Pre Apple iPhone Event: Specs or No Specs?

What are you looking for in the iPhone announcement today? New tools, features or specs?

Apple will  hold its long-awaited iPhone 5+ event today. I say “5+” just in case I’m wrong about it being the rumored model name of 5s. I’m sure this will be yet another “magical” event for the tech giant that easily changed the way consumers looked at and purchased mobile phones.

Or will it? Part of me thinks this may end up being just another event announcing just another phone. Why? Because I’m a spec nerd.

Let’s face it, the iPhone-whatever-it’s-called will be a phone that will more than likely sell a gazillion units in the first month. (Yes, gazillion is a word in my dictionary.) We can also be assured that iOS7 will be on said iPhone. But what hardware will this device pack? The answer is almost irrelevant, because most people won’t care. Period.


Image credit Ant Pruitt for aNewDomain

I’ve said before that I think there’s some smartphone fatigue going on with respect to what specs are in devices today. It seems as if all phones tout at least 16GB of storage, 1080p resolution displays and quad-core processors. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Even with the announcement of the highly lauded Samsung Galaxy S 4, I yawned. What will Apple show off in today’s event? I’m hoping to be blown away by what’s presented.

I think Apple will stick to its roots and make something that’s easy to use and built for the consumer. Not the geek, or spec nerd, but the consumer. Average consumers don’t care or understand specs the way your geekiest consumer would. Sure, I love Android and most of the Android devices, but there have been several times I’ve recommended the iPhone for a friend or colleague. My recommendation came because the interface is just simpler for the non-tech person to use. To quote myself, “if you ever feel like you’re lost on a screen or app, just click that home button and you’re safe.” OK, maybe that’s not the best advice regarding the iPhone, but it can be comforting to a not so tech-savvy consumer.

There are rumors about a bio-metric sensor to scan the phone owner’s finger print. This could be used to unlock the phone or maybe some other unmentioned feature of iOS 7. I’m not fond of the idea, but if anyone can make this a smooth and flawless interaction on the device, it’s Apple.

What else could we see from this phone? Something as gimmicky as the “jedi powered” Galaxy S 4 where you’re allowed to swipe through screens by waving your finger above the screen? I hope not. I hope there’s an innovative feature or two shown off that will be used for more than a month after getting the new phone. In recent years, all phone providers have had their hot new features. In reality, consumers quickly stopped using the features. I want some real innovation, but I honestly don’t know what that innovation is.

It’s mentioned in the lore of the late Steve Jobs that he believed people didn’t know what they wanted until you gave it to them. There has to be some truth in that. Consumers had no idea how much touchscreen phones would be accepted. Now, most smartphones are touchscreen only. Let me tell you, that doesn’t happen because people don’t like touchscreens. Hold on, my fellow fact nerds. Yeah, I know the iPhone wasn’t the first touchscreen phone, but it was the first widely accepted by the masses.

In the Matt Ridley book Rational Optimist, it’s mentioned that innovation can come from capital combined with ideas.  Sounds like Apple to me, but is 2013 the year we see the next smartphone innovation? Hopefully as we all watch the presentation, we won’t focus solely on hardware specs. Besides, Apple says the event should brighten your day.

I’m Ant Pruitt here on aNewDomain.

Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt is an IT pro, a columnist and the podcast captain at aNewDomain. Look for his Smartphone Photographers Community and Yet Another Tech Show. Follow him @ihavnolyfe or on Google+ and email him at See all Ant’s articles on aNewDomain by following this link here.