Thursday 14 September 2017

Iphone X

This is jumping the shark, right?

I looked at a few reviews etc and this near £1,000 does almost exactly what every other iphone does, with a wider screen and the same software. Even the whole facial recognition thing is not really new or innovative.

Why would anyone want such a thing, excepting those for whom money is unlimited and showing off is the be all and end all.

More importantly, is this the end of Apple as the dominant consumer electronics company?

I recall Nokia, kings of all they surveyed, near 50% global market share. They really knew how to make phones, but when it came to smart phones, it was over.

With Apple, now that smart phones are ubiquitous, perhaps they are topping out on their competitive advantage. This is not to say they will follow the same path downwards, but perhaps this Iphone X launch is the top of the market signal from them?


Steven_L said...

And there are still people who buy them fooled into thinking it makes a good camera. The sony rx100 is a good pocket camera. Can the iPhonex even shoot raw yet?

Of course they'll all be 'bought' on 2 year ee contracts at £60 a month.

But if sales do disappoint it could even be the shock that breaks the whole bull run.

Bill Quango MP said...

Miss Q wants one.
Quite desperately.

The teen market it is.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Yes, Steven_L, iPhones have been able to handle RAW for a couple of years now.

And I confidently predict that the iPhone X will fly off the shelves—especially in China. In fact, I guarantee long shipping delays owing to the fact that Apple will not be able to make them fast enough.


Anonymous said...

Branding is king, and at a time when money is tight there will always be people who want want want the brand name, just as mums on a rough estate will scrape to get little Dwayne the right brand of expensive trainers (my Lidl £13.99 specials are just wearing out after 10 miles a week on the treadmill over 4 years).

dustybloke said...

Well, based on a sample of 5 (our family) old geezers and gals will hang on to their old iPhones, over 30s high earners will buy it, under 30s will buy amazing Chinese kit and laugh at their older brother.

Anonymous said...

Apple has, sadly, gone from providing genuinely good items to generating Shiny Things for Idiots.

Few people will be paying full whack, most will be those on Apple's monthly system or on contract with their network provider, nevertheless they'll be getting some impressive profits.

And profits are where Apple likes to be, they may have a much smaller slice of the market these days but they're one of a very few number of smartphone makers who do get a profit. The advent of Shenzen Generics has wiped out the profits in Android.

You can also expect a tie-up with Disney's new streaming service in the run up to launch too, something that'll also be used to push the new version of the Apple TV. All that Star Wars and Marvel material...

So I'm on the fence as to whether it's a step too far, but people are invested in Apple - unlike with Android, you can't currently take your apps to a new brand's device, you'll need to repurchase them - and of course there are the morons who'd lick piss off a nettle if Jonny Ive had planted it. So yeah, odds are good Apple still haven't gone too far.

Although I'm looking forward to the screw ups with the face ID. Looks like they've used 3D depth so that it can't be circumvented with a photo, but that's not tech that's been used on a wide scale, so, just as with the antenna issue a few years back, we can probably expect people being genially informed they've the wrong type of face for a few months before a very grudging mea culpa is forthcoming.

And the first blingy rapper to have the police unlock his phone by having it placed in front of them ought to produce a lovely shitstorm.

I kind of hope it does blow up in their face - Apple used to produce some really good quality hardware, and a hard fail might be the kick up the jacksie they need. They've already swallowed their pride over the fucking stupid Pro design, so who knows?

Charlie said...

Apple have peaked. I've called it. My reasoning?

I've been an Apple customer for many years. Bought the first iPod mini and was then hooked. Had iPods, laptops, iPhones, first iPad (still in the kitchen), other iPads, an Apple display, (almost) the works. However, they no longer make anything I want to buy.

My MacBook Air needed replacing. The new MacBook, though commendably thin, was not powerful enough. The latest MacBook Air suffered from a low-res display. The new MacBook Pro suffers from having no useful I/O. So, I bought a used, year-old MacBook Pro, which will do me for at least five years.

My 16GB iPhone 5 feels a bit slow and I need some more storage space. But, I don't want a large phone; I like the 5 form factor. So, I'll be spending £299 on an iPhone SE, not a grand on a X.

I'd like to upgrade my Apple Thunderbolt display to something with a retina screen. But Apple don't make an equivalent product, so I'll be buying a new monitor from someone else.

What about the iPad? It is barely used. The iPhone is good enough on-the-go, and at other times the laptop comes out. We use one iPad in the kitchen as a recipe book, another for... err... a paperweight. It just doesn't get used.

So, as a former Apple fan with money to spend if only they'd make something to spend it on, I say it's all downhill from here.

Electro-Kevin said...

I have a brick supplied by work. My money has gone on buying my kids their Apple computers and iPhones.

dearieme said...

Apple really need to develop the jet-pack. It's all that's left to do.

Anonymous said...

JohnMiller - the only trouble with amazing Chinese kit will be all the factory-installed backdoors - but then if BT are buying Huweai(?) routers and switches, that horse has probably bolted already.

Bill Quango MP said...

I'm the opposite charlie.
I rarely use my Iphone 5 for anything but calls. The display is far too small for me. And I bought the 128 storage for on the move work stuff.
Instead I use my ipad almost constantly. I carry it all the time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:28 has it, the majority of these that you will see on the street are owned by people who pay monthly and "get a new phone every year" or whatever it said on some billboard that I keep seeing around London.

CityUnslicker said...

It will be eye-watering monthly contract for a £1,000 phone!

Not for me, and I like Apple - hence the post. Let's see how they do, but I feel a Nokia moment myself. Don't have any Apple Shares so guess it wont affect me one way or other.

Electro-Kevin said...

They seriously need to get Tom Hardy with one of these - husking in a 'sexy' Welsh accent.

"Moooh-bahl fooon."

Mrs E-K is suddenly a phone and Jackanory fan.

Electro-Kevin said...

PS, Expect scooter thefts to go up too once these arrive.

Anonymous said...

@CU - for the X, Apple will charge you just over £60 a month. That's without a network contract... You do get a new phone every year.

For Apple it makes sense, the X will lose maybe 20% of it's value over that year and they'll get 70% of it's retail cost plus another 80% on the second hand market.

If you want the latest bling it makes sense, no upfront cost and an annual upgrade.

I'm happy with my Xaiomi, which will get upgraded 2 years after I bought it, and spend the difference on a holiday.

Steven_L said...

spend the difference on a holiday.

And this the sort of money we're talking about now, the difference between an expensive and a cheap smartphone. A week in the Canaries, a £50 a month better lease car, a new wardrobe of high street clothes, a great big TV, a new laptop, a complete drinks cabinet or a just a selection of top notch single malts.

I got a John Lewis customer return Sony a7 full frame camera for £530 last year, and I'm making do with a Samsung J5.

andrew said...

Apple seem to follow the VAG model
- they put lots of shiny toys in the Audi, charge a premium price, premium margin.

This tech trickles down through VW, Skoda to Seat

iirc there was a chart with brand and margins - Audi were big and Skoda's were small.

My point being that this might not be a kodak/nokia moment but the first time you start to see a brand separation

Iphone SE at a 'mere' 399
Iphone X for 1299 fully loaded

if I am right next year you will see a new SE and an X-1

who knows maybe an XL-1

4 years after that I will be buying one of the XLs for sure no matter the cost - as long as the battery does not combust

... because they you would have a fireball XL-5


K said...

@andrew the problem with your theory is that there's no new tech in the iPhone X. It's already trickled down technology.

The "revolutionary Super Retina" screen on the iPhone X is manufactured by Samsung and is the same tech that has been in Galaxies for years. Face ID is the same tech as Kinect.

K said...

Also worth pointing that Apple has never really put new tech in their phones. Even the first first iPhone wasn't revolutionary tech wise it was just a nice package.

The only reason Apple products are so expensive is because they maintain a ~20% profit margin (which is probably even higher if you buy direct from Apple). Ever since the dotcom bubble the typical margin on PCs, laptops, etc has been 1-5% which is why Dell and everyone else went bust and got bought up by the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

"the typical margin on PCs, laptops, etc has been 1-5% which is why Dell and everyone else went bust and got bought up by the Chinese"

Are there any desktops now whose innards aren't Chinese? If so, cheap at the price. Wouldn't the US have loved to make all the USSR's computing kit?

Incidentally, anyone know what kit the average Russian oligarch or Kremlin apparatchik has on their desks?

andrew said...


Exactly what is the difference between an Audi and a Skoda?

- about 10-30K

It is all about market segmentation; not technology.

and iphone buyers respond to that.

Electro-Kevin said...

Skoda is great (I have an Octavia estate.) From reviews it seems that Kia and Hyundai are now better than European cars though.

andrew said...

ek, by many accounts, this has been true for years - for petrol cars - and is why the tax balance was tilted towards diesel engines about 20 years ago
(i.e. regs used to preserve bmw/merc)

K said...


If you're talking about a self-built gaming desktop then the insides will be mostly American and Taiwanese which is the same as it has been for the last 20+ years. When you get down to the base components like memory chips and capacitors they tend to be South Korean or Japanese. There is a reluctance to use cheap Chinese parts because of stuff like:

If you're buying some cheap prebuilt machine then who knows. They will often put a good American/Taiwanese CPU and graphics card in but then skimp on the motherboard, power supply, etc. If you ever meet a "computer expert" who is forever having hardware problems then it's usually because they're cheap idiots and skimp on the important basic components. The opposite is also true - if you see a "hardcore gamer" overspending on the base components (e.g. 1000W power supplies) then they don't know what they're doing either.

I seem to remember something about the Russians having customised iPads. But then after Snowden I also remember something about the Russian government buying lots of typewriters.