Look, apparently some tech company announced the launch of another phone the other day, and there’s been a lot of noise about it ever since.

You’ve no doubt heard about the iPhone 5 by now. The new one, with the pretty screen, fast wireless (incl. 4G LTE), better battery and the world’s best (so they claim, I don’t necessarily agree) operating system.

Hell, even our partners at WhistleOut have gotten in early and put up [wpb stub=apple-iphone-5-16gb]pages for the iPhone 5[/wpb] if you’d like to get in on the pre-order action. In a nutshell, it seems people are going more than a little bit nuts about all this. I don’t blame them.

If we didn’t have a post on the iPhone 5, you’d ask why, and I found myself asking that question this morning — everyone else is talking about it, why aren’t we? There’s no end of comparison blogs being put up about how the iPhone 5 stands up against existing and rumoured Android hardware. Certainly the top-end phones — Samsung Galaxy S III is one that comes to mind — are having all manner of comparisons drawn.

As a user of both platforms (I know, right? One of the guys behind Ausdroid likes Apple hardware?) I can’t say that I’m not excited about the new iPhone, but not for the reasons you may guess. Chances are I will buy one, yes, but that’s not the end of the story.

“This is what we’re doing, and a ton of people are going to buy it. If you want to (continue to) take a chunk of the market your way, be mindful that this is the benchmark as we see it. Good luck.”

I think the single best thing that Apple has done for the mobile phone industry, and I challenge anyone to contradict this thought, is showing people what can be done, and that it can be done well. The iPhone 5 may not be as revolutionary as some devices before it — in fact, it offers nothing particularly exciting that some current Android handsets already have — but it is the continuation of what has been a fairly trend-setting product from the get-go.

I’m looking forward to the continued, upward pressure that Apple (as well as Samsung, Motorola et al) are putting on the market. If Apple had dropped the ball, and released anything less exciting than the iPhone 5, which is certain to gain mass market appeal anyway, then surely the incentive on other manufacturers to present market-leading handsets would drop away a little.

It’s almost as if Apple is drawing a line in the sand, and laying down the challenge: “This is what we’re doing, and a ton of people are going to buy it. If you want to (continue to) take a chunk of the market your way, be mindful that this is the benchmark as we see it. Good luck.”

I don’t think there’s anything remarkable about the iPhone 5. Having LTE, a decent sized screen and good battery life are good things from my perspective, and for a work handset, it’ll no doubt provide a sturdy, reliable platform. In fact, once I get one, I look forward to actually doing an Ausdroid Review ™ of the handset so you can see a (somewhat) unbiased look at what’s so good about it, and what is on the market that challenges the idea of the iPhone as some kind of benchmark.

Apple does some things well, but is it truly a better handset than some of the industry-leading Android handsets? In a few editorials coming up, I hope to spend a bit of time discussing this in more detail, so you can make up your own mind, if you haven’t already.

We are first, foremost, and primarily an Android blog. Everyone knows that. But neither I nor Ausdroid exist in a vacuum — it’s naive in the extreme to think that things that happen in iPhone, Windows Mobile and Blackberry land don’t affect things in Android to varying extents, and where big events like this happen, if we don’t cover it, then I think we’re failing our audience.

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Apple wishing other manufactures ‘good luck’… Yeah… OK…

Frank Benign

The small 4S was supposed to feel “premium” due to its 140g heft. The bigger 5 is now down to 112 g (about the same as the SGSII). Does it still feel “premium”, I wonder? 3.5″ was the perfect screen size, but now 4″ is. Anyway, iPhone chassis designs have a 2-year run. So this is it for the next 2 years from Apple.


My theory on apple is: if you like the eco system and app store so much, buy an iPad so you can actually enjoy those things. I simply couldnt give up an android phone, what i will say is… i DO wish that google would step up the play store. they cant compete when we dont even have a music store in australia.

when the only choice you have is itunes, why would people start buying androids if they use their device to play music?

David Anderton

Sunil J

Great blog Chris… was worth doing and is a great read… I completely agree with your points. I have been using two Androids for a while now and will make the switch to one Android and one iPhone.


Local pricing had just been announced,and its sure has a premium. If apple is targeting the mass market then apple should rethink about their pricing strategy. But if apple is targeting those that are not tight on the budget, then their strategy may just be enough to yield high returns. Apple has to keep its investors happy too.

However if you are a person that is for technological innovation with the best value for your money-you know what phone you need.Android

Jamie Tan

There’s an article by an obviously pro-Apple journalist (http://goo.gl/4q04z) which sums things up perfectly in the phrase: “Apple doesn’t make products for early adopters. It makes products for the billions of people who buy things they can easily access and understand.” I’m not anti-Apple per se. It’s obviously profitable for Apple to only add a few features at a time (it encourages their customers to upgrade, year after year, to the new iPhone). That doesn’t irk me. Most Apple customers wouldn’t even know what 4G/LTE is – in fact more than a third of US iPhone users surveyed already thought… Read more »

Good points all well made @jamietan:disqus, and I think the thing that captures Apple best is “Evolutionary”, not Revolutionary. They do well updating their products with modest increments… but they haven’t been revolutionary (I’d say) since the first iPhone was released. That, truly, was a revolutionary handset.

Aleksandar Nikolic

This is a very good opportunity for Android to overtake Apple on many levels. With the advent of Galax S3 it was easy to see that a lot of people switch from Apple to Android. With relatively small improvements after 2 years Apple has opened the opportunity for Android to make a big step forward. iPhone5 is not good enough to fight to the competition 2 years, maybe only 3 to 6 months until new wave of powerful Android devices release.


Nothing surprising to me about the iphone 5 launch besides apple finally stopped being stubborn about the aspect ratio of their devices and no NFC, no doubt though I admit, it’ll be the highest selling phone model of the financial year and still something many will still try to top by creating the next “iphone killer”. Hardware wise, nothing the average high end android phones haven’t crossed or are already racing to top. One thing I do like and would like to see in other phones is the LTE radio that they put in the phone that seems to support… Read more »

There’s actually three different models of iPhone 5 – see here: http://www.apple.com/au/iphone/specs.html

So the phone that supports Australia’s LTE bands might not be too useful overseas, and vice versa. Unfortunately it’s not a penta-band LTE.. that technology is a little too far away.


I buy phones for my company out of a tech fund so the outright price is important to us. $899 for a 32GB iPhone5 vs $600 for a 32GB S3. I can’t see the logic in paying $300 more for something that is, at best, equal to an S3. Maybe its ok for people renewing their 2 year contracts but it doesn’t make sense for us as a business to buy iPhones

Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

Probably the only reason a business would go iPhone is the enterprise support can be a little better, plus there’s a good chance that more people are familiar with iPhones than Androids, and you’ll have less post-release support issues. For example, most government departments (well, the ones that aren’t tied to Blackberry still) are going the way of Apple and iPhones.. I doubt we’ll see any departments going down the Android path anytime soon.. they don’t understand the benefits, and most of the staff wouldn’t know how to use one anyway.

Benjamin Dobell

Out of curiosity, how is the iPhone more enterprise friendly? I don’t think iPhone is it all more enterprise friendly because there no is not enough freedom to customise devices to fit in with existing enterprise architectures. For example, you can’t install third party VPNs which means OpenVPN is out of the question.


As an IT manager, my team and I support both iPhones and. Androids. Some android and app platforms are not good for a business environment, but tools like Touchdown just kill the market for enterprise emails, android platforms are generally better at unmodified videos, where we have toconvt them for the Ipads . Android really is beginning to shine, and some apple folks are starting to notice.



The biggest thing the iPhone brings for consumers is that you won’t be bummed buying an iPhone and then 2 months later they release a better one that renders yours seemingly devalued. At least when you buy an iPhone you know it is the best model for the next 12 months.


Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

As much as this has received two thumbs down, I couldn’t agree more. At least with an iPhone, you know the release cycle (mostly), and you know that accessories will be abundant and varied. Trying to buy accessories for most Android handsets is a headache – though the Galaxy S III is a standout here.


I agree and its the same for just about all apple products. And that is something I do admire in Apple. The best time to buy ANY Apple product is when its first released because 1. It wont be updated shortly after or a varying device will take its place and 2. The price remains the same until a new model takes its place. So you basically dont have to worry about buyinf it two early and that it either drops in price or something better comes along. I still hate Apple as a comoany but their are things that… Read more »


Please excusey typing inaccuracies.


I try to stay in the middle ground for most everything. I hate, yes hate, Apple as a company and the control they appear to have in the industry. Its hard for any vendor, mainstream or otherwise, to associate a risk worth bankable to any manufacturer other then Apple. They are the largest slice of the pie by a longshot. Sure Android may out-do in total numbers but its divided across an diversity of handsets, most likely the way google hand intended in the first place, varifying in flavours more so than even the android platform itself. What Apple has… Read more »

Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

My gripe with Android has always been the small issues that completely give me the shits, and unfortunately most handsets have these issues. iPhones have theirs, too, but on Android they’re incredibly frustrating. Such as stalled network connections that you have to go to airplane mode for ten seconds or so and re-enable in order to get data flowing again, or the SGS3’s trick of showing H+ with both data arrows indicating activity, and full signal, but zero data flowing, sometimes for minutes at a time. Plus the antenna design in the SGS3 is garbage compared to the iPhone, which… Read more »


I have have to agree with the annoyingly frustrating aspects of android. A pure google experience with a nexus device might resolve some of these woes? Your take on such? In relation with the network issue… is what you are referring to more carrier related. Im with optus and the coverage is incredibly poor. 5 suburbs…all the same issues just some worse. I can say its more carrier related because its not the same (AT ALL) with telstra. My carrier frustration runs as much as that I am near permanently on Telstra prepaid. My next fear is that due to… Read more »

Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

I’ve tried the Nexus devices, even the Nexus One used to do it, and the Nexus S / Galaxy Nexus have done these things as well. In fact, every Android I’ve ever used has had these niggles in varying quantities. The crashes certainly vary a lot, but the stalled data issue has featured on every handset I’ve used. It shouldn’t be network issues – I’m with Telstra Next G and it works _flawlessly_ on an iPhone or Blackberry… just Android’s can’t cope it seems. I doubt Telstra will let Next G drop off too quickly.. 4G has a long way… Read more »


You’re right and I respect Apple for doing what they did; they introduced a phone that was actually pretty good and what people wanted. Sure iPhones may have a declining market share (smartphone adoption is still booming enough for them to see growth in units/profit), but they’ve developed a very profitable user-base that are likely to keep buying new iPhones over and over again. Some people just don’t like thinking about complicated things like choosing a new phone. iPhones are a solid choice and to most, that’s all they need. The extra time and effort to choose something else doesn’t… Read more »

Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

I think Apple has to offer incremental rather than huge leaps in their product line, or people who own existing products will feel left behind, and Apple doesn’t seem to like leaving products behind after 12 months.. their life cycle is measured in years rather than months, and the same can’t really be said for Android just yet. On the topic of buyers of iPhones, I think you’re exactly right. Most of the people I know who have used iPhones since the 3G days are looking at trading in the iPhone 3G/3GS/4/4S and going to the 5, and that’s hardly… Read more »

Peter Graham

ha ha ha…..i was waiting for this to come up……let me start by saying there is nothing wrong with an Android based company discussing the competition…Everyone knows about Apple as they are everywhere, so there is no point pretending there not…. with that aside i have to say that iphone 5 is a big flop in terms of what it offers…they are not even trying to go bigger and better, they are simply updating a product that they know people will buy. Yes it has “Retina” display and a better processor, but there is nothing cutting edge which is what… Read more »

Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

NFC would have been the killer app, but to me, the issue isn’t with handset manufacturers adopting it.. it’s the gatekeepers to useful things powered by NFC that are the issue. Banks in Australia won’t (or don’t) yet have a means to allow their NFC-enabled cards to be used via NFC enabled handsets. Until they make it possible, there’s little point having NFC in a handset, it’s mostly a gimmick for the moment.

Anthony Richardson

The most important thing they announced was PassBook which may have an important effect on Android. The whole Google Wallet and NFC thing is moving too slowly and lots of conflicting NFC implementions in handsets and vendor devices make this a headache. I’m hoping PassBook will given vendors the “standard” they are seeking to actually implement digital wallets technology on mass. The hope I have is that vendors will demand or implement the infrastructure in a way that means Apple doesn’t control the ECO system. I think the use of QR codes and not NFC was actually brilliant by Apple.… Read more »

Anthony Richardson

Passbook is not an open standard though. it can be messed with by Apple at will. I don’t think you should be wishing for a world where Apple owns a “standard” payment technology.

Anthony Richardson

that’s why I said: “The hope I have is that vendors will demand or implement the infrastructure in a way that means Apple doesn’t control the ECO system.”


Honestly, I think it’s great that they have gone LTE, yes they are slow to adopt, but who cares, buy it if you like it, or buy Android…. does it really matter? For people who don’t care and want something simple and pretty, the iPhone is great. For geeks like us who want something different and more customization… we get Android, can’t we all just get along? 🙂

Chris Rowland (Team Ausdroid)

We sure can get along. The managing director of Ausdroid can just as often be found rocking an Apple handset as an Android one. I’d say we can get along just fine 🙂