Interview

iPhone 5 the 'prestige car of the smartphone world', reckons First Touch Games

Incremental update, but still the one to beat

iPhone 5 the 'prestige car of the smartphone world', reckons First Touch Games
With the sheer number of iPhones out there – try and count the number of models you see in action next time you're out and about – you may well think Apple's elite handset is becoming somewhat ordinary.

Once a handset reserved for the rather rich, Apple's iPhone is now one of the most mass market products on the planet.

According to First Touch Games director Charles Chapman, however, iPhone's popularity doesn't stop it remaining the cream of the crop.

We caught up with Chapman to find out why he thinks iPhone 5 is still the handset the rest of the market has to beat.

Pocket Gamer: Broadly speaking, what did you make of Apple's iPhone unveiling?

Charles Chapman: I'm fairly happy with what I've seen to be honest. It's a nice increment and still looks far and away the best all round package from my view as a developer and consumer.

It's clear that we really are in the incremental phase now though.

The jump from 3GS to 4 was probably the biggest recent jump with the addition of the retina display. CPU and GPU power will continue to increase and will offer new opportunities but it would appear from both Apple and others that we're not going to see the revolutionary level of features as there have been with past launches.

There's nothing wrong with an incremental phase though - the motor car has been in the incremental phase for decades - yet people still eagerly await new models.

For me the iPhone is still the prestige model, the 5-series, S-class or 911 of the smartphone world. It may not be to everyone's taste, but it's still the one all others have to beat.

Specifically from a developer's point of view, what features excite you the most about the new iPhone?

There's no one stand out feature really.

The improved CPU is a bonus obviously, and the screen will allow for more visible space for games which have touch buttons on screen, but the mass market devices for developers to target will be the 4 and 4S.

The 5 will get a bit of extra polish, some more polys and effects of course, but you'd be mad to target the 5 as your baseline for a while yet.

One positive thing that hasn't been mentioned much is the iPod touch being updated simultaneously - even though it's a lesser powered CPU it's still pretty powerful, and has the same screen. It'll be a big seller especially with kids.

Is there anything missing from the device?

Wireless charging, as in the new Nokia, would have been nice, but that's about it.

What kind of impact do you think it will have on the market. Is this a guaranteed best seller?

As I've said, all things considered, it's still the stand out smartphone for me, and it'll sell just as well if not better than the previous models.

A lot of people have a big investment in Apple products, with music, apps and also other devices, so it'll take something really big from Samsung or Nokia to tempt them to move.

For people new to the party there's more of a choice now of course, but even then I still firmly believe the average man or woman on the street will still crave an iPhone 5 above all others.
Thanks to Charles for his time.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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