Apple's iPhone 4S: the smartphone steals Christmas

By Jonny Evans

When it comes to the iPhone 4S the critics will be exposed for what they really are, the new Apple [AAPL] smartphone is the best yet, will sell millions and the first benchmark tests confirm it's fast as a fast thing.

Spoilt children

Oh you complainers, I hear you: "There's nothing revolutionary about the new iPhone," you say, with all the tact, understanding and charm of the spoilt kids round the perfect Christmas tree who wanted a new pushbike but in the end had to "make do" with a Segway. Spoilt, insolent children who want Santa Apple to surprise them each and every time. You're irrelevant, wrong, and I blame the parents.

Look at Apple's new device: already the company has let us know that a million -- that's a big number, so I'll run it past you again, particularly you at the back with the silver spoons and no talent for math -- a million iPhone 4S units were pre-ordered within the first 24 hours of sale.

I told you this would happen. I told you that this Holiday Season will be Apple's holiday season.

The Holidays are coming

Millions of iPhone 4S smartphones will ship in the next few weeks because:

  • It's a fantastic new device
  • Partly out of pent-up demand
  • Partly because the wait has been so long many owners of the more recent models can already upgrade
  • Partly because, for a lot of us, grabbing this season's smartphone will form some kind of small and personal tribute to the man many of us can't stop missing, Steve Jobs.
  • And no one listens to the critics any more anyway.

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Superficial people, television's people

Me? I'm with Ticonderoga Securities analyst, Brian White, who last week called the initial criticisms of the new smartphone "superficial" and a "knee-jerk reaction".

He's right.

It's just the usual people celebrating the usual crush and the Android people trying to find fault as they desperately shore up their soon to be flagging, insanely insecure, patent-breaking so-called "mobile operating system".

Critics. You want to love them, but so many seem to lack integrity. The way I see it, if you want to find fault with something, do so by all means, but at least find an expression that's original rather than retreating into some small time collegiate "group-think" mode. It just isn't sexy or impressive.

Coming also before Christmas, Apple seems set to begin offering the iPhone 4S via China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator.

Given the huge (and it is huge) popularity of Apple's products in the world's largest and -- at least at present -- most stable economy, then don't be surprised to see Apple's iPhone sales numbers fly off the charts. Some are predicting 25 million plus sales, and this is going to dent everyone else in the smartphone space race. Apple is rock and roll, everyone else is Rebecca Black -- good for a while, but lacking in staying power.

Super-fast, super-smart, smartphone

I'm on a roll, I can feel it coming through. Perhaps I'm channelling, but let's have a chat about performance, shall we? I don't want to make other manufacturers anxious, as we all know anxiety can impact performance, but take a look at the latest benchmark figures, which tell us the new Apple smartphone is the best-performing smartphone on the planet.

The results, obtained by AnandTech show that in terms of Javascript performance the 4S exceeds the competition, while Geekbench results show it as the best-performing smartphone around. Graphics performance is 122.7, versus the Galaxy S II and its 67.1 score. This smartphone is superfly, superfast, and, with Siri, super-smart.

Super-smart? Think on Apple's Siri assistant.  Despite the whimpers there really is no equally effective assistant on any other platform. Critics. Huh. What to do they know? Only what their daily Google AdSense statements tell them. Google doesn't just make AdSense, by the way, it also makes Android.

The critics don't get it

I'm going to punch out some predictions now. We're going to hear a very sombre financial results announcement from Apple on October 18. Executives will be moderately upbeat about their results, tempered by knowledge of the economic challenges and the tragic and far too early loss of Steve Jobs.

I'm anticipating iPhone sales in the period will look robust, but don't expect too much growth as consumers looked toward the next iteration. For the sake of argument, let's imagine a flat sales trajectory, or 20 million iPhone sales in the period.

The Holiday quarter will be different. There's iPhones for every budget now, and while few will pick an iPhone 3GS, many will opt for 4 and millions will get hold of an iPhone 4S. I'm with analysts expecting around 23 million sales in the period, but warn this could climb dramatically if the China Mobile deal goes through.

Also in the Christmas basket could be the re-vamped Apple TV box, which some say may support Siri. I am looking forward to talking to my TV to ask it to find something worth watching. Sadly, even an intelligent assistant will likely be unable to find anything truly worth watching on today's TV schedules.

(Which is where radio may regain its place, alternative music fans may even enjoy the all-new Radio Dandelion app, from the family and estate of the great John Peel and a home for new music from all over the world).

What are your thoughts? Speak up, I'm interested.

Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when these items are published here first on Computerworld.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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