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The IPhone 5: Beyond Smart Phones

Looking at the iPhone 5, it is hard to believe that the first iPhone came out just six years ago. The rapid development in every product just goes to show that Apple is a company that consistently thinks outside of the box. This company has never been afraid to flaunt the present norms of computing in order to craft a new paradigm for everyone else to mimic.

Apple—Believing Smaller Is Better Since the Beginning

iPhone 4 Bumper + Universal Dock w/ DIY AdapterTech was getting smaller long before Apple and its computers and phones. Transistor radios first came out in the mid-20th century. They got smaller every few years or so until kids were holding them in one hand against their ears.

When Apple started making computers in the 1970s, the challenges of making things smaller were much more complicated. Yet every new generation of Apple computer managed to fit more and more capabilities and capacity into a smaller package. As the Internet developed and the demand for mobile technology developed, Apple was obviously determined to jump into this new arena and land on both feet. The iPhone was the first truly smart phone.

Apple Leaps Into the 21st Century

It is not surprising to learn that the developers that produced the iPhone were originally thinking of a tablet-type computer rather than a phone. Steve Jobs moved their focus toward a phone but they apparently took a lot of their innovation about capacity with them. The first iPhones came out in two editions, one with a 4GB capacity and another with 8GB. These capacious phones had sizable touch screens, could scroll the Internet, take photos with built-in cameras and do much more. These abilities were not completely unusual in other mobile devices but this invention put them all in one device that weighed less than 5 ounces and fit in your hand. Since then, iPhones have been getting faster, smaller and more connected to the Internet.

Beyond Smart Phones

The first iPhones were the flagships of the movement toward smart phones rather than cell phones. Following the trends already set by its predecessors; this device is smaller, faster and just plain better than anything else out there. Apple’s goal is to put as much power in your hands without burdening you with weight or inconveniencing you with size. The iPhone 5 does that and more.

The physical dimensions are unreal. Outdoing its work with earlier iPhones, Apple designed this device to weigh less than four ounces. Given its depth of less than 8 millimeters, this lightweight characteristic is not surprising. The massive amounts of computing power in this slim instrument are very surprising. You just cannot do everything that iPhones do with a traditionally sized SIM card. Instead of letting itself be boxed in by these restrictions, Apple worked its typical magic and created the Nano-SIM card. At a little over half the size of the micro-SIM card, this feature helped their latest product by ramping up the capabilities of the iPhone 4S while dropping 20% of its weight and losing nearly as much in its thickness. Apple did not sacrifice visual quality to achieve this thinner design. They simply developed a thinner touchscreen that not only avoided sacrificing quality, it added to the clarity already available in this line of products. The pixels in the screen work two jobs simultaneously, acting in one capacity as the touch sensors while they display the image as well. At the heart of this smart phone is its mobile operating system. For its mobile line of products, Apple developed the iOS, a version of its famously capable OS. The user interface of this device not only responds to a variety of finger gestures, it also has accelerometers inside it that permit users to alter applications by shaking or otherwise moving the whole phone.

There are many things about the iPhone 5 that no longer distinguish it from other smart phones. Watching videos and browsing the Internet are common capabilities across the spectrum of mobile devices now available on the market. You will not find another phone out there, though, that does everything that this phone does. Even the phones that match a significant number of its features do not package them so tightly and efficiently in such a conveniently-sized package.

Shane writes for iCellFix, a company that provides iPhone repair in Grand Rapids, MI.

photo by: Yutaka Tsutano