By Carl Osborne
In this current smartphone climate, in which all phones at every end of the price spectrum are relatively good, you can easily find a phone that has everything you need for a very decent price. The onus is on the manufacturers to give you more than what you need in a phone to get you to choose their specific product. Moreover, they need to go over and above to deliver all that a customer wants (or thinks they want) in a phone, as well as bring new, exciting and almost bleeding edge technologies to justify some of the astronomical prices being touted for some of these devices. This brings us to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X (pronounced 10), Apple’s two latest flagship phones.
Apple has been at the forefront of the smartphone game ever since the beginning, with the launch of the original iPhone, which revolutionised the mobile phone industry and ushered in the age of the smartphone. This is just the latest in a long line products that have had huge success. And although I do feel it will be highly successful (this owing to Apple’s very loyal fan base), however as with most things lately, is it truly worth all the hype?
Firstly, there’s the iPhone 8, which is basically the iPhone 7 with a few cosmetic changes. It’s great that they added some features that surely should have come sooner but in essence this is the same phone they released last year but with very minor upgrades marketed as an all new and exciting phone. This is kind of where the problem with modern smartphones (and Apple is especially guilty of this), where they speak about releasing a brand-new phone but every year but it turns out to be a slightly retooled version of their previous one. They play on our need to be on trend and in line with what is new and we buy into it, getting something that we already have, unnecessarily lining these corporations’ pockets.
The iPhone X kind of fits better within what a consumer should be getting. It has a new design with numerous improved features. It is a brand-new phone in terms of what Apple has put out, and it is very much in line with what is new and exciting in the smartphone industry. However, what’s different and seems to be in line with Apple’s new policy is giving its customers new features they assume they want but then taking away features that went down well previously, and in some cases favourite ones (remember the eggplant emoji debacle). This would be okay if the new iPhone X wasn’t the most expensive iPhone to date. This is shows that in this day and age, these companies care less about giving their customers the best possible product and are trying to maximise their profit by focusing on a finite number of improvements in all.
The only reason the iPhone 8 exists is to bridge the gap between the iPhone 7 and X. It acts as the previous S range which offered marginal upgrades on the previous edition. This is against what most other manufacturers do which is offering their latest and most up to date phone every year. Apple normally launches the S range in the odd years and the new more up to date iPhone in all the even years. This dual launch most likely happened because, due to the large improvements across the smartphone market in 2017, Apple needed to fast track the iPhone X to remain relevant.