Now They Want to Dissuade You from Buying an iPhone 8

September 22nd, 2017

The length and breadth of fear mongering about Apple knows no bounds. So on one day they are telling you that you shouldn’t even dream of buying the iPhone X because it is a new, untested product. Things might go wrong, Face ID might flake out and recognize canines instead of humans, so you’ll be stuck.

Well, maybe not, because you could always login in with your passcode, same as you do after the unit restarts.

I suppose you could cite the iPhone 5s and Touch ID as an example of being a tad glitchy. In those days, it was a little slower to react, and some people reported that it would become less sensitive over time. I recall having to recalibrate the unit every few weeks or so to more accurately detect my fingerprints. But iOS updates helped address most of the issues.

So if Face ID has some problems, I’m sure Apple will be quick to fix them. But remember, they have worked on this technology for several years. It wasn’t something tossed in at the last minute, as some online pundits have claimed, because Apple couldn’t embed Touch ID beneath the edge-to-edge OLED display.

Indeed, one Macworld writer demands that Apple must bring back Touch ID, if only as an alternative.

In all fairness, there’s nothing wrong with people waiting for a version two product. Besides, why pay extra for the iPhone X when you can buy the regular iPhone 8 series for lower prices and get the same level of performance and most of the features?

All right, some reviewers regard the iPhone 8 as dull, although the level of changes is similar to other incremental updates from Apple.

On the other hand, some of those online commentators are thus suggesting that you set Apple’s mainstream iPhones aside and buy the iPhone X when it ships. Say anything to reduce sales.

All right, you may have to wait for a while. Although it’s supposed to be released on November 3rd, few doubt that supplies will be short. It doesn’t matter if those ongoing rumors about production hangups are true or not. The iPhone X has been in the publicity hopper since last year. There’s lots of demand for it, and tens of millions are no doubt prepared to pay upwards of $999 for one. It helps if your carrier or dealer can set up a payment plan, or you can just put it on your credit card and manage the balance with your monthly payment.

One article begins by questioning the “split release” of the two iPhone lines, but the reasons are too obvious to waste much space about. It wasn’t a marketing decision, and if Apple could have 20 or 30 million copies of the iPhone X on hand for a September delivery date, you can bet they would have shipped them now instead of later. It’s obviously not being hoarded for later release for some insane marketing reasons that will only end up depriving Apple of potential income.

Do I have to say more?

That said, I’ve not seen any suggestions as to whether Apple plans to release preliminary iPhone 8 sales figures come Monday for its first weekend of availability. The prevalent claim is that there will be plenty of inventory in stock, and you’ll have no problem finding the configuration you want. It won’t be a recurrence of the situation that prevailed last year when there was far more demand for the iPhone 7 Plus than Apple expected, and thus it took weeks for supplies to catch up.

The real question is how many people will forego a cheaper iPhone to buy the more expensive model. As I said, most of what you’ll have with the iPhone X is on the iPhone 8. You won’t get an edge-to-edge OLED display with virtually unlimited viewing angles. You won’t get a large screen smartphone in a smaller case for easier carrying, and you won’t have Face ID.

Whatever the iPhone 7 did, the iPhone 8 will probably do it better to varying degrees. But if you own an iPhone 7, it may not even make sense to upgrade, but that’s usually true for annual product refreshes of this sort. Two years is fine.

But the iPhone X will provide an opportunity for Apple to experiment with the new technologies, and it’s very possible next year’s iPhones will all sport OLEDs and Face ID, with or without edge-to-edge configurations. It’s possible that, as Apple makes production more efficient, and OLED is still difficult to manufacture, prices will come down to something more comparable to “lesser” iPhones.

In the meantime, the usual Apple critics will simply state that other smartphone makers had most or all of the iPhone’s features a year or two earlier. So Apple is just playing catch up.

But how many of those products had a facial recognition scheme that couldn’t be defeated with a digital photograph? It wouldn’t be the first time that Apple has waited to perfect or nearly perfect a new technology before installing it on a new product.

Remember that the Apple Watch Series 3 is not the first smartwatch to have LTE capability, but how many of those other gadgets are worth more than two seconds of your attention?

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4 Responses to “Now They Want to Dissuade You from Buying an iPhone 8”

  1. Peter says:

    But how many of those products had a facial recognition scheme that couldn’t be defeated with a digital photograph?

    They didn’t need it–they just used a fingerprint sensor.

  2. dfs says:

    “The real question is how many people will forego a cheaper iPhone to buy the more expensive model.” In my case the real and decisive question was “how many people will forego a smaller iPhone to buy the larger model.” I’m sure that the -s models and the forthcoming X model are superior to the basic one, and in my case at least the few hundred extra bucks is no necessary deal-breaker. But what I can’t forego is the comfort and convenience of carrying around a smaller and lighter device such as will easily fit in a variety of pocket sizes and in most any belt holster.

  3. dfs says:

    The press is having a field day about the small turnout experienced by at least some Apple Stores on Rollout Day. This manages to ignore one important factor: this time around, Apple decided on a different marketing strategy. In the first place, beginning several days before Rollout Day it was possible for everybody, not just those enrolled in Apple’s annual replacement program, to preorder an iPhone and have it show up on their doorsteps on Rollout Day itself. Now even the most eager early adapter had no motivation whatsoever to go to his local Apple Store (except for those who regard a visit to a Store on the Rollout Day for a new product as some kind of social event, and such folks admittedly do exist).No need for camping out on sidewalks overnight (no doubt much to the relief of local cops and other civic authorities). Second, for once Apple had enough new iPhones in stock that there was no need for customers to endure any kind of wait after placing their orders. Apple, in other words, has introduced a new and considerably more efficient strategy for marketing a product, and surely the point of the exercise was to avoid all the problems involved in hosting crowds at Apple Stores. The strategy seems to have gone according to plan, remarkably smoothly, and it’s no more than silly for the press to try to see some commercial failure here.

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