iPhone 5, touted to have bundled the best of the previous generation iPhones as well as some scintillating new features, saw light on September 21, 2012; 9 days after the announcement. And the reception was nothing less than overwhelming – 5 million pieces sold in the first week since release, which could’ve been more had the stocks were sufficient. Economists even went to the extent of saying that the sales could have a huge positive effect on US’s economy, which left many clueless. Now two weeks into its launch, it’s time for a status check.

Pre-launch buzz

Online discussion forums were a buzz with speculation and excitement over how iPhone would fare. Here is what a select few had to say, who had the privilege to experience the phone beforehand:

– Striking battery life of 11 hours and 15 hours, matching other smartphones of the same class.
– Lightning speed in connectivity brought about by LTE, enabling never before quick downloads and uploads even even when not on Wi-Fi networks.
– Highly portable design; thinner, lighter and fits right inside one’s palm.
– The very powerful A6 chip delivering twice the speed of its predecessor.
– The amazing picture quality even in low light conditions; a major improvement on its previous models. Coupled with the option to ‘click’ stills while recording, gives a tremendous fillip to its camera abilities
– Lengthened display, a real treat to the eyes.

Post-launch realities

The initial exhilaration is fading, giving way to dullness. While this is something normal consumers encounter post-purchase, but pretty uncommon with iPhone. Although previous versions had its own share of issues, iPhone 5 was expected to come clean given the stiffening competition and it’s reputation in the industry.

1. Shedding the skin too early

Users are disappointed over the enormous abrasions on the aluminium casing. The previous model had steel casing, which didn’t have the present issue. What’s really annoying to the user is when they get their brand new phones with abrasions. Even if they get it without the scratches, it doesn’t stay same for long. iPhones have turned into status symbols and these abrasions are a blotch.

2. Searing hot

Users complain that the phone heats up pretty fast. Well, they expect the phone to be fast, but not to heat fast. It’s under-stable the phone to heat up when CPU heavy programs are run, but not just when loitering on the web. This is a major problem when the general weather itself is hot, as in the middle-east region. With hot phones in users’ hand, you can’t expect them to be cool.

3. Battery not ‘living’ up to expectations

Sadly, the battery’s life is short as voiced by many users. This is against the claim of Apple that iPhone 5 comes with a good battery life. There might be a link between overheating of the battery and it’s shortened life. This needs to be figured out soon to quell user’s discontent. A 100% performing battery is imperative for users in order to enjoy iPhone 5’s advanced features.

4. LTE losing steam

The much hyped LTE capability is turning bitter for some users. LTE is considered as an alternative to Wi-Fi or 3G and at times used combinedly. Various users have expressed dissatisfaction with this feature wherein, when they switch from 3G to LTE the signal drops drastically to even 1 bar. And no matter what they do to the phone to get it right, it doesn’t seem to increase the ‘bar’.

5. Siri not as smart as the phone

Something really have gone bad with Siri. It’s not the personal assistant it used to be. It’s in a confused state of mind and confuses the user as well. Among others, the main problem is with weather reports. Siri is confused with cities, its name to be precise. It seems the user needs to be smart enough to use Siri, if not don’t use it.

6. Clanky internal

iPhone making weird noises? Well, this is something a die-hard iPhone fan can’t tolerate. You never know if things inside are too loose to fall off when you open the casing trying to fix it yourself, out of your frustration. You just hope your fellow fans would get a better bet. The relief is that you could air your grief on forums.

7. Wi-Fi not fine

Connectivity woes seems to have no end. Numerous users report issues plaguing their Wi-Fi network. It’s either slow or not searchable. Few others report that this is not a continuous issue, but just appears out of the blue, interrupting their connectivity.

8. Distorting display

This can be very hurting to Apple. Flickering screens, bubble inside, light leaking between the phone casing and the screen and many other places. While this is noticeable only in low light ambiance, but for users who expect perfectionism from Apple, this is a major defect. It can be called a manufacturing defect and Apple’s ready to supply replacements.

9. Map that’s not upto the mark

Apple have only a small part of Google Maps wherein it’s literally a ‘map’. You don’t need a smartphone for that, just a normal wall mounted map would suffice. While Apple’s effort is appreciable in developing it’s own map system, why should it just keep something that’s not up to its job? Apple at this moment cannot compete with Google as far as the mapping system is considered.

Reality bites

Is Apple suffering from “Steve Jobs syndrome”? Is the absence of Steve Jobs bothering them too much? Apple’s fans feel it for sure. Steve Jobs used to connect well with them. Tim Cook has no easy task; his hands are full.

Complacence can be costly. Remember the RIM story?