When Apple chief Tim Cook declared the iPhone X “the biggest leap forward since the first iPhone” at his latest launch extravaganza, you couldn’t help but wonder if he was referring to its features or its price.
With the top-end model costing £1,149, customers are paying a premium to swap their fingerprint sensor for a facial scanner and the ability to make an animated monkey or poo emoji copy their bemused looks.
In opting to refer to the model as “ten” rather than “x”, the firm has also thrown its naming convention into a bit of confusion – will there ever be an iPhone 9 – or indeed IX?
Of course, that’s a problem for another day. And the internet has had plenty else to chew over in the meantime…
The two biggest questions for me focus on the iPhone X’s most daring design change, ditching the home button. Will it actually make the phone more convenient to use? And will using your face to unlock the phone benefit you, or is it just a workaround?
The iPhone X may be the most powerful iPhone ever, but compared to almost any other Android flagships, it’s hard to pick out a category where it leads the pack – at least on paper when comparing raw specifications. But if Apple has shown one thing time and again with every iPhone generation, it’s that optimisation of hardware and software matter just as much – if not more.
The iPhone X’s new design – a 5.8in, edge-to-edge display -has raised hopes that it can reverse Apple’s fortunes in China, where sales have fallen six straight quarters. Chinese consumers are more influenced by a phone’s appearance than consumers in other markets, and Apple had kept the same appearance for three years.
A $1,000 iPhone could add as much as 6% to Apple’s 2018 earnings per share… but that depends on the iPhone X being a hit, and there’s more competition from lower-cost Chinese competitors such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which timed the introduction of their new phones around Apple’s launch to attract customers who may be deterred by the iPhone X’s price.
Apple has crafted a stunning new flagship. In a time when existing iPhones were starting to look a little – dare I say – pedestrian in comparison to what Samsung, LG, and others were doing in hardware, the iPhone X has accelerated through and can spar with the best of them.
What did bother me a little more than expected were the bezels that run around the screen… Given that Apple’s competition has done an incredible job trimming the cruft from around their displays, I can’t help but feel that the iPhone X’s design doesn’t have the same kind of impact as, say, the Essential or Samsung’s recent Galaxys.
The very notion of using your face as the key to your digital secrets presents some fundamental problems… It’s very hard to hide your face from someone who wants to coerce you to unlock your phone, like a mugger, a customs agent, or a policeman who has just arrested you. In some cases, criminal suspects in the US can invoke the Fifth Amendment protections from self-incrimination to refuse to give up their phone’s passcode. That same protection doesn’t apply to your face.
All the focus today was on the innovations in the X.But it all made the new 8 look like a rather boring, “plain old” iPhone – and the price for that has just gone up $50 as well.
The X is the best iPhone, no questions, and it’s quickly jumped to the top of the best phones, period. Yeah, it’s going to cost you, but you already knew that.
“I gaze into the iPhone and the iPhone gazes back at me” – Nietzsche. @ericasadun
I’m not sure how the iPhone X face recognition will distinguish between me with make-up and without make-up. Because the difference is real. @kandeejohnson
So if you were sleeping and your girl picks the iPhone X and puts it in your face, it just unlocks it yeah? Lol. Thanks Apple. But no, thanks. @DrOlufunmilayo
I think the leaks spoiled the iPhone X keynote, but Apple also didn’t do enough to show why augmented reality matters. @tomwarren
The choice is simple: The iPhone X or 363 coffees. @joshtgoossen
Releasing the iPhoneX and 8 at the same time is strange, surely those who get the 8 will feel they’ve not got the latest iPhone. @Mr_Iconic
The iPhone X is over a thousand dollars but I get to make myself into a poop emoji, so ya, it’s worth it. @donaldcookie
iPhone X has facial recognition. It’ll look at your face and tell you that you can’t afford it. – Abhimanyu Singh
Face ID seems like an over-engineered fix that they were forced to include because they couldn’t integrate a fingerprint scanner into the screen – Nick Farina
How on earth can they justify the same price in $s as in £s… utterly shameful! I wont’ be buying on that basis alone. – Darren Taylor
They made the 8 almost identical to the 7 so people would have to spend the extra money for the X. And I’m sure I’ll buy one even though I know what they did. – Patrick Michael
Google has just been given a gift. Apple could have really done something that would have caused Android fans angst today. It did not. Instead, we’re looking toward the Pixel 2 launch in October with renewed interest. – Robert Scoble
Apple isn’t the first in facial recognition (by a long shot) but they will without a doubt make facial recognition competitive by making it better. This is how they always work. – Leprecon
The lack of any fingerprint reader could cause problems for people who either cover their face for religious or professional reasons as well as for blind people. Really hoping Apple thought about these issues. – danius353
The iPhone home button was what made it look like a iPhone. The little round button was so iconic. Now the iPhone X looks like any other phone really especially if you put a case on it. – Ihavefallen
X2? XS? What are they going to call the next one? – Alteran195