Apple Exec Explains Drawbacks of iPhone 5: We Did Everything Right

Apple: Some Things Just Make Devices More Complicated

by Anton Shilov
09/14/2012 | 11:14 AM

Although Apple iPhone 5 is indisputably better than its predecessors and has very high potential to compete against rivals, there is a number of progressive capabilities that the new smartphone lacks, despite of the fact that they are used on other handsets. When it comes to wireless charging and near-field communication technologies, Apple simply thinks they are useless at present.


While NFC would have been a perfect companion to Apple's Passbook application - which collects all passes, discount cards, gift certificates, tickets and other things in one place - Apple decided not to include the technology into the iPhone 5, which draws the app less convenient to use. Probably, not a lot of merchants support NFC today, but keeping in mind that Apple sells 20 - 35 million iPhones per quarter, the situation would likely change rather shortly. Apparently, Apple does not think so.

"It is not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem. Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in an interview with AllThingsD web-site.

Wireless charging have been around for some time and Nokia even incorporated the technology into its latest Lumia 920 and 820 smartphones. Given that modern smartphones often fetch data from the Internet and thus use battery, wireless charging [in addition to classic wired adapter] would make a lot sense for everyday use: the phone would charge by just lying on a certain surface on a table and would be always ready to use. Apple believes that wireless charging adds complications.

"Wireless charging systems still have to be plugged into the wall, so it is not clear how much convenience they add. The widely-adopted USB cord, meanwhile, can charge in wall outlets, computers and even on airplanes. Having to create another device you have to plug into the wall is actually, for most situations, more complicated,” Mr. Schiller.

The marketing chief of Apple also explained the reason why the company decided to remove the outdated, yet very widely used, 30-pin connector and introduce the brand-new Lightning connector. Mr. Schiller said it simply was not possible to build products as thin as the new iPhones and iPods without changing the cord.

“This is the new connector for many years to come,” he said.