Now that I have had some time with the new iPhone, I decided it might be a good idea to try to offer an objective, tempered write-up about a few of the different things I keep hearing in assorted conversations. This is not designed to be a full review, as there are plenty of really detailed write-ups out there already. Instead, this is designed as a piece that reminds us all that everyone's experience with Apple's newest device is not necessarily equal.
Maps in iOS 6
This has to be the one topic that has garnered the most scrutiny and discussion I've seen since the "Antennagate" debacle that was blown way out of proportion. Let me be clear, I have no doubt that a number of users are experiencing the problems they are describing. What I want to remind everyone of is a simple concept, but one that every publication seems to overlook: your experience and my experience will differ, just as your experience is not necessarily the defacto experience everyone will have and neither is mine.
The new maps app in iOS 6 has been absolutely phenomenal for me. I've had more accurate results than what I had with the old maps app in iOS 5. I know that my experience isn't the same as everyone else, but I really would like to know just how many people are having a frustrating experience versus how many are having a phenomenal experience.
As a quick and limited experiment, I took an iPhone 4 that I still have, my Garmin nuvi, and my iPhone 5 and compared basic usage (finding my current location and searching for a couple of places) and had basically the same results across the board. The Garmin and the iPhone 5 pinpointed my location slightly more accurately, and the iPhone 4 returned a couple of additional results that were unrelated to what I was looking for, but overall the result was pretty much the same. I'm not a heavy maps user, but the key takeaway is simple: each users' experience will differ.
Aesthetics and Design
The other point I wanted to emphasize is the one thing that no picture or write-up can truly explain: the iPhone 5 is absolutely gorgeous. The device reminds me of what makes Apple products so appealing to some - the care and detail taken in manufacturing a beautiful, functional, and classy device. For some of us, this is what attracted us to Apple products a long time ago (the only reason I initially bought an Apple laptop was because of how sexy the titanium PowerBook was, and it was from that point forward that I slowly became a complete convert to Apple and OSX).
Seriously, I cannot describe the iPhone in a way that will do it justice. Everything from the look and feel of the device at first glance, to the scrutiny and appreciation of an up-close and personal examination of each and every detail of the phone is a beauty to behold. Remember when the MacBook Pro went to an unibody chassis? Yeah, that type of appreciation for aesthetics in manufacturing simply cannot be described.
Apple versus Samsung/Google versus Nokia/Windows
Without going into any of the legal battles going on, and without biasing any thoughts based on experiences with different devices, I want to emphasize one other key point about the assorted devices now or soon to be available to consumers: everyone prefers a different experience (gee, sounds a lot like the maps concept above, doesn't it?).
My platform of choice is Apple/iOS/OSX. I have a laundry list of reasons for my choice, but the overall idea is simply that I prefer the experience and workflow those devices provide me over any alternatives I have explored. I like a lot of aspects of the Android operating system, and some of the phones out there running the Android OS are pretty nice. I like the concepts shown to us with Windows Phone 8, and if I were looking at going with something other than an iPhone the Nokia Lumia 920 is a very appealing device aesthetically. There are great devices and reasons out there for each platform. Figure out what you need and make the choice based on that, not on the ridiculous notion that you have to compare the specs between devices a, b, c, d, and e and choose based on a number.
In short, we're beyond choosing by number. Choose an OS/Hardware combination that appeals to you based on the experience provided.