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A week ago, on Tuesday, September 12, Apple unveiled its latest offerings to eagerly awaiting fans. The 2017 product showcase held at Apple Park, the company’s new “spaceship” headquarters in Cupertino, CA, included an upgraded Apple Watch, 4K Apple TV, as well as the next generation iPhones – 8 and 8 Plus. Just as the presentation appeared to be drawing to a close, company CEO Tim Cook took to the podium, mouthing the late Steve Job’s familiar, “one more thing . . .” phrase before introducing the much-anticipated iPhone X (“ten”).
Timed to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of the first iPhone, the sleek device, which will be available in silver or black, did not disappoint. The phone’s most striking feature is the front, which is all screen, except for a tiny area on the top for a selfie camera and sensors. The company has even replaced the home button with a cutting-edge new facial recognition software called Face ID. According to Phil Schiller, the senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, “The iPhone is locked until you look at it and it recognizes you. It recognizes your face even if you change your hairstyle or are wearing glasses or a hat.”
The iPhone X is not the first device to take advantage of facial recognition technology. Samsung’s Galaxy 8, that was unveiled on September 5, also has a similar feature. However, Apple’s Face ID is purportedly much more secure and accurate because it works by capturing a 3D scan of the user’s face. It, therefore, cannot be fooled into unlocking with a photo of the owner. According to the company, FaceID is also unlikely to get deceived by an accurate model or mask of the owner’s face. iPhone X users will also have access to Animoji, an animated emoji that can be controlled with their personal facial expressions!
Also a first for the company is the use of OLED technology in the phone’s 5.8-inch Super Retina Display screen. Rumored to be made by Samsung, it is superior to the LCD technology used in other iPhones. Some of you may have noticed, the black on your phone appears more gray because LCD lights up everything. Since OLED highlights only selective pixels, dark colors will appear more robust and text will also be easier to read.
The iPhone X also incorporates Apple’s True Tone display technology, which provides the optimal viewing experience by adjusting the intensity of the screen’s white light based on the external lighting. Those that are always running out of power will be pleased to hear that the smartphone’s battery will last for up to 14 hours! Similar to the 8 and 8 Plus, the gorgeous device allows for wireless charging and also features the dual camera available on the 8 Plus.
With all these cutting-edge features, the iPhone X sounds like a sure hit. However, those wishing to get their hands on what the company calls “the future of the smartphone,” will have to dig deep into their pockets. That’s because even the 64GB iPhone X will set them back $999! Those desiring the higher capacity 256GB version will have to pay an astounding $1,149! Apple says the high price tag is justified given the phone’s cutting-edge technology and stunning design.
Not surprisingly, the phone’s price is drawing mixed reactions from experts. Ian Fogg, from IHS Markit, is a fan and says, “It (the iPhone X) will still sell in enormous volumes because Apple has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to persuade consumers to shift their overall spending to place a greater share of their disposable income towards a smartphone purchase.” The expert goes on to state, "And the starting price of 999 dollars is only 33 dollars more than the previously most expensive iPhone, the 7 Plus 256GB." However, there are many who believe that while the US sales may be robust, the expensive phone will not do as well in Apple’s second-biggest market China, which has been experiencing a slowdown in sales even before the most recent announcement.
Given that the phone will not be released until October 27, it is hard to predict whether avid Apple fans will accept or reject the nearly four-digit cost. However, if the iPhone X is a runaway success, it does raise the question: Are we entering an era where smartphones will cost as much as a new television or a vacation?
Resources: businessinsider.com, Apple.com, Investors.com