Our View: Another iPhone, another disappointment

DKS Editors

Upholding their traditional product cycle, Apple announced two new iPhones Tuesday, the iPhone 5s, a direct upgrade to Apple’s iPhone 5, and the iPhone 5c, an iPhone wrapped in various colorful plastic housings. Historically, Apple’s press conferences have been shrouded in secrecy and met with unbridled enthusiasm from technology pundits, consumers and most importantly, investors. Steve Jobs could captivate a room of young and old Apple fans alike with these press conferences. However, things seem different lately.

Apple has always defended the specifics of their new products with fervor and rarely succeeded in keeping the public completely in the dark. As Apple’s position as a technology giant has grown, more leaks leading up to these press conferences have occurred. Specific hardware specifications aside, everyone saw the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c coming. This has happened prior to the last few Apple press conferences, yet tech writers continue to look for that “ah-ha!” moment when the company unveils something so new and undeniably cool that everyone needs it. This leads us to the next question: who cares if Apple hasn’t done this?

Well, investors care. After Apple’s press conference, their stock dropped 5 percent. Investors seemingly assumed the “C” in 5c stood for “cheap” and expected an entry-level iPhone that could be bought without a two-year contract. Tech writers also seem to care as they take to their web pages demanding Apple’s proverbial head on a stick as other companies consistently unveil new products such as rival Samsung’s Galaxy smartwatch and upgraded models. In fact, Samsung’s approach stands in stark contrast to Apple’s as the South Korean company continues to flood the market with new smartphones and tablets. While investors may downgrade Apple’s market value, consumers will line up for a new iPhone regardless.

Next, we ask: do consumers care? The next time you’re in a crowded place, look around. Almost everyone has an iPhone. A cheaper phone may make Apple more accessible to a different market of consumers, but Apple products still have a prestige associated with them that consumers eat up. And rightfully so; Apple’s iPhone simply works. With the 5s, Apple has the chance to make a large step forward in phone convenience with the addition of a fingerprint scanner, which may raise some privacy and security concerns, but can make everyone’s lives a little simpler. That’s exactly what Apple aims to do: refine existing technology until consumers no longer see these features as options, but necessities. The new models may be the most successful disappointments since, well, the iPhone 5, but it seems Apple’s just fine with this.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose names are listed above.