A lot is written about Apple - perhaps too much. The forever "doomed" company that sold 9 million phones in a single weekend seems to incite the same vitriol as partisan politics. No doubt I would be considered a "fanboy" as I committed to Apple back in 1993. It wasn't long after that the company would be truly teetering on the verge of extinction. But Steve Jobs returned, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Yesterday my new phone arrived - a Silver 5S. I made the decision back when the 3 came out to hold off on upgrading with each new iteration. It made sense. It was more in tune with my AT&T contract to skip a generation. This strategy worked - Even though I'd had to wait, I loved my 3S. The improved camera and bump in speed were worth it. And so, on Oct 4 2011, I watched as Tim Cook introduced Apple's latest version of iPhone. Due to his ongoing struggle with pancreatic cancer, Steve had moved to a Board position in September officially making Cook CEO. The 4S didn't disappoint. Not only did it have a better camera that could shoot 1080p video, and a new and faster chip, there was the fifth major release of iOS. iOS 5 introduced iCloud, iMessage, Reminders, Twitter integration, and most notably something Apple characterized as an intelligent personal assistant called Siri. As in the previous S release the form factor remained the same. But what a form factor! Brushed aluminum and glass, with a weight and presence that made it feel like something more than just a piece of technology. Though it was massed produced, it felt handmade, crafted from the best materials, boxed to enhance it's presentation - it was like a fine jewel. But wait, we're talking about a phone right? Right.
The day after the 4S was introduced Steve Jobs passed away. The worldwide outpouring of grief and the pop up memorials at Apple Stores around the world was unprecedented for a company CEO. The enormity of the response to Job's passing seemed to befit a rock star or world leader, not an executive of a multibillion dollar hardware and software manufacturer. As for the 4S - while many thought the "S" stood for speed, or perhaps Siri, for me the "S" stood for Steve. And, though I have no doubt Steve anticipated and contributed to the design of future products, including my new 5S, there was something of the "crowning achievement" in this particular iteration. While critics were demanding larger screens, and other manufactures were catching up, there was something "just right" about the 4S.
Say what will about the beta of Siri or the size of the screen, but with the 4S Steve Jobs and Apple set the "s"tandard.