Today Apple announced the iPhone 5 to much fanfare but little surprise. For a company renowned for secrecy, the newest iteration of the iPhone didn’t keep many secrets. Are we witnessing the end of the era of Apple stealth?
While Apple’s iPhone 5 launch was no 2010-level meltdown, it left little to the imagination. The company is famous (or notorious, depending on whom you ask) for keeping its upcoming products under wraps, a strategy that historically yields unmatched levels of hype for its press events. Has the secret keeper lost its touch?
Well, yes and no. While it’s inevitable that at least some early speculation would pan out in an actual Apple product launch, the iPhone 5 might have been one of the most predictable devices the company has launched to date – not for any preventable lapse in secrecy, per se. The iPhone 4S wasn’t really a next-gen device, adding Siri and boosting some core tech specs, so the media circus has had a bit longer to mull over the iPhone 5’s feature set. And in an hyper-competitive smartphone market defined by quad-core processors and lightning-fast 4G connections, features like 4G and the A6 processor were all but inevitable.
Still, some leaks did squirm their way out in the 11th hour (and before). The morning of the iPhone 5 launch event, Apple blog 9to5Mac managed to dig up some URLs that confirmed the day’s launches — on Apple’s own website.
In spite of speculation, the extremely last minute nature of the find makes it obvious that this was a slip-up on Apple’s part, revealing that the new device would indeed be called the iPhone 5 (rather than the “new iPhone”), for one thing.
Yet not all supposed leaks borne out. The long-circulating rumor of a new “teardrop” design for the iPhone 5, inititally reported by The Verge, never came to pass. The iPhone 5 maintains the boxy exterior of its predecessor, nary a curve in sight. With 1.2 million workers in Apple’s Foxconn component manufacturing source alone, leaks along the supply chain to Asian publications like DigiTimes seem inevitable, but this one proved false.
While many rumors panned out with Wednesday’s launch, in the case of the newest iPhone, its was more due to the inevitability of the feature set than any major slip-up or deliberate leak on behalf of the company. And with the iPad Mini still shrouded in mystery, it’s safe to say that Apple hasn’t entirely lost its tight grip on internal information.