Apple Garners 2 Million Preorders for “Disappointing” iPhone 5 in 24 Hours

A notice providing information on ordering the iPhone 5 is displayed at a Tokyo electrics shop on Thursday

Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images.

The fact that the iPhone 5 didn’t contain a new industrial design concept and instead only increased processor power and screen size while reducing device weight and increasing battery life* while upgrading network speed prompted a fair amount of commentary about the slowing pace of innovation at Apple. But it seems about 2 million devices were preordered within 24 hours, and now even if you preorder, you can’t actually get on on launch day.

The iPhone 4S, which, as I recall, was also “disappointing,” got about 1 million preorders, which itself was a record. So clearly they’re doing something right. I think what you’d actually see is that a lack of technical innovation is what would induce a change in industrial design as a way to artificially gin up excitement. The new iPod Nano seems to me to be in that spirit. It’s a declining product in a declining market segment that they couldn’t come up with any interesting new ideas for, so it got a basically arbitrary new design because—hey—why not?

* Correction, Sept. 17, 2012: The initial version of this item omitted the word “increasing” when describing the change to iPhone 5’s battery life.