Apple Held an Event, Tech World Snoozed

Rice & Co. didn't deliver a cheap phone, or anything new enough

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 11, 2013 1:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – Apple's big iPhone unveiling yesterday—in which it replaced the iPhone 5 with the similar 5S and cheaper, multicolored 5C—has pundits yawning and investors selling. Here's how people are reacting:

  • The biggest problem is that "Apple failed to feed the insatiable consumer appetite for the new," argues Marcus Wohlsen at Wired. The 5S is a nice incremental upgrade, but the world expects more out of Apple. "Steve Jobs’ death wasn’t an event of worldwide significance because he could craft better spec sheets."

  • Many investors were expecting a cheaper iPhone that could compete in developing countries, and the 5C misses the mark. "Apple is now offering budget-conscious consumers around the world a strange deal," writes Farhad Manjoo at Slate: "OK, the iPhone isn’t any cheaper than it used to be. But hey, look, it comes in lots of colors! Colors! Even pink! How will you be paying?"
  • Apple may have "hit its BlackBerry moment," worries Jonny Evans at ComputerWorld, though he thinks it may have bought itself some time. He doesn't think the 5C was supposed to be a budget play, but an effort to diversify its line and give it leeway to break up its every-12-month release schedule. "This would have been a great idea. Last year."
  • Rocco Pendola at TheStreet, meanwhile, thinks yesterday was a BlackBerry moment, too—for Microsoft. "The media buried the lead" by focusing on the iPhones, he argues. The real news was that Apple will offer its iWork productivity suite for free. That move "could crush Microsoft Office."
  • Twitter overall reacted with apathy, CNET reports. According to the analysts at Crimson Hexagon, about 73% of social media comments were neutral, compared to 21% that were basically positive and 6% that were basically negative.

An Apple employee, right, instructs a journalist on the use of the fingerprint scanner technology built into the company's iPhone 5S during a media event held in Beijing, China, Sept. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
A journalist takes pictures of the new plastic iPhones during a media event held in Beijing, China, Sept. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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