Thursday, September 13, 2012

Apple iPhone 5 Release

Apple have finally announced their latest version of the iPhone and it looks like the most common feature predictions have held true.

The phone is taller, thinner, lighter, faster and as predicted the 4 inch retina display screen at first glance is the most obvious change. The screen may not be as large as some the competition, however I like the qualifying Apple-speak "It's not just bigger. It's just right." This means that Apple cool-kids will still be able to operate the phone one-handed, while others using larger screen hero-model phones will be using the two-handed-mummy-tap-technique.

With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple will ramp-up their influence on travel. 

Initially, accommodation operators will notice an increase of distracted travellers gazing at their glowing screens of desire. Data caps on WiFi provided at motels and hotels will need to rise as travellers utilise the iPhone 5's increased ultra-fast Wi-Fi capability. Improved Facebook integration will increase the noise on social networks and improved camera capabilities including a cool inbuilt panorama function will encourage travellers to upload and share their latest photos. 

The electronic wallet is a step closer with the announcement of Apple's Passbook program that aims to replace the clutter of gift cards and tickets that crowd wallets. This platform will combine boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons and loyalty cards in one place. Major airlines have lined up to join the program along with Starwood Hotels.

Passes, coupons and loyalty points are in the first phase of the program, but the capacity for mobile payments and to become a digital wallet are likely to follow. More travel related companies will be lining up to get a slice of the action and it will be interesting to see how travel purchasing and distribution will be influenced.

In travel, mapping functionality is a core component. Apple have dispensed with Google Maps as their in-built mapping app and replaced it with their own. Maps have been redesigned with Apple's own intuitive style and will offer offer turn-by-turn voice-guided GPS directions and a 3D mode with flyover design effect.
 Oh, and those cool brand new music systems and bedside clock radios with iPod docks that accommodation providers have proudly installed in their guest rooms....are now obsolete. The iPhone 5 now has a new smaller profile connector replacing the aging 30-pin connector. There is an adapter that is included in the box when you buy an iPhone 5...but how many travellers will forget to pack that when they stay away from home?

So not so much of a revolution, but a jump along the pathway of evolution.

I want one!

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