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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time for an upgrade?

So with all the foresight an planning of Madame Lenormand my O2 phone contract has just run out in time for the arrival of Apple's latest offering, the iPhone 5. However, one thing Madame Lenormand failed to point out is ate what a disappointment it would be and as such, has left me in a quandary.

 

Those that have paid some attention will know I'm quite a fan (although I can't go as far as being a fanboy) of the apple phone and its been "revolutionary", fast and thin (in that order).  While the hardware upgrades in the latest model seem pretty good - I'm not seeing anything that's making me go "That's what I need!"

 

The speed of the iPhone 4S didn't draw me from the 4 - figuring I'll wait for a giant leap to the 5 and sure enough there is a speed increase that is allegedly double - so I suppose that's worth bearing in mind.  What's truly bothering me though, isn't the hardware at all, but the software.

 

It is unfair to try and judge beta pre-release software, but I really hope apple pulls something special out of the bag this coming Friday, when iOS6 lands. I've seen the beta and its good, but... And this is a truly massive but...  Maps.

 

Google maps has evolved over time into an awesome mapping environment. It's (mostly) very accurate and combined with google search, you can find most places very quickly. Add to this "street view" and its a doddle to find exactly the spot you're looking for. iOS6 doesn't have this, and if apple maps doesn't improve significantly from beta, I'm not going to be the only previous apple fan to be eyeing the Samsung Galaxy S3 and considering the leap.

 

Of course there are numerous downsides for me in making that sort of change. iTunes obviously isn't available in the Android world, but there are fixes to get round that. In fact there are fixes to get round everything - and that of course brings its own set of problems.  The "hackability" of Android means that things are more likely to go wrong in that world while in apple's little closed off garden of light, things are a little more simple. Is it worth the risk I wonder?

 

As a result of the original iPhone, I have become an apple convert - so it's a deep seated discomfort that I'm feeling, having migrated to an apple world at home over the last 5 years or so. These devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple TV, iMac) all work seamlessly together and problems are rare or easily solved. All to well I remember the agony of re-installs and reboots and patches in Microsoft land - I will not be going back there.

 

There other problem is cost. I'm happy to pay for something exceptional, I'm just not sure that the iPhone 5 is. And if the software doesn't excel, it's going to feel like a step backwards to forwards.  The cheapest iPhone 5 for me (upgrading an existing contract at the same price point of around £36 to £41 per month) is about 200 quid up front. These days, it needs to be good to justify that number.  The S3 on the same contract is free up front.

 

And then there's this.....

Samsung-galaxy-s3-vs-iphone-5

 

It seems like a no brainer right now, but I think I'm gong to wait until post launch, just to give the guys a Cupertino a chance. They've done we'll up to now. I don't want them to screw it up.... But it could happen. You can either hang on, or cross Madame Lenormand's palm with silver to find out in advance.

 

The iPhone 5 lands on Friday 21st September: http://www.apple.com

The Samsung Galaxy IIIs is available now: http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/mobile-devices/smartphones/android/GT-I9300MBDBTU



This post originally appeared here: Posterous
 

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