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Apple introduces iPhone 8, iPhone X
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-09-12 19:30:28

Apple held its iPhone event today, but since the three major leaks got everything right - read our previous items on the leaks to get the full details - there's really not much to add here, other than the pricing for the new iPhones. The 'regular' iPhone 8 will be about €50 more expensive this year, so take that into account when planning your upgrade. The iPhone X (pronounced "ten" by Apple, "ex" by people with good taste), however, carries a very hefty pricetag, especially in Europe and the UK - the base 64GB model is $999 in the US, and a staggering €1159 in Europe (and an equally staggering £999 in the UK).

I think it's definitely a nice looking phone, and can certainly hold its own against other small-bezel phones from Samsung, LG, and others (especially others), but especially outside of the US, that's one hell of a price tag. Going over the magic €1000 mark feels like crossing a psychological threshold from high-end brand new smartphone territory into high-end brand new laptop territory, and that's a tough pill to swallow.

The additional problem here is that the iPhone 8 simply looks outdated compared to all the minimal bezel phones of this year, and certainly so next to the iPhone X in stores for the iOS users among us. I'm up for contract renewal, and since I'm the kind of person to switch platforms about once a year, I was definitely interested in switching to iOS again by buying the iPhone X. However, that €1159 price tag is way, way beyond the outer limit of my comfort zone.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-28
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Boring
By darknexus on 2017-09-12 19:41:39
I think this is the most bored I've ever been when watching an Apple event. Okay, the new watch gets stand-alone cellular (finally, though who knows what the data plan gouges are going to be), Apple TV gets even more HD (we knew that already), and the iPhone 8 is a further iteration on a design that has been mostly static since the first one. The iPhone X... hmm, I'm not sure. If the best they can really do with facial tracking is smiling cats, not so much. Don't get me wrong, I like cats, but I would have expected something better than this. Face ID looks somewhat interesting but only time will really tell how well it does or does not work, and what accessibility implications it may or may not have for those with disfigurements, etc. It is interesting that Apple chose to support the industry-standard QI for inductive charging; I refuse to call it wireless charging because there is still the same amount of wires involved and moving the wire does not wireless make. If and when Apple releases their AirPower charging mat, with the ability to charge more than one device at a time, then I'll call it wireless in the same way that wi-fi is wireless.
And with my constant use of the word "wire", my last point. Tim, buddy, you really need a good thesaurus. The Tim Cook drinking word this year was "magical."
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Comment by Troels
By Troels on 2017-09-12 19:47:03
Advanced facial tracking used for ID, and the only other thing they can figure out to do with it is animated emojis... Wow

The marketing babble sure reached new heights too, i like how they sold OLED like they now fixed its problems so they could start using it.

Calling their chip "bionic", blabbering on about machine learning.

But i agree with the conclusion of this article, outdated looking 8, too expensive X. I have no doubt they are fine phones and they will sell a crapton of them and earn lots of money, but wow they are boring these days.

At least they are giving AR a real shot. I am still not convinced AR really is a thing, but it would be cool if someone can kind find useful things to do with it. (Pokemon Go was cute while it lasted, but can't remember the last time i saw a pokemon hunter around here)
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RE: Boring
By Troels on 2017-09-12 20:07:04
Hah, had almost forgotten about the TV and Watch, so yeah, lots of arm waving for making the Apple TV not be outdated. Not sure why i would want to pick that over a Chromecast Ultra though, I really like the way there is no device to control with the Chromecast, it just magically does its thing. Okay, it can't play games like the new Apple TV, but is there anyone who cares about games that doesn't already have a more powerful platform for that?

I really want to like the watch, more shiny gadgets = better, right? right!?
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RE[2]: Boring
By darknexus on 2017-09-12 22:22:16
Different use cases I suppose. If I had a TV, I'd prefer the Apple TV over the Chromecast because it can do its own thing without needing my phone or tablet to help it, and yet can accept help from another device in those instances when it does. With the Chromecast, I'd always be controlling it with another device, eating through another battery. Too, the Apple TV can accept Airplay lossless audio from any device which supports that, whereas the chromecast can only mirror from Chrome or stream apps Google has chosen to support. Just goes to show, competition is good.
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Qi
By sapere aude on 2017-09-12 22:40:53
For me, the announcement of the wireless charger using the Qi standard was the best of the day. I believe that the standard will now become more and more popular.
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RE: Qi
By David on 2017-09-12 22:46:39
That's certainly something that Apple has been good at doing in the past: taking an existing standard and thrusting it into widespread adoption. Unfortunately, they also have a habit of sometimes needlessly promoting their own fringe thing where it makes little sense. So it's nice to see they did the former this time.
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RE: Comment by Troels
By flanque on 2017-09-12 22:52:09
It's become pretty difficult to 'wow' people with a phone these days.

The market is quite saturated with options and features, so the differentiation between them is narrowing with each iteration.

I don't think slapping another sensor or faster CPU in there really cuts it. It'd take something like holographic projections or something like that I think.

What feature would you have liked to see introduced?
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RE[2]: Comment by Troels
By Delgarde on 2017-09-13 00:20:05
Adding an extra digit to the price certainly makes people go "Wow!"... though not in a good way.
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RE[3]: Boring
By Alfman on 2017-09-13 07:07:48
darknexus,

> Different use cases I suppose. If I had a TV, I'd prefer the Apple TV over the Chromecast because it can do its own thing without needing my phone or tablet to help it, and yet can accept help from another device in those instances when it does. With the Chromecast, I'd always be controlling it with another device, eating through another battery. Too, the Apple TV can accept Airplay lossless audio from any device which supports that, whereas the chromecast can only mirror from Chrome or stream apps Google has chosen to support. Just goes to show, competition is good.


Does apple TV force you to connect through goog^H^H^H^H apple's servers? That's a pretty big gripe I have with google's offerings. They could have done something like widi, but instead they designed chromecast to be dependent upon their servers so they could collect more user data. Not only do I consider this unethical, but it resulted in some pretty stupid engineering compromises like inability to connect locally when the internet is out.

It's also a major criticism I have for smart phones in general. I've amassed a large collection of personal media over the years but google and apple seem adamant to keep the experience crappy for local media and storage. Just let me access my files directly like a normal os! I don't want to stream everything from the internet, least of all my personal files! Having to search for this functionality at the app level is jarring, every app handles it differently, if at all.

Edit: not sure about apple tv, will it play files off the local network?

Edited 2017-09-13 07:11 UTC
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Price
By henderson101 on 2017-09-13 07:34:27
The mainland European price is a kicker. The UK price includes VAT and import tax, so I can get (given how much Brexit destroyed Sterling) why the price is so high.

As the Euro seems to hover around 1:1 of the UK price, if you are European and can lay your hands on Sterling with little or no conversion charges, and wait for the Pound to hit the "almost 1:1" again, it seems like it is actually cheaper to buy the phones in the UK.

It used to just be that Russian gangsters did this for the non-Apple release markets, but I think this might be a thing again this year. (I saw this with my own eyes in London on iPad 2 launch day - loads of drunk Eastern European builders queuing up at the Regents Street store and buying the most expensive model, with a young guy in an expensive looking suit handing them a bundle of cash as they waited.)

Edited 2017-09-13 07:38 UTC
Permalink - Score: 3

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