The 4th iteration of the JesusPhone is upon us. What, then did you think of the news?I’m working on the basis that the vast majority of you have already sat and watched the numerous liveblogs or have just watched the Jobs keynote (it’s live here) so I won’t go through the minute detail. No. Instead I will tell you what I think. I’m half impressed. Well, if I allow myself to jump into iFanboy mode, I can, for a few minutes, suspend disbelief. A 5-megapixel camera, a better battery, HD video, ‘FaceTime’, Fisher Price multitasking — it’s all incremental and it’s all, as a package, impressive. Nothing blew me away. Nothing at all. And that’s not because much of it had been leaked by Gizmodo. Oh I’m looking forward to seeing some of the refinements in the flesh — especially the nice looking screen. I will definitely have one when the UK operators release them come June 24th.
But I couldn’t help wincing at FaceTime. I really couldn’t. Especially when, in the video (see the link before) one of the Apple senior executives was on screen lauding this super innovative new technology. “You can even show the other person what YOU are seeing,” he explained, not far from rapture. Yeah, well we’ve had this feature for years. I mean, even the N95 had two cameras and video calling facilities. Years. The key is that Apple is marketing it, so it will doubtless be a super success. Indeed the whole device and the constituent related services (iTunes, bookstore, Apple’s retail presence), everything is beautifully integrated with as little friction as possible. Oh Nokia could have delivered ‘FaceTime’ (which only works over WiFi right now) at any point in the last 4-5 years. Just it’s customers didn’t want it. Or anything like it. Unless it came with a per-minute billing function. How long ago was it that Nokia, at the request of Orange (if memory serves), delivered wifi-capable N95s with a firmware version specifically prohibiting the use of wifi? Yet again Apple have taken publicly available technology concepts and made them slightly better (“zero setup”). It’s very smart. I’m delighted that the iPhone 4 is — or appears to be — an incrementally better product. I think it will definitely appeal to consumers, especially the legions of existing iPhone customers. I am frustrated at the lack of progress from other competing firms. However I am hopeful that this ‘lack of progress’ view is all in my mind. The new N8 arrives soon from Nokia with specs to blow away much of the marketplace. Samsung formally release their first Bada device out to the market very shortly. Even Vodafone have been busy improving their Vodafone 360 devices and services. Then we’ve got the Android pros — HTC is always one to watch (I really like the way they innovate and interate quickly) and we shouldn’t forget newly reinvigorated Motorola and the mighty Sony Ericsson (their Android X10 Mini is sure to win tons of fans). We will need to see what RIM have up their sleeves too. I will certainly be putting my name down on the list for an iPhone — probably from Orange. If anything, I want a new iPhone to stand out from the crowds of South East based hordes sporting 3G and 3GS versions. What about you? Are you going to be upgrading or switching to iPhone? Impressed by yesterday’s announcement?