In case you’ve been living under a rock the past year, the tech press is looking forward to next week and the unveiling of the iPhone 8 or iPhone X. Please don’t call it a ‘Pro’ model Apple. With it has come countless rumors and outright reveals by Apple’s own software – looking at you Homepod.
We know the specs – 3GB of RAM, A11 chip, OLED screen, facial recognition and the most screen to bezel ratio seen in a phone yet. Oh and no buttons. Some analysts say it will anchor the biggest iPhone refresh since the iPhone 4, while others correctly point out the price tag isn’t consumer friendly.
The counter argument is that if you bought an iPhone 6 Plus with 128GB or RAM, you would have paid $949, or $980 when adjusted for inflation. If your argument for the iPhone 8’s $999 entry price is to use inflation, you should stop.
The question is, will Apple have a compelling sales pitch for the next generation iPhone? One way to convince people is longer payment terms. Cars keep getting more expensive and it’s relatively normal to see 72-month loans now. The current two-year payment structure for phones can easily be stretched to a 30-month structure. No sales pitch needed. People barely notice a blip in their phone payments.
Apple Adds iPhone 8 as Status Symbol
When the iPhone first launched, it was seen by many as a status symbol. It had the best features. iOS was leaps and bounds better than Android. Everything leaned towards Apple. Now? Android has grown up and so have handset manufacturers. Samsung Galaxy S8, the non-exploding Note, and the Google Pixel have all emerged as true competitors.
The iPhone 8 wants to recapture the crown as the status symbol smartphone. It can with the facial recognition, button-free display, OLED screen and the A11 chipset. Others will scream this Android phone has this or that, but it’s amazing what Apple can squeeze out of what looks like less hardware to beat other handsets in benchmark tests.
It’s all in the camera
The upgraded camera is sure to grab vloggers and those who look to their smartphone as a replacement for a DSLR or mirrorless system (it’s not). 4K at 60fps is something the cameras above don’t have at this price level. Or double/triple the price. Ok, so the iPhone 8 is a complement to photographers and videographers. Seriously, 4K at 60fps? You won’t hear that from Nikon or Canon. Especially Canon, who regards 4K as a mythical beast reserved for flagship cameras.
It’s not just the video capabilities. Swapping the alignment of the double lenses from horizontal to vertical allows for stills to truly shine. It also makes shots taken in landscape mode pop more. No more stacking lenses. Landscape mode will see the lenses align horizontal versus vertical for those who use gimbals.
Goodbye TouchID. Hello FaceID
Apple’s major gamble is this feature works out of the box. Because none of the recent renders have TouchID enabled via a rear mounted sensor or embedded in the display. The facial recognition is supposed to recognize you using more data points, in near darkness and still work with ApplePay. Good luck with that.
There’s no reason to doubt Apple, but a $1000 phone without a backup? Did Steve Jobs come to Tim Cook in a dream? Cause that’s one ballsy move. It either works, or it doesn’t. Knowing Apple, they wouldn’t ship it if it didn’t work. Apple isn’t a company that stresses being first. It’s about being right. And having Jony Ive tells us how they innovated it by using something special that gets dipped in a bath of lunar dust. The iPhone 8 is worth it alone for the disembodied Ive video.
It’s Still a Grand
All of that and it’s still a grand. People have benchmarks at which they balk and get their internet pitchforks aflame faster than the Lord of Light swords. For gaming consoles, it’s $500. Not sure why, but $500 and people start staging protests. For a smartphone? Well, Apple has always been good at selling you on features that have been around before, but they have truly innovated.
We’ve all watched the rumor videos. We know what’s coming. A $1000 iPhone. Android fans will scoff. Internet commenters will protest. It’ll sell. That’s the Apple way. It will make money cause Tim Cook and company learned the Steve Jobs mantra. Status sells. And Jony Ive will make anyone believe he invented the glass backing.
One question Apple. What’s the deal on the AirPods? A year after the announcement and still back-ordered?