Guiding consumers since 2009

New iPhones offer little innovation

By Isabelle Coetzee

Apple announced three new iPhones earlier this month, but according to ICT analyst Arthur Goldstuck, their new line does not offer anything new.  

“There is no remarkable innovation in the new range, with the supposedly game-changing wireless charging feature already available in the last three generations of Samsung flagship phones,” Goldstuck explained.

He added that both Samsung and Huawei already offer the edge-to-edge display, which allows a larger display on a smaller device. 

Besides this, Goldstuck pointed out, “The dual camera allows Apple to catch up to Huawei and Samsung, but certainly not overtaking them.”

Their new range includes the iPhone X (pronounced as “ten”), the iPhone 8, and the iPhone 8 Plus.

They all offer the following features, with only small differences between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus:

  • A11 bionic processor, which means that the new iPhone’s perform 30% faster than previous models.
  • Glass front and back, which Apple dubbed as “the most durable glass on a smartphone” and is used to facilitate the wireless charging.
  • Wireless charging, achieved through setting the phone down on a special Qi (pronounced “chee”) mat, which is now available in certain airports, predominantly across America.  
  • Splash, water, and dust resistant, where it can be emerged in 3.3m of static water for 30 minutes.
  • Optimal Video recording, including the option of 4K, 1080p, or 720p footage to be recorded through the devices.    

The iPhone X also offers these additional features (click on links to see videos illustrating each feature):

  • TrueDepth camera system: Enables users to take high-quality images, as well as use the device for face ID to unlock the phone, or access certain apps.
  • Super Retina display: At 2436x1125 pixels, this is the best resolution that an iPhone has ever had.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) games: Using ARkit, Apple created the first multiplayer game called The Machines. 
  • Sharing Animoji in Messages: This is a new type of emoji, where a user’s real-time facial expressions are used in animated animals.

 

According to Goldstuck, the new iPhone range nonetheless has a greater undertone of value compared to other phone brands.  

“It remains the dominant brand in the USA, which in turn dominates mass media perception of technology and gadgetry. As a result, the iPhone remains the most aspirational phone brand globally,” he said.

“People who have bought deeply into the Apple ecosystem will pay almost anything to get the latest flagship device. The fact that they have been willing to pay a premium in the past means they will be willing to do so again with this one,” he added.

Goldstuck estimates that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus will cost between R15 000 and R20 000, and the iPhone X could go for anything above R20 000.

He speculates that there is a shortage of OLED displays for the iPhone X, and that Apple is purposefully overpricing it to keep the demand in line with the phone’s availability.

“In effect, this suggests Apple can charge what it likes and people will still buy the device in enough numbers to maintain its targets,” said Goldstuck.

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