By Claire West
The newly launched Apple iPhone5 (actually the sixth version of its ever popular smartphone) was launched last night at an event in San Francisco. The device is, on the surface very similar to leaked images that have surfaced in recent months.
We caught up with Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum to ask for his views on some of the more major changes, such as its increase in vertical height.
“The device highlights the inherent risks involved in Apple’s strategy of only releasing one device at a time, in that it always has to strike a compromise that is most likely to appeal to a wide base of users. The new device strikes that compromise most dramatically in the increased vertical height. With many Android and Windows Phone devices now significantly larger than the iPhone 4S and gaining popularity, the pressure has grown on Apple to release a larger device. By only increasing the vertical height, it’s created a device that’s notably taller and thinner in aspect ratio than most of those Android devices, and as a result it will stand out, which may not be a good thing. While keeping the device small enough for some hands is important, many customers would have wanted something bigger, and they’ll be disappointed.
“On the other hand, the addition of LTE, the improvements in battery life, performance and the camera and so on will help the device appeal to existing iPhone users, and either close the gap or broaden its lead against competing devices. It seems likely that Apple will nevertheless sell tens of millions of iPhone 5 devices in the next few months and well over 100 million in total over the next year. iPhone users who are currently using an iPhone 4 and have the opportunity to upgrade will no doubt do so in large numbers, and the more fanatical iPhone 4S users will do the same. It will also sell lots of the previous two generations of devices as those go on sale at a lower price. Android’s lead in total shipments and installed base will continue to grow, however, as Apple’s devices continue to target just a subset of the addressable market and Android devices meet a much wider range of customer preferences and price points.”