The iPhone 4S is a base strengthening move for Apple.
Both the new device plus iOS5 give developers much needed breathing room to keep up with technological advances -- in stark contrast to a costly re-shuffle if the form-factor would have been heavily upgraded.
For example, if Apple had launched a 4.5-inch iPhone 5 with a resolution of 720p and all sorts of new features that could be capitalized only by high-end games, it would have been yet another platform to consider when developing for iOS.
By advancing incrementally and keeping the resolution the same, Apple:
- Allows developers to have a more consolidated graphics strategy
- Buys more time for deeper penetration of existing technology
- Keeps from disenfranchising their base by keeping their tech current for a longer period of time
- Allows users of older Apple tech to step up to the latest resolution at a fraction of the price via the now $99 iPhone 4
Of course, like every other gadget-obsessed guy I was hoping for something more dramatic. As a developer though, I'm breathing a sigh of relief that all the learning we've done on iOS is still valid and that we have more time to get deeper and more skilled on the existing hardware and resolution set.
On iOS5 - It's cool and we've known about it for a while. It is great to see Apple keeping it's OS shiny (a place where lots of others have failed). Their commitment to OS is an example of how Steve Jobs, with a perfect understanding that software sells hardware and not the other way around, changed computing as we know it.
Thumbs up, Apple. And Steve, thanks for everything. We'll sorely miss you.