“Even post-Jobs Apple still does great theatre, even if most of what was announced was unusually well-heralded in the blogosphere."
That's the view of Tony Cripps, principal device analyst at Ovum, speaking following Apple's double iPhone launch yesterday.
“Clearly there’s little need for gimmicks in the flagship 5S, in a launch replete with significant spec upgrades over and beyond the usual screen improvements," he says.
"Apple, is certainly offering meaningful innovation here. Moving to a 64-bit architecture means Apple can genuinely claim to have brought something new to the smartphone party.
"It should certainly help the company further cement its lead as a mobile gaming platform and will give the Android fraternity something to think about in a space whose significance is sometimes downplayed beyond the gaming world.
Branded as the "most forward-thinking smartphone in the world", the iPhone 5S comes in three different colours, silver, gold and space gray, including a fingerprint sensor and an all-new A7 chip.
“Ingratiating itself to the burgeoning community of health and fitness application developers with new sensors is also a good move by Apple at a time when consumer and professional interest in those categories are booming," adds Cripps.
“Meanwhile the integrated capacitive fingerprint sensor will build legitimacy for the technology in mainstream consumer electronics, although privacy concerns are bound to raise their heads in these newly paranoid times."
The Cupertino giant also revealed the company’s new budget smartphone, labelled as “the most colourful iPhone yet.”
Available in blue, green, pink, yellow and white, the low-end device carries 16GB of memory, costing NZ$122 with a US carrier contract.
“Anyone expecting Apple to come truly down market with the iPhone 5C was fooling themselves," insists Cripps.
"The day that happens is the day the company signals that it has run out of headroom for expansion.
"It’s far from ready to concede that yet as it’s greater interest in Japan and China show, although the mooted tie up with China Mobile wasn’t announced as this comment was written.
“It does though indicate an acceptance that the consumers in the upper reaches of the smartphone mid-market are increasingly looking to distinctive devices of their own, and are not happy to accept cast offs or dumbed-down versions of former flagships.
“Colour variations and a clear design of its own is a good way to do this and clearly Apple isn’t too proud to follow its smartphone rivals in using this tactic.
"This change hasn’t affected Apple too much to date but would have represented a threat if the company hadn’t addressed the problem now – its once a year refresh can sometimes work against it.”
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