Don’t believe the hype.

It is fast becoming the four words we have to keep at the front of our minds whenever another “truly unique” or “innovative and ground-breaking” product gets launched.

Often, if you delve a little beneath the surface, the description that springs immediately to mind is not so much “revolutionary” as “reinventing the wheel”.

The latest much-anticipated launch is Apple’s over-hyped iPhone (http://www.apple.com/iphone/).

There is no doubt that Apple has been at the forefront of innovation and has led the way with certain products. But the increasingly frenzied build up to the debut of the iPhone has proved largely misplaced.

Despite the best efforts of Steve Jobs, Apple’s charismatic boss, to big up the new device to an expectant audience at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, iPhone isn’t really setting the pulses racing in the way the iPod did back in 2001.

Despite the claims made for the “magical device” that would “revolutionise the industry”, iPhone elicits more of a “that’s nice” response rather than a full-on “wow!”

iPhone certainly impresses on some levels. The touch-screen technology does put it ahead of the competition in the ever-changing mobile phone market – whether it is 5 years ahead, as Mr Jobs states, is open to debate.

Yet the over-whelming impression is one of anti-climax.

Perhaps we are suffering from technology overload and what is, in fact, a major leap forward is overshadowed by a rather sluggish attitude towards all things innovative and pioneering. Or maybe it will take an awful lot more to satisfy our increasingly sophisticated and knowledgeable tastes.

Whatever the answer, Apple’s shares rose 8% after the launch.

So at least we know that iPhone works on one hugely important level.

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