Cyberclinic: Does the new iPhone satisfy expectations?

  • @rhodri

Even if you're an Apple devotee, you still might not know that the new iPhone – announced a couple of days ago – will have a minuscule power adapter, will come in white as well as black, and its headphone jack will no longer be slightly recessed.

These were probably the only three features that weren't intensely speculated upon over the preceding months; the travel itinerary of CEO Steve Jobs was analysed for tiny clues, and a couple of weeks back a queue began forming at Apple's flagship store in New York for no reason whatsoever. The kind of mania previously reserved for rock stars has been firmly redirected towards a hand-held gadget with a touch-screen interface. Bizarre.

Despite Apple managing to keep product specifications secret, Monday's announcement was a slight anticlimax, mainly because every potential feature had already been discussed on the rumour mill – although it wasn't so much a rumour mill as a conveyor belt of desires.

"Ideally," someone might post on their blog, "the new iPhone would be able to reverse gravity, immobilise heat-seeking missiles and turn my kitchen into a four-dimensional holodeck." And within hours it would be reported elsewhere as fact, along with a few mocked-up photos.

Sadly, the truth was nowhere near that exciting. It's going to be cheaper (as predicted on last Friday); it comes with GPS (as feared by every satnav manufacturer for some time), and connects to the internet at 3G speeds (as predicted by everyone.) Nothing earth-shattering – and nothing that many other phones can't already do.

But the confirmation of all this simply kicked off another round of online speculation over iPhones 3 and 4, both of which are under development. Will its camera be able to record video? What about multimedia messaging? And when will UK users be allowed to use the thing on a network other than O2? (My guess is about the same time as it incorporates that holodeck feature. You heard it here first.)

Diagnosis required

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