Apple is doing something different with the iPhone 5. It’s creating the iPhone 5C to replace the iPhone 5 and turning the iPhone 5S into its flagship smartphone product. How is it any different from what Apple’s done before? Normal procedure for Apple was to just lower the price of the previous year’s model to take the silver spot on the iPhone podium.
This time, the iPhone 5 gets a plastic back piece to replace the metal one, some designer colors to catch the eye, iOS 7 and some first party software and some hardware tweaks. Then it is designated a new product, the iPhone 5C and simply replaces the iPhone 5 at a cheaper price.
The fly in that ointment is that iOS 7 isn’t quite as polished as it needs to be, with screen elements moved around and parts of the Control Center truncated, giving it a feeling of being unfinished. There is no real customization options as to what app buttons are shown.
Fortunately, all versions of the iPhone 5 are “Jailbreakable,” allowing these minor problems and many others to be fixed. Jailbreaking is the term used to define the process of gaining administrative access to a mobile device, in this case Apple mobile products, to remove usage restrictions that are locked by the factory. It is the exact same process, figuratively, of “rooting” an Android phone.
Owners of the iPhone 5 are chomping at the bit to Jailbreak their devices because waiting for Apple’s incremental updates to iOS 7 is driving them crazy. IOS 7.1 is still in the developers’ hands, but supposedly it will bring back user defined buttons, as opposed to pressing text for an action, which is a bit confusing when you don’t know what button does what until it’s actually pressed. But the decision to go that route is certainly Apple doing something different for the iPhone 5.
The thing about Apple that generates such a level of love/hate with its users is cutting them out of the design process loop. Apple decides how things should look and function and then simply deploys. Now it looks as if they’re trying to get a feel for what their users want.
That’s probably a very good idea. With the humongous Chinese market about to crack wide open for Apple, it would be a bit embarrassing for them to discover their iPhone 5S have been hacked to use the Android operating system simply because users are displeased with the way iOS 7 functions. As it stands, they probably aren’t too pleased about users Jailbreaking their devices now.
On a lighter note, the latest thing to wow iPhone 5 users, especially international travelers, is the dual SIM case that allows SIM cards to be switched out on the fly. The company, Digirit, calls it the SIM+ Case and it replaces the iPhone 5’s original back piece with one that fits into the SIM card slot and provides slots for two SIM cards. It comes with software that allows the two cards to be switched without even having to power down the phone. The company is in its first round of crowdfunding and plans an early 2014 release.
One would suppose that something else Apple is doing that’s different is inspiring third-party developers to participate in the evolution of the iPhone 5.
Editorial by Lee Birdine