Why Can’t People Get Past Form Factor?

By William Kristoph

Apple announced their new phones, the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s and there was the typical outrage from many people on the tech blogs. “It’s not new. It’s just color. The 5s fingerprint scanner is a joke.” On and on and on many people talked about how Apple doesn’t innovate because they refused to make the screen bigger on the iPhone.

Really? The screen?

I don’t understand it and I probably never will, but so many techies focus on the size of the iPhone’s screen and the case before they consider it “innovative” and new. It’s just a screen! Whether it’s 4 inches or 4.3 inches or 10, who cares? That’s not what makes the iPhone 5s the first iPhone to make me say, “Wow” since I bought my first iPhone 4 years ago.

The arguably innovative stuff in the iPhone 5s:

  • 64-bit processor
  • M7 co-processor
  • Touch ID (fingerprint reader)
  • The bells and whistles of the new camera

Those four things are far more innovative and important than a bigger screen. Why don’t people notice that? The 64-bit processor is a good way to “future proof” for another two cycles of iPhones at least. The M7 co-processor could be big or useless, but it has the potential to have countless health apps and save battery life. Touch ID is cool, and I’m hopeful that it can be part of two factor authentication. The jury is out on that. Finally, the new camera is a huge selling point. No more blue-only flash, warm tones should look much better and the software that is part of the camera used to be something that only professionals could handle. Now it’s automatic.

Does this make the iPhone better than an Android phone? Maybe, maybe not. That depends on each user and how they like to use a smartphone. But let’s not just the phones based on something as silly as form factor. It’s a silly way to judge a phone and an awful way to discount innovation.