After months of speculation, Apple finally announced their new line of iPhones this week to much fanfare and excitement — even if the demo for their new FaceID system was a disaster. A lot of the coverage has focused on the changes Apple has made to their flagship phone, which they say is the future of mobile technology.
Apple CEO Tim Cook claims the new iPhone X will dictate the next decade of smart phone tech. While Apple released earth-shattering technology in the past — the launch of the iPod, iPad, iPhone, etc. — critics point out that the upgrades to the new iPhones are just an example of Apple catching up to its competition rather than bringing anything new to the market.
On top of that, the price tag on the new cellphones have talking. An iPhone X Plus — the most basic model — will start at $999. And while the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are incremental upgrades to the iPhone 7 (Plus), it’s the iPhone X (Plus) that is getting all the attention.
The reality is that much of the technology in the X is shared by the 8 and 8 Plus, and really the only difference is facial recognition and animated emojis.
Though Apple is going to sell a ton of these phones, the future will be determined by consumers. But are the new gadgets worth the price and are they all that different from what is already offered by their competition? Ironically, Samsung is responsible for the screens on the new iPhones — one of (if not the) best features on the new phones.
Besides some other tech focused on augmented reality — think Pokemon Go — and wireless charging, and the disappearance of the home button, it’s hard to agree with Cook’s assessment that the iPhone X will do for the next decade what the original iPhone did for the past decade.
From a processing perspective, the CPU in the new iPhones is a big step forward. The A11 “Bionic” processor is built to handle significant computing tasks. Also, it’s said to be able to handle artificial intelligence, which for the most part means Siri will be a lot more efficient.
The GPU, on the other hand, also was built to “learn” tasks — and also perform better with 3D apps and games. The cameras, perhaps one of the most important aspects of any smart phone, are the highly touted dual cameras (on the iPhone 8 Plus) as compared to the 12-megapixel cam on the regular iPhone 8.
Part of the “machine learning” comes into play with these pictures. A feature called Portrait Lighting can automatically change the lighting on a photo via realtime analysis. As you take more photos, the camera will be able to automatically edit them to ensure the highest quality.
Apple, which was valued at $834 billion dollars before the announcement of the iPhone X, is eyeing a $1 trillion dollar valuation — something no company has done before.
Things have run very smoothly since Steve Jobs passed away but it seems like without their golden goose, Apple has become a follower and not a leader in the industry they arguably created and mostly dominated for the past decade.
If you’re interested in the price and release dates of the phones, here they are:
The iPhone 8 64GB start at $699 (goes up to 256GB). The iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799 with the same memory configurations. Preorders open Sept. 15, and they will arrive Sept. 22. As we said earlier, the iPhone X starts at $999. The 256GB iPhone X is $1,149. Preorders start Oct. 27, with availability Nov. 3.