Random Thoughts – Randocity!

Lost with Apple’s iPhones for 2018?

Posted in Apple, botch, business, california by commorancy on September 12, 2018

iPhone X 2018You might be asking, “What is an iPhone Xr? Why would I want that model?” Well, let’s dive right in to discuss what these phone models are and how they stack up. Let’s explore.

iPhone X models for 2018

What new models iPhones are there for 2018? Well, there are several new models this year. Here’s the rundown of these models. The new models include the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone Xr. Yep, that’s it. No new iPhone 8. No iPhone 9. Nothing else for phones.

iPhone X Compare

Display Res iPhone X 2018

Let’s Talk Models

  • iPhone Xs Max — This is by far the biggest iPhone X model so far. It sports a 6.5″ OLED display. It is about the same physical size as an iPhone 8 Plus.
    • Pricing:
      • 64GB = $1099
      • 256GB = $1249
      • 512GB = $1449 (really, Apple?)
  • iPhone Xs — This is the same size as the former iPhone X, its earlier sibling. This phone sports a 5.8 inch display, the same as earlier iPhone X.
    • Pricing:
      • 64GB = $999
      • 256GB = $1149
      • 512GB = $1349
  • iPhone Xr — This is a “brand new” model in the iPhone X lineup. It sports a 6.1″ sized display. It’s slightly smaller than an iPhone 8 plus. With the iPhone Xr, instead of using the more costly OLED tech, Apple has redesigned this model with a LCD screen. Unfortunately, as with most cost cutting measures, Apple has reduced the resolution by a LOT.
    • Instead of resolution in the thousands, now it’s back in the hundreds at 1792 x 828.  These are resolutions we’ve not seen since the iPhone 8 at 1334 x 750. Somewhat higher than the iPhone 8, yes, but this phone is a huge step backward for Apple.
    • OLED has a contrast ratio of 1 million to 1 where LCD has a contrast ratio of 1400:1. This means that when viewing the iPhone Xr screen, you’re going to see that dull grey background whenever the screen is black.
    • This model is also missing the following features:
      • No 3D Touch
      • 2 meter water resistance reduced to 1 meter
      • No 512GB model.. tops out at 256GB
      • No HDR display (not that this matters much as Apple has dumbed down the OLED display intentionally)
      • No Dual Cameras — Single camera only
    • Pricing:
      • 64GB = $749
      • 128GB = $799
      • 256GB = $899

What it comes down to is that if you’re looking for a less expensive version of the iPhone X and you’re willing to forgo the above features, the iPhone Xr is probably what you want. Personally, I still want TouchID, which is still missing from these newest X models.

iPhoneXSizingThere’s nothing really new here for me to jump for joy over. These models are entirely expected as next versions, though the prices are excessively high. Seriously, $1449 for a 512GB iPhone Xs Max? That’s the price of a notebook computer which has twice the features, twice the power and twice the number of applications. I shake my head at this pricing. Apple has completely lost it.

I still have my iPhone 7 Plus and it’s working like a champ. I’ve no need to jump into the X with that stupid black brow. I was hoping Apple would have gotten rid of that by the second generation. Nope. Apple, what the hell is going on over at 1 Infinite Loop? Are you guys too busy building circular buildings instead of focusing on actually building new innovative products?

Apple Watch

Apple WatchProbably the most innovative thing that has come out of Apple  for 2018 is the newest Apple Watch, with its somewhat larger display and a back that’s supposed to improve LTE service quality. That’s not saying much. Unfortunately, the larger size has the downside of actually making the watch even bigger. Do they think we really want to wear BIGGER watches? Though, a bigger watch may mean a slightly bigger battery and perhaps slightly longer run times. This is important for those of you who actually use the LTE feature. I don’t.

I was hoping for an actual round watch this time around. After all, Android has had these for years now. Where is Apple with a round watch? No idea, they keep focusing on these silly rectangular watches and adding stupid battery hungry technologies like LTE. You can’t really use a watch as a phone, so why bother with that? I guess someone finds the LTE part useful, but I don’t.

MacBook Pro

I’ll make this next 2018 intro short and sweet. It’s about friggin’ time Apple introduced the 32GB version of the MacBook Pro. Of course, the 2018 MacBook Pro also offers 6 core processors. That’s nice, but the 32GB of RAM is much more interesting. Though, by now these computers should be sporting 128GB of RAM, not a piddly 32.

Apple, where’s the touch screen on the MacBook Pro? Why the hell doesn’t this computer have a touch screen in 2018?

iPad 9.7″

New iPadApple reintroduces this size yet again. This size existed several years ago in the Pro format (supported Apple Pencil) and was discontinued. Now they’re introducing it again as though it’s some new thing. The only thing that makes this ‘new’ iPad special is that it now supports the Apple Pencil. Every iPhad… er iPad should have had Apple Pencil support the year after the Pencil was launched. In fact, every touch surface that Apple now produces should support the Apple Pencil including the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Watch and the MacBook Pro. By limiting which products support the Pencil is entirely stupid. Apple, don’t you want to sell your products?

What Apple chooses to do with its product lineup is always questionable, but in reality nothing truly innovative has come out of Apple since the first gen Apple Watch and the Airpods. Everything else has been limited extensions of existing products including “The new 9.7-inch iPad”, which is effectively a reintroduction of the 9.7″ iPad Pro sans the edge connector for the Smart Keyboard.

Lateral Innovation

I don’t consider extending an existing product as true innovation. I consider it lateral innovation. Lateral innovation is defined as copying the design of an existing product and then adding small features that don’t significantly improve the design. True innovation means new products that have never before existed. Apple hasn’t launched a truly new product since the Apple Watch and that was in April 24, 2015. That was over 3 years ago. Apple hasn’t launched a truly new product in over 3 years!

Man, get with the program Apple. Your relevance is waning. If you, the reader, want to find pricing of any of the other (ahem) “new” products, mosey on over to Apple.com and take a look for yourselves. You might be surprised… and not for the better.

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6 Responses

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  1. Lars Trebing said, on September 13, 2018 at 11:26 am

    9.7″ has always been the normal iPad size right from the beginning and has never been discontinued since. You might be referring to the small iPad Pro which was originally introduced at 9.7″ (in addition to the original 12.9″ iPad Pro), then enlarged to 10.5″ in 2017. Apple has never discontinued any iPad display size.

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    • commorancy said, on September 13, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Thanks for the comment, Lars. Yes, I know the standard iPad has always been 9.7”, but Apple’s marketing is calling out the size as a new selling point. It’s not. That’s my point. This new iPad is effectively a reintroduction of the now discontinued 9.7” Pro. However, this one still seems to be missing the edge contacts for the Smart Keyboard accessory.

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      • ltrebing said, on September 13, 2018 at 11:48 am

        I don’t remember Apple’s marketing ever mentioning the size of this model as new in any regard. Actually, neither the press release (https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2018/03/apple-introduces-new-9-7-inch-ipad-with-apple-pencil-support/) nor the product page (https://www.apple.com/ipad-9.7/) contain any mention of the word “size”. The press release does mention “new 9.7-inch iPad” but I always read that as “a new iPad that uses the same display size as most iPads before”.

        The selling point that I remember from when they introduced this model is: a new affordable iPad with a bunch of mostly education-relevant features.

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        • commorancy said, on September 13, 2018 at 12:12 pm

          Hi Lars,

          I have updated the article with an image reflecting Apple’s current marketing strategy of this new iPad. Note that the image specifically calls out the size as ‘new’. Perhaps that’s a marketing mistake, but it is how this product is being marketed on Apple’s web site. Thanks for helping me to clarify this article a bit more.

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          • ltrebing said, on September 13, 2018 at 1:39 pm

            You mean “The new 9.7-inch iPad”? I read that one as “the new version of the 9.7-inch iPad”. If they announced “the new 15-inch MacBook Pro” tomorrow, would you read that as “behold, here comes the new MacBook Pro which, unlike any previous MacBook Pro, features a 15-inch display” or “behold, here comes the new 15-inch MacBook Pro which is even better and more magical than the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro”?

            In my understanding, “9.7-inch” is just there to clarify that they are not talking about a new iPad mini nor a new iPad Pro. “9.7-inch iPad” is just the more specific version of the product name.

            Keep in mind that I’m not a native English speaker, so I’m not certain that my interpretation is right and yours is wrong, but I also wouldn’t rule out that it is in this case.

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            • commorancy said, on September 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm

              As a marketer, you always headline points that are important to the marketing of a product to avoid confusion. In this case, there is no confusion because they only offer one iPad (non-pro version) in this size. Calling out the size in the headline indicates that this is an important change, design feature or selling point. If the size is unimportant, then the marketer should have said something like, “The All New iPad” or “The Reinvented iPad” or something along those lines. Placing importance on the size as part of the headline indicates that the size should be considered important, new or different.

              As I said, this could be a marketing mistake. Perhaps that’s not what the marketers intended. I can’t read their minds, only what they’ve written. Having performed my share of marketing in the past, I’m reading that the sizing is an important distinction for this product. There’s really no reason to call out the sizing in the way they do. Under the iPad category, there’s only one product at 9.7″. The iPad mini and the iPad Pro both have their own separate categories which must be clicked separately on the web site. There is no category confusion here. See below:

              You don’t typically call out the size of the device in the headline if it’s unimportant. The sizing is always listed in specifications pages or even in the product description if you need to know. If you visit a store, you can clearly see the size is around 9-10 inches in size physically. Placing that information in the headline calls it out.

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