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iPhone e(x)ces(s)

In previous years we've done our research and previewed the iPhone 7 and iPhone X pre-launch.  This time we wanted to observe the initial market reaction to the newest iteration of Apple's single most popular product, the smart phone used by 25% of all smart phone users worldwide.  The reviews are in, and this article will examine the virtues and vices of the newest additions to the Apple family, the iPhone XS and soon, the XR.

It's a Ten S

I know you might be looking at the letters XS and logically are thinking, "that's an X-S" but Apple wants to be clear that it's a "Ten S."  This is because the company sees this more as an upgrade on the recent X models and wants to keep their naming conventions in place, with an "S" model essentially improving the previous year's launch.  The closeness to "excess" (and the unintentional irony of the connotation) will keep a few from calling it a Ten S, just out of joking protest.

The XR is the first "low cost" iPhone that Apple has put out since the 5C (2013).  In Apple's mind, low cost means around $749 retail in the US for the XR, as opposed to around $999 for the XS and $1099 for the slightly larger XS Max.  The XR should release later in October 2018, and is expected to sell well among tech-savvy Millennials who see no need to upgrade to a top of the line phone but are happy to take a significant bump over the 4, 5, or 6 that they may still be sporting.

What's new?

It's an "S" upgrade, so true to form, it's an improvement over the X, including a powerful new processor.  Also:

  • There's 90 minutes more battery life.  This translates to 15 hours of video or 25 hours of talk time on a single charge.  This should get you through a day without having to plug in.
  • A much better camera.  It also has a depth control feature, which allows you to adjust the strength of the blur of a photo you take in portrait mode (which blurs the background)
  • A 6.5 inch screen on the XS Max model.  It's the largest ever in an iPhone, in an answer to critics from advocates of rival devices.

Apple has stayed with the edge-to-edge design so it seems that the home button, much like the headphone jack, is permanently gone.

Brand Power

Is there really any company besides Apple that could get away with ongoing price increases on a core-line product year after year?  There were still thousands of people worldwide last week who camped out to be among the first to get their hands on one of these.  Yet, there are plenty who are starting to accept the fact that this isn't really a "phone" but rather an "everything" device for a life.  We use it to capture moments of our lives, watch videos, and stay connected to friends and family via social media.  It's that, not the ability to call someone, which drives the prices of these products these days.  And it seems that people continue to be willing to pay the prices Apple dictates.  They aren't the first trillion dollar company on accident.

Did you upgrade?  Or are you a user of a rival device?  Let us know in the comments below to get a free shoe shine on your next visit to our club.

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Ben Davis

About Ben Davis

A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.

Been a family of iPhone (and iPads) users for many years, have used other devices for work but I’ve always like the product from Apple. My wife just dropped her old model 6 so she upgraded to the new 10s and so far she likes it. I will say I’m never fond of paying the price for a new iPhone and hang on to my old one as long as possible, or until I’m forced to because the damn thing just doesn’t want to work any longer! I’m probably going to upgrade from a 6s Plus to the 10s Max in the next month or so, I’m looking forward to it!

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