Apple isn’t enjoying the warm reception that usually accompanies the launch of a new iPhone, with analysts critical of the latest iteration’s lack of development.
The vendor unveiled the iPhone 4S late yesterday, revealing it runs the same dual-core A5 processor featured in the iPad 2, sports the firm’s latest operating system and offers access to Apple’s new iCloud service.
However, Informa Telecoms & Media principal analyst David McQueen says a lack of updates to the industrial design of the new handset is disappointing, noting the device “looks the same,” as the previous iPhone 4 model “but just with a little better innards.”
While McQueen sees a new voice recognition service as a potential differentiator for the latest iPhone, he notes there is no significant change to the user experience – a problem as the vendor’s rivals “are aggressively bringing new products to market with superior user experience in the form of wider and better screens, intuitive user interfaces and more integrated apps.”
Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum, says the new device was bound to disappoint given the number of “false rumors” about what Apple would announce. While Dawson expects the latest iPhone to perform well against the latest Android and WP7 smartphones, she predicts many current iPhone owners will stick with their current model rather than upgrade.
Both analysts agree, though, that Apple’s decision to continue selling its iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 is a savvy move – offering the vendor a route into the mass-market that it may otherwise have missed.
Dawson states the 3GS, which will be given away free with contracts, “now represents Apple’s low-cost strategy for emerging markets and smartphone laggards.” McQueen said the two previous models have the potential to create “opportunities in the mass market without actually having to resort to a lower-cost new product.”