Passion cools for iPhone after latest release

The more things change, the more they stay the same — at least to some.
People got worked up this week leading up to Apple’s unveiling of the next iPhone.
And some still are — but for a different reason.
Excitement about the rumored release of the iPhone 5 quickly ballooned into disappointment this week after Apple announced that the successor to its iPhone 4 wasn’t a 5 at all, but a 4S.


Apple’s iPhone 4S doesn’t differ much from its predecessor, the iPhone 4. (Koji Sasahara / Associated Press)

The wonder of its capabilities went unappreciated by techies from casual to hard-core, all because the company’s latest version is called by the same number and has the same look as its predecessor.
But you can’t blame them for expecting something different.
Technology has changed so rapidly in the past decade-plus that it’s hard for those of us in our 20s and 30s to appreciate incremental improvements to something that only used to make and receive calls.
“I was kind of underwhelmed, initially,” said Max Caven, a 21-year-old from Duluth and a self-professed Apple fanboy. “But as I thought about it, it really didn’t surprise me.”
The news didn’t curb customer interest, though, at the AT&T store on Central Entrance in Duluth, where an employee said a steady stream of calls continued to come in since Apple sent invitations last week about the iPhone media event at its California headquarters.
But tech geeks and basement dwellers throughout the Internet still declared a “fail” by Apple CEO Tim Cook, whose company’s new phone doesn’t have the capability to make breakfast or deliver babies.
“I think a lot of people were expecting a 5, and a lot of people were let down,” Caven said. “For all intents and purposes, this is a 5; it just doesn’t look like a 5.”
So, there’s no way to tell that you’re cooler than the dude with an iPhone 4. People will just have to take your word.
We’re waiting for the first phone to flip a pancake and cut an umbilical cord. But until then, we’ll have to settle for the cool stuff the iPhone 4S promises to do. Cook says the phone is faster, carries an improved camera, and even has a voice-activated service called Siri, which responds to a user’s questions and commands.
“This is the typical Apple scenario: People keep wanting it to do the impossible,” Tim Bajarin, a Creative Strategies analyst, said in an Associated Press story.
“I’m not impressed with the new #iPhone4S,” Joshua Gonzales (@SpanishJedi) said via Twitter. “Sure it’s faster & has a few more upgrades, but nothing to impress me.”
And you won’t be until the arrival of that long-awaited toaster-oven app.

Jimmy Bellamy is the multimedia editor at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. Contact him at (218) 723-5390 or This column originally appeared here.