Every September, new iPhone models would come out. Tech media would review the machine, point out advantages and shortcomings, and end up with the same bottom line: These are still the best smartphones in the world. Well, this isn’t the time that I’ll be able to comfortably say so. And I couldn’t help with this idea that is alarming in my mind:
iPhone is the new Vertu.
Why’d I said that? Well for one, at the price of over a thousand bucks (easily over $1,500 if you add Apple Care+ and a couple of accessories to go with), iPhone XS is a phone well beyond the affordability of your average Joe. And for two, the performance of the new iPhone is well below what we used to expect from Apple’s flagship.
I mean just look at the sample photos Apple put on their website. Without zooming in, I can already see noise and smudges, which are what we typically see from budget phones. None of Samsung’s flagships would do that. And the portrait mode on the new iPhone XS isn’t much better.
Just minutes before the launch event, I was doing a live show saying “I can’t figure out what the A12 SoC naming would be”. Turns out, Apple couldn’t either. They stuck with the “Bionic” title because A12 came with literally no new feature.
And, need I stress that the iPhone XS still comes with a whopping 5W charger? It’s gonna take more than 3 hours to top out the XS Max which would presumably sport a 3300mAh battery.
And let’s look at what Apple IS touting with their phones.
- A beautiful new gold finish, achieved with an atomic-level process.
- Precision-machined, surgical-grade stainless steel bands.
The exact kind of things luxury products would brag about.
With this kind of products, and at the prices they’re selling, the Apple Stores (or should I say town squares?) would fit even more comfortably in shopping halls next to Hermès or Rolex.
So when I pushed the Purchase button I don’t feel like I was paying for the experience or the ecosystem that iOS would bring me, but rather for my old phone isn’t holding up and I’m in desperate need of a new phone. That’s it. No joy at all out of a thousand bucks spent.
Maybe Apple finally figured out that you’re upgrading you iPhone every two years instead of one anyway, so they went “Fuck it. Imma cost your ass two phones worth of cash each time.”