Another year, another disappointing keynote from Apple

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| Published: September 10, 2013

I've been writing for PhoneDog for a little over a year now. One of my first articles, if any of you recall, was written about the Apple iPhone 5 announcement. I found the phone to be, for lack of a better term, boring. I didn't feel nearly as much excitement about the advancements in the iPhone 5 as I had for the iPhone 4 from the iPhone 3G, or the iPhone 3G from the iPhone 2G. It simply did not give me that "wow" factor that I usually anticipated when it came to Apple devices. This year, I watched the keynote with my expectations lowered. Not only was this expected to be an "S" upgrade, which we already know won't feature anything new hardware-wise, but I admit that the iPhone 5C rumors had me a little nervous as well - not because Apple wanted to create a cheap iPhone per se, but because of this lingering question in the back of my head: just what did Apple constitute as "cheap", anyway?

You see, I've learned by now that if I just go into keynotes with lowered expectations to begin with, there isn't much to lose coming out of it no matter what happens. If the company announces something that isn't exactly groundbreaking or what I would consider something I would really want to have in a device, then it's whatever. But if they do manage to throw in something unexpectedly wonderful, then great! Last year, Apple's keynote for the iPhone 5 was pretty disappointing. Yes, the iconic smartphone finally featured LTE, but the key word there is "finally". It took the iPhone a lot longer than most devices to dish out that speedy data goodness when it shouldn't have. But aside from LTE, all the iPhone 5 had to offer was a new aluminum body and a half an inch extra of screen. These are all things that have been done before, and we've come to expect more from Apple at this point.

During today's event, there was a pretty high probability that Apple would coming out with an Apple iPhone 5S, just judging on iPhones of the past. Most of the time, this would knock the previous generation iPhone down about $100, with the generation before that falling to the ranks of free (on contract). Honestly, this seemed like a pretty solid method for a number of reasons. Not only did people feel comfortable knowing that their phones would still be relevant at least until three years down the road, but also because their phones would still see continues software support and upgrade from Apple themselves. All in all, the iPhone has been one of the best choices for a phone if you're sick of companies dropping certain models off, sometimes only one year after devices have hit the shelves. But while Apple did still release an iPhone 5S, as expected, we also saw the official reveal of the iPhone 5C.

What does the iPhone 5C mean? Well, at first it was rumored to be a replacement for the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S would have taken the place of the iPhone 4 as the new "free" Apple device this year. As it turns out, this is still very much the case. The iPhone 5C did not, in fact, replace the iPhone 4S, but instead replaced the iPhone 5 as the new $99 iPhone option. The difference between the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S? Absolutely nothing, except for the fact that the back of the device is now made out of polycarbonate rather than the aluminum metal that the original iPhone 5 used. Given that Apple has been giving off the impression for quite some time that they would "never" go with a cheap option for the iPhone, how well do they think that this device is going to sell over the iPhone 5? I could see this device easily replacing the iPhone 4S, which might I add still uses the 30-pin connector, but not the original iPhone 5. Also, as it seems, the whole "cheap" bit isn't really that cheap at all, considering the 16GB iPhone 5C only costs $100 less than the iPhone 5S does off contract as well. Since when was $549 cheap?

I don't know. I like the concept of the cheaper iPhone, and I did think that Apple needed a cheaper alternative to their more premiumly priced devices in order to keep up with all that is offered through Android. However, I think that they should have made the iPhone 5C actually cheap... at least cheaper than how they have it priced now. The iPhone 5S I don't have much to say about, simply because it was exactly what I was expecting it to be - an upgrade from the iPhone 5. Mostly, my disappointment stems from what seems to be poor execution from what we thought would be a more budget savvy iPhone choice - but who knows? Perhaps the polycarbonate shell will turn out to be more popular than the aluminum iPhone 5. I guess sales will soon let us know whether Apple made the right decision or not.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the keynote today? Do you think Apple made good moves for the company, or do you think that they could have done things differently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image via IBtimes