Apple has made its latest iPhone announcement. The big “one more thing” moment was the unveiling of iPhone X (pronounced “ten”). The phone marks the tenth anniversary of the iconic device. It also introduces the phone’s first major redesign. The hard “home” button is removed, and the screen covers almost the entire surface. It’s beautiful and will probably be the direction Apple continues on from here. But, do you really want it? Should you buy one?
The Hardware or The Apps
Why do you use your iPhone? Do you sit around all day and stare at this magnificent piece of hardware and its elegant design? Chances are, what you care about are the apps. Sure, you take photos and and text your friends. But the reason you pick up your phone 50 times a day is to look at Facebook, Instagram, and whatever your favorite apps and games might be.
All of this is controlled by iOS, the operating system that runs iPhone. Along with the new phones, Apple released the new iOS 11. You can upgrade iOS on all phones back to the iPhone 5s. This means if you’re still using an SE, 5s, 6, 6s or 7, you can still use the latest version of iOS, and all of the apps you love that run on it.
You Can Still Buy iPhone 6
At the end of the the Apple keynote, Apple showed a slide with their selection of iPhones. In addition to the new 8 and X models, Apple is still selling the iPhone 7, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE. This isn’t to say that all of these phones have the same hardware features. But if you use your phone because you love being on Snapchat or Twitter, any of these phones will work great. The apps work the same way and with the same updates and features.
This means that if you’re running iOS 11 on any phones that Apple has be selling since September 2015, you can use any of your apps. There is no “better Facebook” just because you’re on the latest model.
We’ve Seen This Before
In the early days of PCs, there was a very fast cycle of innovation. Every few months, new PCs would come out with much faster processors, improved graphics, and new features. Floppies were replaced by CDs. Hard drive space expanded dramatically. 8-bit graphics evolved to full-color displays.
At some point, the innovation becomes less revolutionary and more evolutionary. Sure, faster is always better. But once you have stereo sound, HD video, and super-thin design, is there anything else that makes a new device a “must have”? Look at the features of the X and ask yourself if at any point over the past few years, you thought it would be great to have them.
The base model of the iPhone X is $999. Get the model with 256GB of memory and it’s $1,149. The iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799. iPhone 7 Plus begins at $669. That’s a major price difference, and those numbers definitely affect almost anyone’s budget.
It’s important to ask what you’re getting for the additional $200 or more that you’re shelling out. For many people, simply having the latest and greatest in tech is worth any price. If your phone is a tool that you use to get things done, those extra Benjamins may be better spent elsewhere.
iPhone X Is The Future, Maybe
It remains to be seen if the iPhone X will be the phone of the future. iPhone fans may flock to the 8, or hold onto their existing phones a bit longer. Face ID could be revolutionary, or a bust. $999 might be that price point consumers won’t cross.
If it’s time for a new phone, the good news is that you have more choice than ever. Great devices like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 are still being sold. They can run the latest version of iOS and the apps and games you love. Replacing your phone with one of those models, or even stepping up to an 8, could be the better option and leave you some extra money to spend.