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Review: Apple iPhone 5 for AT&T

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Replying to:  Review was overboard on the ubiquitous design by Rusty Shackleford   Sep 25, 2012, 12:49 AM

Re: Review was overboard on the ubiquitous design

by hepresearch    Sep 25, 2012, 7:55 AM

I agree with you on most of your comment... I think that the hardware under the hood only matters as much as it is needed to run the OS, and the screen quality only matters up to a certain point (after which, it ceases to add further functionality... and then contributes only to the aesthetic value), but I agree that the OS is pretty darn important. The reason that iPhone folks always insist that iOS is so much better than Android, even when the specs are better on the Android device, is because the slightly less powerful processor on the iPhone has always had a much easier time of running iOS's smaller hybrid-kernel than the more powerful processor on the equivalent Android device has had at trying to run the now-mammoth kernel which Android has become. When the original DROID came out, I had a Nokia E75... it ran Symbian 9.3, which is based on a very tiny microkernel, and so even though my E75 ran on a rinky-dink little 369 MHz processor, and the DROID in the upper-500 MHz range (fast at that time), my E75 always danced circles around the DROID purchased by a friend... her DROID had a touchscreen to run, had lots of OTA updates and a Java dalvik to run constantly, and had the latest Android kernel which was already getting large back then... since then, she now buys every new iPhone model that comes out... every year since the iPhone 4.

I have a build of Tiny Core Linux that runs on 16 MB of RAM at a CPU speed of 100 MHz, and it works great and offers a good set of features for a modern desktop computing platform in such a small space... it will run on 8 MB of RAM and 66 MHz if necessary, albeit sluggishly. If your choice of OS is slender and compact, then you will hardly need to care about specs under the hood... it will not matter, and any extra CPU power or RAM becomes gravy for even more multitasking.

The fact is that our society has acquired an epicurean taste for smartphones. There are two movements afoot... the folks who want to cram most of a laptop into their smartphone (Android), and the folks who just want what works well in the small space plus a few extra epic goodies (iOS). The majority of individuals do not need the power offered by a PC... other than word processing, email and calendar, internet browsing and RSS, and perhaps some media and graphics programs, most folks do not use any other functions of a PC on a daily, or often even a monthly, basis. PC Gaming is sort of huge, but once the games were scaled to operate on RISC architecture, often hosted from the "cloud" thanks to faster Ev-DO/HSPA/LTE data connections, they became quite manageable on a mobile phone.

RISC-based chips power most mobile phones today... and trying to compare that to the same clock rate on an x86 CPU is ridiculous. A 2 GHz dual-core RISC is not even as good as a 2 GHz single core x86, or a 1 GHz dual core x86... 32 bits instead of 64... half the bit rate, half the power, half the cipher strength, and 2^32 = 4,294,967,296 less available unique commands... in a post-PC world, it is, by default, the iPhone that wins - because Apple is not bothering to try to cram a PC-esque experience into a mobile phone, and have instead optimized and refined fundamental functions in graphics, web browsing, and the touch interface. And, in an epicurean environment, aesthetic sells sells SELLS!

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