In uncloaking the iPhone 5S this week, Apple largely previewed what it thought as the core killer features that consumers would crave for on the handset's scheduled Sept 20 release date, highlighted by the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Yet in the immediate aftermath, something big was amiss or more appropriately, the functions and features that seem to matter most to Apple fans were deliberately left out. These are the same smartphone attributes that would have made the 5S virtually unbeatable when pitted with the best of Androids.
There were loads of consumer wish lists prior to the 5S unveiling but the breakdown below pretty much sums up everything that Apple had overlooked:
A new 5S look and build
The iPhone 5 represented Apple's decision to ditch the iPhone 4S look and make that according to critics is too fragile for flagship handset, more so coming from a premium firm like Apple.
While the revision led to millions of unit sales, the initial rush of sex appeal easily wore out. Some saw the iPhone 5 as too long to the point of being ugly when compared to the more proportion Android brands like Samsung's Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. Others scored the device's tendency to get scratches without too much effort. Many tech experts lamented the fact that their months-old iPhone 5 already looked older that its 2012.
These concerns, it appears, went unheeded when Apple outed the iPhone 5S, which save for the new capacitive Home button employs the same materials and manufacturing technique in assembling the gadget. It goes without saying that users' woes about the iPhone 5 will only get repeated with the new model.
No waterproof or protection from other elements
Sure there are accessories out there that easily equip almost all the iPhone editions with the right proofing against water and dust. But they mean extra costs for users and it would have been nice of Apple to throw in the same feature with the 5S, which the GS4 already offers and the Xperia Z by Sony.
To be sure, many iPhone users would have appreciated Apple's gesture of providing extra protection to their gadget investments, which from purchase points of $200 and $700 eventually spirals up to couple of thousand dollars as accessories and network spends get into play.
Larger phone screen
Many hoped against hope that Apple CEO Tim Cook would change his stance and realise that 4-inch is no longer optimal for a device that serves numerous uses, besides making and accepting calls.
Smartphones are what the name implies - they perform multiple task like connecting to the Internet, playing games, watching movies or clips and doing just about anything. Once upon a time, 3.5-inch or 4-inch would have sufficed. But as consumers discover the wonders of smartphone experience ala-phablet, that is enjoying 4.7-inch device screens and up, the screen standard that Mr Cook so adamantly adheres to becomes more irrelevant.
One could only hope that the 5S will not end up posting irrelevant sales numbers as the 'diminutive' phone finds itself tussling with the giants like Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max.
No jaw-dropping cam features jump
Early reviewers were puzzled by Apple's decision to simply carry on with most of the camera features that it has introduced via the iPhone 4S or way back in 2011. Save for attaching 1.5µ pixels to its 8MP shooter and a TrueTone LED flash, nothing much changed.
The move is intriguing to experts as other players like Sony and Nokia are ramping up efforts to wow consumers with phone cameras that boast of megapixel numbers not lower than 20MP. Obviously, Apple is not a believer of the megapixel race but it remains to be seen what new iSight camera capabilities do the 5S is bringing to the table.
NFC or near-field communication skipped out
As Apple had stressed in earlier statements, the NFC system will not be part of its ecosystem, at least not yet and not via the iPhone 5S. The technology, reports said, would have paved the way for smarter and more efficient wireless transactions though smartphones. It also would have complemented Apple's Passbook, which for now stands as the main processor of iPhone owners cash-free purchases.
Hopefully, this killer feature, which could have been a good partner with the Touch ID sensor, making the iPhone's inherent security device protocol more robust, will find its way to the iPhone 6 that Apple will reportedly issue in the first quarter of 2014.
For now, Apple fans will have to make do with the iOS 7 servings that will come with the iPhone 5S release date set in Sept 20.
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