Does the iPhone 5 have the Wrong Form Factor?

We all know that in the past many iPhone and iPad rumors have been wrong so we shouldn’t get overly excited about leaked news regarding the form factor of the new iPhone 5.

But since there are photos and videos which back the rumor up this time and they do seem authentic, let’s assume they are accurate.

I will start my analysis of the new phone by saying it absolutely stinks. I hate the form factor.

On August 31st I mentioned I am not impressed by the new Apple phone because it is longer and not wider. Sean Martin concurred vi Twitter.

Now an email is circulating in my office with all the techies complaining about the form factor as well. Tom Keating, TMC’s power blogger and TMC CTO went on a mini rant which I asked him to make suitable for my readers:

I am not impressed with the new “elongated” iPhone 5. They made the screen longer but not wider resulting in a very odd aspect ratio. Also, they moved the headphone jack to the bottom. That’s just dumb. When working out I put my iPhone in my pocket with the headset cord on top. Now I have to put in the iPhone 5 upside down or deal with the cord being 4” shorter – not good for tall people. The Samsung Galaxy III, Galaxy Note, and the new Windows 8 Nokia Lumia 920 have surpassed Apple in terms of innovation and one of these three phones will likely be my next phone.

I am with Tom on this although I am not too concerned about the headphone jack as I generally use bluetooth.

There seems to be a major challenge for Apple. You see they have done the impossible time and time again. They made computers more like jewelry and effectively uncommoditized hardware. They took the small MP3 player market and turned it into a multibillion-dollar cash-generating machine which has not only fueled a wave of Apple devices it has changed the way music and movies are purchased across the globe. They revolutionized the mobile phone space. They popularized app downloads on phones and other mobile devices. They made tablets that people wanted – years after Microsoft, Nokia and others tried and failed. They revitalized retail sales and the list goes on. 

In short, Apple has made a very profitable living charging retail for products the pundits said were impossible to make and furthermore impossible to charge so much for. They basically make their competition and critics look like fools on a daily basis.

So now with this new phone, it is a no brainer to say it will not be enough to combat the competition – assuming of course the courts allow others to sell devices which resemble those from Cupertino.

Sure, the Apple loyalists will line up to be first to get an iPhone 5 but it seems like the screen will most certainly have to be inferior to the Samsung Galaxy Note the S3 and other similarly sized devices because it just isn’t wide enough.

The question is – now that Apple is effectively behind in the smartphone feature and screen war for the first time since the iPhone was released, will its 5th generation device have the typical Apple Halo because it is just that good?

There is a lot riding on this phone and if it lives up to expectations it will be a crushing blow to the entire field of competitors from Nokia to RIM. But if it isn’t the success people expect, we will not only expect Apple’s stock to take a big hit but to see people potentially start to question if Tim Cook can continue to fill the shoes of Steve Jobs when it comes to design. 

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