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September 13, 2012

iPhone 5: Expert reaction

CBR looks at what the industry is saying about Apple's latest iPhone

By Cbr Rolling Blog

iPhone 5

Francisco Jeronimo, IDC
It is important that the iPhone catches up with its main competitors. Bigger screen, a better camera, LTE support, and a faster processor are fundamental improvements to the iPhone. The iPhone 4S and previous versions were losing their "coolness" compared with their main competitors from Samsung, HTC, and the new Windows Phones from Nokia. Apple users may recognize the quality of the iOS operating system, but they don’t want to be left behind when they see their friends with devices that have better specs than the iPhone.

The improvements to the iPhone 5 give current iPhone users strong reasons to upgrade. For a new smartphone user it also closes the gap to the popular Android devices with bigger screens and high resolution displays.

But Apple still faces some challenges. The iPhone 5 does not come with any unique service or hardware features that are not available on the high-end Android devices. The experience and ecosystem may be better, but those who have moved from an iPhone to a competitor device in the past will not see a major reason to return to Apple because of this new device.

This new device will be a major competitor to BlackBerry and Windows Phones devices, but will not be able to surpass Android volumes driven by lower prices and hundreds of devices available on the market today. It will, however, allow Apple to grow market share again, from a declining trend in the last two quarters.

Dan Russon, services director, Xceed Group
Apple’s latest iPhone launch could provide a double edged sword for businesses. On the one hand, it’s clear that many will welcome the increased speed the new device will be able to offer employees, while the new A6 chip will allow them to stay connected by accessing even more networks on the go.

However, at the same time, they will also be wary of the fact that it will turn BYOD into an even more compelling option. After all, the easier and faster devices are to use, the more employees will want to use them, and unless businesses start to provide the iPhone 5 or other 4G enabled devices as standard (this large outlay in tight economic times is likely to be unappealing), the momentum driving people to use their own devices will increase.

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The danger is that this demand will arrive before many organisations have fully got a handle on the security aspects of their own BYOD policies, which could, in turn lead to even greater risks.

Jim Hemmer, CEO, Antenna Software
The iPhone 5 has not been re-designed – it has been re-fitted. It was the same story with the new iPad when it launched earlier this year, and that’s going to raise more questions about Apple’s ability to innovate in the post-Jobs era. Even more so when you consider that the most significant update to the iPhone 5’s hardware — an increased screen size — looks like it’s straight out of Samsung’s playbook.

Today we saw Apple CEO Tim Cook put the iPad’s success in the enterprise at the head of his presentation. And when 94% of Fortune 500 companies are ‘testing or deploying iPads’ and ‘investing in custom apps’ it’s easy to see why. With its larger screen, faster processor, and improved battery life, the iPhone 5’s success in the enterprise is all but assured.

The iPhone 5 will only strengthen the BYOD culture created by the launch of the first iPhone back in 2007.

Fred Huet, managing director, Greenwich Consulting
The decision to omit NFC in the iPhone 5 could cost Apple. It is just a matter of time before the smartphone replaces the plastic card, and by skipping this technology, Apple may have missed a valuable opportunity to take the lead in this market.

With over 400 million active credit card accounts on file, Apple had a prime opportunity to convert its customers using a sleek mobile payment system tied to the iPhone. Instead they could find that they have fallen behind closest rivals Samsung, Nokia and indeed Motorola, all of whom introduced the technology into their devices last week.

Keith Brown, managing director, paythru
The news that Apple has chosen not to make NFC technology a feature on the new iPhone 5 does not come as a huge surprise and I think they are right to prioritise other technology at the current time.

True mobile payments need to be available at any time, from any location, and remove the need for the customer to be physically present at the point of sale. NFC is one of those technologies that has been developed for mobile payments without solving an existing problem – it’s like making a medicine and then trying to find a disease that it will cure. Shoppers have no problems using Chip & Pin, so currently have little need for NFC.

Apple is biding its time at the moment with NFC, but I think they will be the winners in the longrun as they are obviously looking at solutions in the meantime such as Passbook and the acquisition of biometric security, that will make mobile payments ubiquitous and secure. When you consider that Apple has the user base to drive adoption of mobile payments, I am sure I am not alone in being very interested in where they go next.

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