To ensure that none of you feel deceived, there is no iPad 2 mini. The announcement that Apple, Inc. made yesterday (October 4, 2011) was for a new iPod line and an updated iPhone 4. This new model was dubbed the iPhone 4S and it is identical to the iPhone 4… on the outside. This most likely came as a huge disappointment for millions of people who wanted to see an all-new designed iPhone 5. Admittedly, Apple’s new designs are always more welcome than a product refresh. However I had a thought that occurred to me yesterday while driving through the suburban traffic of Washington, D.C. (ie. outside of D.C., since D.C. arguably doesn’t have a suburban area). Yes the iPhone 4S is only a refresh however I want to offer a scenario where this is just as welcome as a redesigned iPhone 5. I recently downsized my computing operations to a portable computer. The only desktop I have is used for tech repair and the odd game, resulting in it not being used for over a month now. Essentially what I’ve done is taken my desktop (quad-core power) and put it in my backpack. This has been a huge shift in my mobile lifestyle. I can take everything with me now and not worry about whether I can get good productivity on the go. I also have an iPad 2. There are a handful of apps for iOS that aren’t available on a traditional OS that make the iPad worth the investment for me (<– make sure you catch those last two words). However, as thin & light as the iPad is, I still don’t take it absolutely everywhere I go. It’s not convenient because I can’t fit it in my pocket. Enter, the iPhone 4S. It has the same internal power as the iPad 2 but is built right into a phone. Is it as good for productivity as the iPad 2? No, not with a screen 1/3 the physical size, but it would still allow me to do everything that the iPad 2 does in regards to what I can run (platform specific apps aside). The iPhone 4S has essentially become an iPad mini (arguably, again) or perhaps iPad Pocket would be a better name.
I for one would love to have one. No, not because I’m a big fan of Apple products but because of what it offers me in terms of power and portability in one. The same could be said for any technology ecosystem. Grab yourself a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a Galaxy S II to compliment your notebook. It works out the same. For my heaviest lifting, my notebook; portable productivity (and entertainment), my iPad 2 (tablet); and for pocket productivity, I take my iPhone 4S (smartphone) on the go and iCloud (or to a certain extent, Google Apps) will make sure that my data, in most cases, gets synced back to my other devices. Call me glass half full but I like the performance packed into a package I already loved rather than the (slight) risk of having to take the performance in a package I’m not a fan of.
UPDATE: My ecosystem is now complete as I got an iPhone 4S the other day.
Either way, the iPhone 4S should be viewed as a welcome update and as the opportunity that it truly is: pocket productivity.