The iPhone 5, although it was everything we expected it to be, is the most disappointing iPhone ever.

Judging by the many rumors and leaked parts, the iPhone 5 was to be a taller, slimmer version of the iPhone 4S. It was expected to host a larger, 4-inch display, updated internal components, 4G LTE, and of course the new iOS 6. Until last week, we didn’t know what the new iPhone would be called. Perhaps they could just call it “the new iPhone,” following suit with the latest iPad. Or maybe they’ll continue with their weird numeric naming scheme and call it “iPhone 5.”

Last year, following the announcement of the iPhone 4S, Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away the very next day. Since then, we’ve been wondering if Apple’s products will continue to live up to the quality and innovation of the Jobs-era products. Can Tim Cook instill the same level of desire in consumers?

Apple unveiled the new iPhone this afternoon. It is indeed called the iPhone 5. Yes, it’s the sixth iPhone. And no, it isn’t weird at all that they’re calling it the iPhone 5.

The event this year was a hollow disappointment. Steve Jobs wasn’t the only thing missing: the event also lacked an innovative new product. The phone we saw today was the same phone that was leaked weeks ago. The screen is larger now (4 inches, as opposed to 3.5). The camera is a little better, but not better in a way that really matters – we expect each generation of phones to have incrementally better cameras. The phone can connect to a faster network (LTE), but that was to be expected as well. The dock connector is smaller and faster. The new processor is faster. Who cares? Everything is a little better, but nothing is groundbreakingly improved.

I would’ve been disappointed with anything but a totally redesigned, 4.3-inch (or larger) iPhone 5. I don’t care about performance specs or how thin Apple made the phone. LTE connectivity should have happened last year. The “redesign” doesn’t make sense to me. The two-tone back is not only unappealing, it’s also not Apple-esque by any means. Also, for some people, particularly former Android users, a 4-inch screen is still to small.

Most disappointing of all is the fact that I expected disappointment. I’m sure the iPhone will be as great of a device as any other iPhone, but it’s just as disappointing as the 4S.

However, I did expect to be surprised by something. We’re talking about Apple, aren’t we? What happened to doubling down on secrecy, Tim? There was nothing revealed about the iPhone 5 that we were unaware of before the event. I doubted many of the rumors, assuming that Apple wouldn’t let the Internet spoil the surprise.

I was wrong.

Of course, I can’t make any final judgements until I have the phone in my hand. But I don’t like how it looks, and the aspect ratio is all out of whack. And it’s clear that Apple no longer knows how to keep secrets.

What are your thoughts on the new iPhone? Big improvement or big disappointment?

Comments