Well Apple finally did it. They made the iPhone 4 unusable. I wrote a few months back about iOS 6 and how Apple tends to brick devices by their second major update (that aren’t left out – iPad 1 for example). The A4 processor clearly doesn’t cut it for iOS 7. The phone is usable, but you’re constantly reminded how “old” and outdated it is now, with laggy graphic effects and unresponsive apps (Safari, I’m looking at you now). Granted, this is a beta, but having used iOS 7 on the iPhone 5 it’s clear that Apple wants to send a message.
You see they could’ve just excluded the iPhone 4, the way they have the iPad 1, or iPhone 3G with iOS 5. But Apple are smarter than that, they save face with the media by continuing to support “legacy” devices, despite this device I’m typing on right now being not even 3 years old, but ultimately they want users like me to feel the pain. They want to make it seem older than it really is. Imagine the uproar if they tried this with their notebook market. The design doesn’t look old, it doesn’t feel old to touch, the features are barely any different to the current flagship (except LTE), so Apple makes the user experience absolute misery. It’s artificial, it’s manufactured. There’s nothing wrong with my iPhone 4, but Apple are really saying “it’s high time we got some more money out of you!”.
And they will. Call me a fanboy but iOS 7 feels like a mature mobile operating system now. It feels more like a proper OS than a mobile phone interface. It’s difficult to describe, but the new multi tasking and navigation effects really give you the sense that what you’re holding is actually a remarkably powerful tiny handheld computer. I couldn’t understand how people were using iPads as their one and only computer before, but now with AirDrop (that I don’t get for the same artificial reasons outlined above) almost completes the desktop experience – power users not withstanding.
It will be interesting to see where Apple heads next with it’s hardware. I was suitably unimpressed and underwhelmed when the iPhone 5 launched and despite Apple’s (latest) best efforts, I still (like many iPhone 4 users) cannot justify the cost. I hope Apple breaks with this silly “S” intermediate model in odd years like we’ve seen in the past. I doubt an iPhone 5S could pack enough new gear to make me jump. Apple really needs to come out with something very special – to catch up with the likes of Samsung if nothing else. The iPhone 5 felt like a cheap upgrade to quell the masses (we want a bigger screen) but ultimately brought nothing new to the table. They just stretched the iPhone 4, like anyone couldn’t have thought of that. We need the iPhone 6, not the 5S. We need the one with the bendy screen and the new design, or the one that’s semi transparent OLED. I want to be able to look through my phone. This technology exists I’m not imagining it. Otherwise, I’m off to eBay for a used iPhone 4S.