The iPhone 6S is good enough

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Reviews of the iPhone 6S are in, and unsurprisingly, they’re positive. I don’t envy the job of those tasked with reviewing them. How many different ways can you say “it’s the best, and you should buy it?”

This year, however, I noticed something that I haven’t before – the boredom of expectations utterly fulfilled.

Apple’s latest and greatest is hugely fast. GeekBench says its about as quick as the new MacBook, which is powered by Intel’s Core M processor. While I’m not sure if I trust that GeekBench in the iOS environment is comparable to the same in a Windows environment, the point is clear. The iPhone 6S is very, very quick.

But not everyone agrees that this on-paper improvement translates to the everyday experience. Niley Patel, writing for The Verge, calls the new A9 “the most powerful processor ever in a smartphone,” but follows up by saying “it kind of doesn’t matter.” Gareth Beavis, writing for TechRadar, notes the new chip is quick, “but in general day to day use, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference. TechCrunch’s review, written by Matthew Panzarino, made the boldest statement by saying almost nothing about the processor at all – “A9” is found once, in reference to the better camera and ability to shoot 4K video. The iPhone 6S is good enough for almost anything, and that makes its specific performance merits more difficult to describe.

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Why I cry when Tim Cook says he has “one more thing”

“It’s an incredible opportunity for us to switch people from Android to iOS. So yes, this is epic. It is epic.”

This quote from Marco della Cava’s piece about Cook in USA Today shows Tim Cook at his most aggressive. While different from Jobs in many ways, Apple’s new CEO shares the unrelenting ambition of his predecessor. Cook wants Apple to explore new frontiers through innovation in both new categories and in existing, successful hardware.

But ambition is not enough on its own. What made Jobs a legend in consumer technology was the fact his ambition came second to his desire for perfection. The potential market for a new device wasn’t as important as the sanctity of its design. If he felt something was out of place, it wasn’t going to be sold, period.

By contrast, Cook comes across as a conqueror rather than a perfectionist. Why is the new iPhone larger? Because it’ll steal market share. He told Charlie Rose at PBS that “it’s [the new iPhone] been about making a better phone in every single way,” but as far as I can tell, he’s never specifically said why a larger screen is a better design.

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