Sunday, September 23, 2012

Apple iPhone 5 review - thumbs up!

My wife received a new 16GB white iPhone 5 (AT&T) on Friday and while she's still learning how to use it, she's definitely a fan.   As this is only the second smartphone she's ever owned, I serve as her tech support and I'm a fan as well.

My wife was due for a smartphone upgrade and decided to upgrade to the new iPhone 5 from a Samsung Focus Windows phone (AT&T) she purchased in November, 2010.  While she liked the Windows Phone (her first smartphone) she has become enamored with Apple since I purchased the new iPad when it was first announced in March, 2012.  My employer, IBM, issued me sn iPad 1 and 2 for work purposes and the iPad 3 was the first was the first tablet I purchased myself.  Initially, my wife didn't think she'd use the iPad but it has quickly become her favorite computing device (replacing a laptop).  In fact, between my wife and kids, I rarely get to use the iPad.

Ordering and Activation
I ordered the her iPhone 5 online, via the AT&T website on September 14 at 8am with a ship date of Friday, September 19.  I received the iPhone at noon and after a brief automated call to AT&T, the new iPhone was activated.  A key reason for me to stay with AT&T is simultaneous voice and data.  BGR reports that Verizon doesn't support this feature for the iPhone 5.   I live in an area with very poor cell phone coverage (1 bar) for Sprint, AT&T and Verizon.  A few years ago, AT&T provided me a microcell, free of charge, which connects to my home router and provides 5 bars of service.  It works great and is also supported by the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 is noticeably thinner and lighter than it's predecessor.  The screen is a half inch larger than my iPhone 4  (16 x 9 aspect ratio - just like HDTV).  I'm definitely a fan of the larger screen.   However,  the screen isn't too big that it can't be used in one hand.  Apple has a great commercial that illustrates this point.  The phone has noticeably better performance (i.e. snappier) than my iPhone 4 and the screen is gorgeous.  Apple was wise to replace the previous glass back which is heavy and prone to breakage with a metal back.  Unfortunately, I don't live in an area with 4G coverage so I haven't been able to test that particular feature.

iOS 6
The iPhone 5 comes with the new operating system, iOS 6 preinstalled.   Many, but not all, of the previous models of iPhone and iPad can be upgraded but not all features are available.   Engadget has a great iOS 6 review as well as a list of compatible devices and features.   I upgraded my iPad 2, iPad 3, iPod Touch 4 gen and iPhone 4 and recommend it as it was free, easy to install and has a number of worthy enhancements.   InfoWorld published a great article on the new iOS 6 features that are of interest to the enterprise.  Apple, like Android, and Windows Phone, have been increasingly adding features to their products to satisfy enterprise customers.

My iPhone 4
I'm currently using an IBM-issued iPhone 4 that I upgraded to iOS 6 and I'm ready for a new phone.  While I'm interested in Windows Phone 8 which ships next month, it's not part currently part of the IBM program.  The release of Lotus Traveler later this year for Windows Phone should change this.  In addition to iPhone, IBM also supports Android and BlackBerry.  I'm leaning toward the new iPhone 5 but it hasn't been formerly added to the IBM corporate managed program yet.  Supported devices include Apple iPhone/iPad, Google Android and RIM BlackBerry.  Key enterprise services available to IBM smartphone and tablet users include Lotus Traveler/Domino (email, contacts and calendar), Sametime (instant messaging) and IBM Connections (social business).   In addition to corporate issued devices, IBM has a hugely successful "Bring Your Own Device" (e.g. BYOD) program that was detailed by IBM CIO Jeanette Horan in a Compterworld interview earlier this year.

I'll update this blog when I upgrade my smartphone.  Stay tuned!

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