Features don’t win, solutions do. Also: Why you’re wrong about the new iPhone.

If you’ve read any blogs or scanned Facebook, you’ll see all sorts of negative comments about the new iPhone 5.

“It doesn’t have NFS.”
“The screen on the (insert crazy-named Android device here) is much bigger!”
“It doesn’t have an SD card reader.”
“OMG, they changed the port.”

Or, if you’re really desperate, you’ll run ads like Samsung:

Is Apple not capable to add features, like “S Beam” to the iPhone? Of course not. They could add a laser pointer and air conditioner to the iPhone 5 if they wanted to. However, Apple choses the features that work the best for their customers.

Let’s look, specifically at S Beam. Here’s the small print in the commercial:
“S Beam requires initial connection between devices. Devices much touch back to back.”

Can you imagine telling your mom, “OK, we need to set up our S Beam, you just go to Setting, then More Settings, then turn on S Beam…” (here’s a full demo).

I don’t know about you, but my Mom (Love you, Mom!) would be lost after we started digging into the setting.

It’s not that the iPhone is inferior, Apple just picks and chooses the features that are the easiest for the user. Apple’s answer for the same feature is called the Shared Photo stream. Want to share some photos with your family? Just click on Share, then Add to Photo Stream. You can then share the Photo Stream with anyone in your address book. No NFS set up, no setting, no logins. Even though the technology isn’t as complicated, the solution is superior. My family actually showed me shared Photo Stream the day iOS 6 came out (the day I got married, thanks Apple!), it was so easy to use.

Could Apple make the screen bigger? Of course. But it wouldn’t fit in your hand as easy.

I could go on and on.

What’s my point? Features don’t win, solutions do. I think the Android (and Windows) platforms are good alternatives to the iPhone. Some people don’t like the iPhone, and that’s fine. Android may be the right solution for you.

Simply put: the iPhone is the most cohesively thought-out smartphone on the market. From the hardware to the software to the networks, the iPhone is meticulously managed by Apple.  Sure, the iPhone could change and features could be added, but you always have to make sacrifices to introduce new features (easy of use, etc.). Adding features isn’t always a good thing.

I, personally, think that we’d come to point with smartphones where we won’t see nearly as much hardware innovation as we have in the past three years. Think about computers. They haven’t changed a whole lot, feature and form-wise, in the last 10 years. They got slightly smaller, slightly faster and better screens. You can’t get much smaller, faster or better screens than what we now have on smartphones. The biggest innovation will come in software.

And let me talk about the Map “issues” for a second. Do you forget that you are getting “free” GPS on a mobile phone? A mobile phone! No paper maps, no bulky GPS units that are ugly as sin – you have the whole world, in 3D, in the palm of your hand!!!! Who cares if the 3D mapping is a little off in places, it’s simply incredible that all of this is possible. Stop complaining and be grateful of all the amazing advances that live in your pocket. This stuff is amazing.

I’ll also remind you that Apple and Google are companies, that are in it to make cash money. Money, money, money. They’ve both got stock holders to report to. Apple was paying Google to use their maps, probably a LOT of money. Apple was paying their competitor a lot of money. That doesn’t make the best business sense, does it? Of course, Google didn’t want to give Apple everything they wanted, so you can’t blame Apple completely for the new Maps program, you can partially blame Google.

Sorry, I’ll step off my soapbox now.