- Bloggers have been gossiping about the fifth-generation iPhone since June 2010
- This was first presentation for Tim Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs as CEO
- Many people expected Apple to announce a completely redesigned iPhone 5
Usually a cause for techno-euphoria, Apple's iPhone-a-palooza event on Tuesday had an unintended and unlikely effect: It made some corners of the Internet mad.
"LET'S TALK *NEW* IPHONE ALREADY!!!!!!!!" the Twitter celebrity @ijustine wrote during the company's much-hyped press conference, where it unveiled the iPhone 4S -- a phone that looks just like its predecessor, but is faster and has a better camera.
"Tim Cook is talking too much. I just need to know if I have to put pants on and run to the Apple Store righhttt now," she wrote closer to the start of the event, referring to Apple's new CEO, who was panned by many online as dull compared to Steve Jobs.
The collective reaction online: Probably not.
Many observers seemed underwhelmed by Tuesday's Apple news. Here are five reasons why some people are calling the iPhone 4S announcement a dud:
The rumor mill
Bloggers have been gossiping about the details of the fifth-generation iPhone literally since the iPhone 4 was unveiled in June 2010. In the process, they may have set some unrealistic expectations --- including hopes that the phone would "radically change," which it didn't. The iPhone 4S looks exactly like the iPhone 4. For more on the rumors that didn't come to pass, check out Gawker's "iPhone 5 Failboard."
Side note: Al Gore, an Apple board member, made an apparently offhand comment that fueled speculation Apple might announce not one but TWO iPhones on Tuesday. Again, high expectations.
Apple usually announces a new iPhone in June. This year it waited until October, amid speculation that it was having trouble getting the parts it needed to manufacture the new version of the phone. Those extra four months gave the aforementioned rumor mill a little more time to rev up.
This was the first center-stage presentation for Tim Cook, who replaced Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as CEO on August 24 amid reports of Jobs' ailing health. Cook is notably less outgoing and charismatic than Jobs, and the company's presenters Tuesday took their time getting to the meat of the event -- the iPhone 4S announcement. That produced lots of chatter on Twitter and elsewhere that the company had nothing significant to say.
Stocks also reacted bizarrely to the news, falling as much as 5% before closing 0.5% down for the day, CNNMoney reports.
"There's nothing wrong with a company coming out with an incremental improvement, but with a big news conference comes the expectation of something big," Jeff Kagan, a technology analyst, told CNNMoney's David Goldman. "This wasn't big."
When the iPhone 3GS debuted in 2009, critics were similarly unimpressed. Maybe that has something to do with the name. Many people expected Apple to announce a completely redesigned iPhone 5. iPhone 4S sounds much more like a facelift of a current product -- which is fair because that's what it is.
It looks the same
This is perhaps the biggest reason people aren't wowed by the iPhone 4S: It has exactly the same shell as the iPhone 4. The rumor mill wanted to see a phone with a "teardrop" shaped back and a bigger screen. No such luck.
All of the new features of the iPhone 4S are essentially invisible: A faster processor, better camera and a "humble virtual assistant" called Siri that operates on voice commands.
For status seekers, what good is flashing your new iPhone if it looks just like the old one?