Last week, Apple unveiled it highly-anticipated iPhone 5. Much to the rumors and speculation, Apple brought a solid upgrade to the smartphone marketplace. Most reviews [of the iPhone 5] thus far have been very positive while most should admit that some reviews were a bit biased and filled with fluff. For iPhone lovers out there, it offers some nice features that should satisfy their mobile desires. However, the iPhone 5 still lacks some major features, and that means that I will not be purchasing this smartphone, instead firmly sticking with the Samsung Galaxy S3 that appears to have many more features and options. Here are some major reasons why I will not be buying this or any iPhone:
Can’t Remove / Swap Battery
I use my smartphone a lot, and, while the battery technology has improved, having the capability to swap a dead battery out with a freshly charged one is something that I appreciate. Sure, I could keep a charger with me or something as I travel, but that still limits me, and I prefer choice. If I fall asleep without putting my phone on the charger, I know that I have a fully-charged backup battery that I can swap out with ease and continue on with my day!
No Removable Memory
Certainly, the iPhone does a nice job of providing consumers with three main options when it comes to storage space – 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB! But, what happens if you need more space? Even if the iPhone offered a 96GB option, they still do not offer removable, expandable memory. What if I want to take that video file on an SD Card? I can’t do that with the iPhone. Instead, I have to try and use a program like Dropbox to transfer the file to another computer and then later remove it from the iPhone itself. I do no mind using Dropbox (In fact, I use it a lot), but I still do not have the choice. Apple appears to only offer an option to you if they can completely control it. Proof of that appears to be their charging mechanisms; they changed their proprietary port size again but did not go to the current industry standard (micro USB). If I cannot add more memory to a phone on the fly, it has little use to me, especially with all of the media I add to it via videos and pictures.
Again, I want choices. My Android smartphones have supported NFC and related technologies for a long time now. For example, I have Google Wallet pre-installed on my phone, and it provides me with one more convenient way to pay for items at gas stations and some retailers. Sure, this technology might not be fully used to its greatest potential, but I want a phone that is a little bit future-proofed. From my understanding, integrating this option into one of today’s smartphones is not too difficult nor is it too costly for manufacturers, so it is mind-boggling that Apple would not simply add it. Then, again, they want you to use their integrated Apple Passbook and nothing else. I’m sure Passbook is a solid feature, but what about allowing a lot of solutions options? Google does it by allowing me to have the PayPal app right next to my Google Wallet app. Also, NFC technologies allow for many other things too. One example is that I can use it to share photos between phones with ease. I can even use NFC tags to perform routine tasks automatically, something that the iPhone lacks support for. How sad is that?!
Closed App Library
Apple has continued to grow in popularity, and its user base is very loyal. Apple continues to make a great amount of money through is iTunes App Store. They get a cut off of every app sold through its app store, so it is probably not in Apple’s best interest to open up the iPhone’s software to allow for non-App Store downloads. Furthermore, every app must get Apple’s approval before being added to their iTunes App Store. Sure, this is good in most cases, but this also limits consumer choice and overall software consumption. Google, on the other hand, gives people the option to opt-in to non-Google Play Store Apps. This has opened up opportunities for Amazon and others to provide a different app store environment to buy from. Again, most of my app downloads are from Google Play, but I have more options on Android, and I like that; plus, it is merely good for business.
Grid-Oriented App Icon View = Blah!
Again, it comes back to the concept of choice, and this point adds in the concept of creativity. With Apple’s iPhone, I do not have a lot of choice when it comes to how my programs are shown on the screen [before I open one]. On the other hand, Google allows me to move icons around a lot more and add awesome widgets on different screens. It looks cool, it feels cool, and it is actually more productive that way. I do not have to open lots of apps if I do not want to; I just reference a widget for weather or a calendar, etc. My girlfriend, Elaine, does a really awesome job of balancing out app icons with widgets to make optimal use of her phone. If she was still on the Apple iPhone, she would not have those options. When you look at my phone, you will see App folders, App icons, and widgets, but you will not see that on the iPhone platform, and I just do not know why they won’t allow for that added flexibility and customization of the screens.
Again, while I am biased towards the Samsung Galaxy S series phones [especially the S3], I am more biased towards innovation and progress, so I always hope that each mobile platform, including iOS, continues to push the envelope in an effort to offer consumers more features and more choice. Apple still produces a great phone, but I just cannot claim it to be the very best smartphone out there anymore. Hopefully, they will step it up and open up a little bit, allowing consumers more options!