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iPhone 5 is Slower Than Rivals

Before I get flamed by Apple fanboys, I’ve obviously written a sensationalist headline and made some key assumptions (outlined below)!  I nearly called this article “Your iPhone 5 is Already Obsolete” … but that’s true of every smartphone!

However, the odds are that the iPhone 5 will be slower and possibly of a lower specification in general when compared to the top-end offerings from HTC, Motorola, LG and especially Samsung. I believe that is one of the key reasons that Apple is being so aggressive against Samsung when it comes to their Galaxy S II smartphone and Galaxy Tab.

If you look at my Smartphone vs PC benchmarks, you will see that the Samsung Galaxy S II (EU version) is faster than the iPad 2 when it comes to Javascript processing. Most people agree that the iPhone 5 will carry the same A5 chipset as the iPad 2. I actually wonder whether it will be a slightly watered down version due to potential overheating issues. We know Apple will not compromise on stunning design, so performance is likely to be sacrificed.

As Apple’s main rivals start ramping up their Ghz to the 1.5 level, they are showing that they are starting to fall behind in terms of the raw hardware. HTC, Samsung, etc. release phones nearly monthly whereas Apple approximately annually. Any advantage Apple can have from their hardware spec. will be short-lived. But I wonder whether this will be the first time where the iPhone does not blow the competition away on performance.

The iPhone 5 will be the best selling smartphone of all time. There is no question about it. Hardware is only part of the Apple package and users love iOS, iTunes and walking around with their designer brand on display. They will have trouble keeping up with demand and announce in 2012 that they have over $100billion in cash in the bank. This article is not saying that Apple are going to fail … just that they’re losing the hardware war and some would argue playing catch up with the OS. Apple’s USPs are quickly reducing down to ‘brand’ and ‘content’. Not that these aren’t formidable!

What will be interesting going forward is whether consumers actually care about their Gigahertz or Gigabytes. My guess is that most just want something that is cool and works … but the gamers will want performance. The nerds will want bragging rights and the kids don’t want to be told what they can and can’t do. Can Apple raise the bar, yet again? Or will it be a bit like Louis Vuitton releasing a new handbag?  My best guess is that Apple will release yet another piece of art that works flawlessly but that will lose its shine a little quicker than the last one.

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