The year is winding down, and like clockwork, TIME Magazine has released its annual collection of 55 lists showcasing the best and the worst of the past 12 months. And as you’ve probably already gleaned from the title, the publication has named the iPhone 5 its ‘Gadget of the Year.’

Apple’s handset beat out several rival products from Samsung and Microsoft, including the Note II and the Surface tablet, as well as Nintendo’s new Wii U gaming console. In fact, author Harry McCracken says that it’s is one of the most artfully polished gadgets anyone’s ever built…

Here’s an excerpt from McCracken’s post:

“The iPhone 5, which starts at $199 with a two-year contract, is one of the most artfully polished gadgets anyone’s ever built, with a taller screen than previous iPhones built into a thinner, lighter case…

…There are lots of nifty smartphones out there, including the iPhone’s impressive archrival, Samsung’s Galaxy S III. But when it comes to melding hardware, software and services so tightly that the seams fade away, Apple still has no peer.”

I don’t think anyone can argue with the first point. The iPhone 5 is easily one of the best-looking gadgets on the market — I still can’t bring myself to keep mine in a case. And as far as performance goes, the handset is as good or better than any other flagship model from the competition.

But is it good enough to take the crown as the best gadget of 2012? Well here, take a look at the other products in the top 10 list:

  1. Apple iPhone 5
  2. Nintendo Wii U
  3. Sony Cyber-shot RX100
  4. Raspberry Pi Model B
  5. Lytro camera
  6. Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
  7. Microsoft Surface with Windows RT
  8. Samsung Galaxy Note II
  9. Nest Learning thermostat
  10. Simple.TV

I would argue that the iPhone 5 is more than worthy of the number one spot. Remember, the list isn’t just based on innovation or capabilities. It’s more-so based on the public perception of the product and its impact on the market. And on those fronts, the phone is doing exceptionally well.

Back in September, Apple announced that it had sold more than 5 million iPhone 5s during its opening weekend. And it has since rolled out the handset to nearly 100 countries, including big launches in India and now China. Overall, it’s expected to sell 40+ million iPhones this quarter.

What do you think, should the iPhone 5 be 2012’s ‘Gadget of the Year?’

  • Lordthree

    I wonder how much microsoft payed to get on the list…

  • I saw the iPhone 5 for real for the first time Dec the 11th, the iPhone 4/4s design is more beautiful, and got the taste of the future than the iPhone 5, and I’m back again to my opinion, that Apple got very brilliant Engineers, and designers, how couldn’t they fit the new screen, on the old set size!
    and how do you go back from glass to Aluminum? you were aluminum before!!

    • Falk M.

      Well, if you want to stay on premium materials and people are crying for a little change of the design and you’ve simplified the design to perfection (in a way) you can’t really change too much – unless you like an inferior design (like making the corners not round anymore etc)

      So… you need to rotate the materials to keep things fresh…

      Like really, I have yet to see a convincing idea how they could have improved the design.
      Don’t get me wrong, it’s damn possible I bet, but seeing all those mockups before the iPhone 5 launched that didn’t actually look like the final design, I must say everyone has been a letdown.
      I guess there was one design that seriously impressed me and guess what: it was all aluminum and the concept was called iPhone Pro I guess or something along those lines.

      If you keep a design very simply to achieve beauty and recognizability, you have not too many options to tinker with in order to change the general impression.

      I must say the iPhone 5 doesn’t look neither better nor worse.
      Not too much different and I was a hater of the design before they launched it.
      Now… I’m a day-1 owner, because I was convinced of the changes (previous iPhone 4 owner here, so lots of improvements for me)

      I regret nothing and I think the design is nice.
      All that bugs me is that it catches scratches easily as they say, then again, I keep protectors and a case on it regardless, so I don’t care that much 🙂

  • Johnathan Jennings

    iPhone 5 looks a lot better than the 4/4S and feels a lot better in the hand than the 4/4S (I have a 4 and 5) the iPhone 5 is the best phone Apple has ever made,, but because of the screen. There’s seriously nothing else special or different about it from the iPhone 4S. When I get locked Into another 2 year contract I want to have something new!! Not the exact same thing with a bigger screen.

    • Uh, it’s twice as fast?

      Not quite the SAME thing.

      • Aj

        No it is d samething. Every ip has had something unique lik d 3g had d app store,3gs had d speed,4 had d frobt camera nd new design,4S had siri nd now d ip5 has a bigger screen
        I mean there are many other products out there with a bigger screen. If we just wanted a bigger screen, we could have jumped over an android phone but we want the apple quality. And now apple gives us this shit with internal performance and a screen bigger than the older gens of iphone

      • Really?!?!

        Are you serious? Did you forget about LTE and the faster processor? Those are huge differences!!

      • Johnathan Jennings

        Look, if I put my 4 and 5 next to each other, yeah you can clearly see a difference. But normal usage I see almost no difference except when taking pictures/videos and plying pretty intense games.

      • Guest

        Well then you’re an idiot. If you don’t notice that its much much faster with the newer, faster processor and LTE, you don’t know anything about technology.

      • Johnathan Jennings

        Texting, calling, and playing fall down don’t require a fast processor dumb ass. And LTE isn’t in my area. Shut the hell up, you don’t know anything.

      • Really?!?!

        You said normal usage. Not just texting and calling. Fine, when texting and calling a faster processor and LTE aren’t big deals; but I would say that using apps like Mail and browsing the web with Safari or another browser would qualify as normal usage on an iPhone. A faster processor and LTE would make a huge difference here! Just because you don’t have LTE in your area doesn’t mean that you can bash the iPhone 5 and say it’s the same as the iPhone 4. Its not the same. You haven’t experienced the greatness of LTE on an iPhone 5, so how are you to know….you don’t know.

      • Johnathan Jennings

        No, I do know. I’ve used a verizon iPhone 5 on LTE. There’s like a 2 second difference loading web pages from my AT&T 4G. I get about 11 down where I live with att 4G (not LTE) so yeah.

  • ic0dex

    Does anyone see the Galaxy S 3 on that list?

    • Falk M.

      Nope, and I think it should be on there! *ducks*

    • charlie

      seriously??oww only in the US, how bout the world?green robots off course

    • The Galaxy Note II is just a bigger better version of the Galaxy S III. So technically yes, it’s on there.

  • Falk M.

    That list is seriously jumbled up.

    Some stuff needs to be rearranged, dropped and picked up.
    Like seriously… The Wii U on #2?
    I’ll have what they are smoking, please.

    • Haha I was thinking the same thing

    • Im afraid you might be funny man of the week XD

  • 1337lolzorz

    I was pleasantly surprised with: #4- Raspberry Pi Model B. nifty little device

    Also #9- Nest. Amazing device.

  • James Tucker

    WHY? It’s the same piece of crap as the last 3 years with no innovation. It’s just a bit faster and taller. That’s all. Gadget of the year???

    p.s. I’ve owned every single iPhone since day 1. I own the iPhone 5 too.

    • charlie

      hey it’s time to move into the green robots device, take a look the UI it’s not like crapple isheeps same UI for what 5 – 7 years??wtf

      • macboy74

        You’re right Android ui has been the same for the past 5 years.

    • macboy74

      Umm so is the SGS the nexus 4 and 7 and many other devices. So whats your point?

    • Really?!?!

      No innovation? If there’s no innovation why do you keep buying the new iPhone models when they come out? Why don’t you use your older iPhone then, you mentioned that you’ve owned all of the iPhone models. Did you forget about LTE and the faster processor? There’s some innovation for you. Just switch to Samsung already and quit complaining.

      • James Tucker

        LTE and faster processor is NOT innovation. Adding glass to the back of the phone and then replacing it with aluminum is NOT innovation. Making a phone taller is NOT innovation. Innovation is doing things that no one else has done before, like what Apple used to do in the past with the iPhone. I keep buying them because I’m too deep in the Apple ecosystem. I’ve invested too much in the Apps and whatnot. Besides, the phone still does what I want it to do, so I’m not entirely disgusted by it. I wish Apple would innovate more. I’m still an Apple fan.

  • Amazing!!! Apple deserves for it’s top gadgets inventions

  • Im definetly kicking iphone 5 to the 100th spot. I love apple and I’m a firm believer in apple products but it’s just awkward when they can’t get it right with their battery issues. They wont even acknowledge it. If you head over to the apple website and in the community you will see people crying in disgust over battery pages. Some post have gone over 200 pages. All fixes , restores and Dfu’s have been tried but to no avail. I never see people over here at IDB complain about the battery other than praising the device. Yes the device is awesome , but the battery ? Hell no. If the next update doesn’t fix this , im switching brands.

    • charlie

      they (apple fanboy) said android battery is bad, but now….hmmm they cried for that too…shameful

      • all i see you doing is spamming and acting like a troll on everyones post. i choose to ignore you from now on.

  • Jonathan Jaimes

    iPhone was the Frist phone to have LTE. Lol

    • charlie


  • Dan

    this list made me lol