the public wasn’t fully supportive of the iPhone 4S at its unveiling, the phone ended up fairing much better with the public than the primary reaction would have predicted.
The iPhone 4S soon went on to set record sales numbers, selling 4 million phones in its first weekend, according to Forbes. The influx of iPhone 4S buyers could be the result of consumers who were just too eager to allow the absence of several desired iPhone features prevent them from purchasing the latest and greatest iPhone.
The iPhone 4S may not have released the craved new options, but it did provide some essential new additions. Both the camera and video camera on the iPhone 4S were significantly improved. While the former iPhone 4 had five megapixels in its camera and 720p video, the new iPhone 4S has increased its camera’s megapixels to eight and its video to 1080p. The camera and video camera alone attract people, especially since the iPhone has made itself known for the crystal clear displays and high-quality pictures/video.
One of the most exciting new features the iPhone 4S offers is the voice assistant Siri. Apple has marketed Siri as the best assistant one can find. Siri gives directions, sends e-mail or text, tells the weather and even sets reminders. This new voice feature is arguably the biggest upgrade and change from the iPhone 4, according to smart phone reviewers like AOL Tech who called Siri the true killer feature of the iPhone 4S.
Junior Jordyn Weixel recently upgraded her iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4S.
“I love it!” Weixel said. “I think it’s a great step in furthering technology. Siri analyzes my voice well… You can even have a normal conversation with it.”
Weixel valued her purchase and believes it was worth the money. Though she understands that the iPhone 4S may be lacking some desired features, she feels it does not hinder her iPhone experience.
“Honestly, there’s nothing that comes to mind that I’d like to be added,” Weixel said.
Apple seems to have satisfied at least one customer, and there are countless others like Weixel who are content with the upgrades Apple did provide.
Junior Maria Rizzoni is also pleased with her new iPhone 4S. Rizzoni cited the new camera as a notable feature, as well as the Siri voice assistant.
“I love the camera. It works better than my $250 camera and takes nicer pictures,” Rizzoni said. “Plus it’s really easy to sync them to the computer. I probably won’t ever buy a real camera again.”
Siri has been marketed as a helpful way to perform tasks through voice commands that one otherwise must manually type into the device. Rizzoni agrees with Apple’s advertisement of Siri but admits it has its faults.
“I think Siri is really cool. It’s super helpful if you’re doing something that you can’t look at the phone for, like driving or jogging, and I love the fact that you can dictate texts to it,” Rizzoni said. “However, it ‘mis-hears’ me a fair bit, especially if there’s any background noise at all. But it’s definitely a step up from Apple’s Snow Leopard voice recognition interface.”
Apple has created a product that can assist people in their everyday lives, a principle Rizzoni enjoys.
“I really love how it works so seamlessly with every other bit of technology in my life,” Rizzoni said. “I use Safari a ton, alarms, reminders, maps and notes. It really helps with keeping everything organized.”
Though not all smart phone users feel the need for the newest iPhone, millions have joined Weixel and Rizzoni as new iPhone 4S owners. Rizzoni’s experience with Apple has generally been a positive one.
“I really enjoy the attractive design, intuitive interface, and all around usefulness of Apple products. It was only fitting to get an iPhone,” Rizzoni said. “It’s a very nice product.”
Apple has satisfied two customers and while more and more users join the ranks of iPhone 4S owners, the only question remaining is when can we expect the iPhone 5?
Graphic courtesy Erin Sankey
Photos courtesy of Apple.com