Why is the iPhone 5 so successful?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: September 23, 2012

Did you buy one? And by one, I mean the iPhone 5, obviously. Based on all the early reports about how successful the new iPhone's launch was, there's a good chance you did. Or you definitely know someone who did. As of Friday, a lot of those folks are using the device, and if the reviews and first impressions I've seen on the device are any indicator as to how the general owner feels, then they're probably pretty content with the newest device to join the iPhone ranks.

Unless you've tried to use Maps.

I'll come clean with you: I didn't buy the iPhone 5. There were a few tense moments there while I was on Apple's site, looking at the device and watching my Twitter stream go on and on about how excited they all were to be ordering their new device ("Finally!"). But I didn't get one. And, if I can be frank, I'm glad I didn't. Yes, the new devices look great, and Apple included plenty of things that people wanted (or that the industry demanded Apple implemented), but I'm just a bit confused as to why the iPhone 5's launch went over so well.

There was never any doubt in my mind that the new iPhone would see a successful launch. You're kidding yourself if you think a new Apple phone isn't going to sell well. But, based on the early reports, it looks like this launch is the best one yet, and that's where I'm drawing the blank. Is the iPhone 5 that big of a change for the general populace? Was the iPhone 4S really that bad?

Or are there certain, specific features that Apple included in the new device that sell the device better than any other feature before it?

My guess is that may be part of it. There's a good possibility that the industry's peer pressure iPhone is the best one yet simply because it's the product of peer pressure. Apparently, people really do want larger displays. (Albeit, larger than 3.5-inches. I think there's still an argument against "phones" with ridiculously large displays.) Also, people really want 4G LTE connectivity. The thinner device, and every other hardware feature that Apple included in their new iPhone is just icing on the cake.

So while Apple has apparently worked towards reaching that Project Purple device, and iOS hasn't changed all that much at face value over the years, ever since its public release all those years ago, the iPhone and iOS are still selling strong. I guess it really doesn't matter if something doesn't change, as long as it works, and works well.

After all, that's why we try phones and software versions, right? Why we stick to one platform versus another. Maybe even why one particular ecosystem works better for you, versus another. We strive to find the right device (and software) for us, for our particular needs at any given moment in time, and then we keep it, as long as it keeps working.

Don't fix what isn't broken.

Apple didn't "fix" iOS in the way that a lot of people thought, or hoped, they would, simply because they don't need to. And you know what the biggest confirmation for Apple is? The one thing that shows them they are still doing this whole phone thing right, all these years later? The sales numbers. They keep making hardware and software that people want, that people keep buying in the millions. The result is that Apple will continue to make what the people obviously want, with subtle alterations to keep making it worthwhile with each new subsequent release.

I'm still not going to buy one, though. Not anytime soon, at least. I am curious to hear from you, Dear Reader, whether or not you bought an iPhone 5. I want to know why you think the iPhone 5 is such a huge success.

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