Views: A bad Apple

September 27, 2012 | 11 a.m.

Will the release of the iPhone 5 be all it is cracked up to be?

Views | Amanda Ahlm

A bad Apple

Apple's new iPhone 5 features retina display and a larger screen, while their iPod line also saw some upgrades. | Courtesy of MCT

When you hear the word “apple,” what does your mind think of first? Does it go straight to an image of the fruit or does it go through a list of electronics all associated with the Apple brand?

This is the power of marketing. Apple has successfully changed the common consumer’s first reaction to the name of their brand. They have captured their audience and now can put whatever price tag they want on their products, with the knowledge that people will still buy.

Bethel is not free from this Apple fascination. The company caters to college students with their education promotions and school-geared applications, making MacBooks, iPads and iPhones common items to be seen around campus.

With the release of their latest technology, the iPhone 5, it is time to question what really is new and improved about this piece of equipment. What makes it different from competing smartphones with similar capabilities? Or more importantly, what makes it different from its predecessor, the iPhone 4S?

The new iPhone will feature a thinner body (7.6 millimeters), lighter weight (112 grams) and a larger screen (4 inches). In addition to these changes to the body of the iPhone, buyers will also receive a pair of Apple’s new headphones, that are claimed to be “more comfortable for more people than any other earbud-style headphones,” according to the Apple website.

With few software changes though, the consumer must ask, “Is it worth the price tag?” The 16GB model can be purchased for $199, with a new two-year contract. The price goes up by $100 for each memory upgrade.

While hardware, look and feel are important, the real reason for a phone is the software. If Apple is not going to provide many new advancements in terms of functionality in the iPhone 5, the value of the gadget drops.

The one major software advancement poses many potential problems. Passbook is Apple’s way of minimizing tangible credit cards and other wallet-fillers such as boarding passes and coupons. The app organizes cards and cashiers can scan them straight from the phone.

However, there are thousands of ways this electronic wallet database could go wrong. The phone could die, freeze, get lost, fall in the toilet and the list goes on. The proud iPhone user would then be stuck at the counter without the form of payment they were planning on using, and they may have to resort to using “old-fashioned” green dollar bills from their real wallet.

Finally, the iPhone 5 will feature a new Lightning connector for charging and docking, which means the old accessories, cords and docks will not be compatible with the new iPhone. This forces people who use those add-ons to shell out another $100 or more to get new compatible accessories.

Despite my personal wariness toward the new Apple device, I have no doubt that Apple will be able to sell plenty of phones. As the iPhone 5 is just starting to fly off of the shelves and into consumers’ eager hands, the real review is yet to be determined. If you got the iPhone 5 and have an opinion, let us know!

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