“We’re still a couple of days away from delivery of the first iPhone X,” Chris O’Brien writes for VentureBeat. “But in the five days since Apple began accepting preorders, a number of breaks with tradition have some long-time observers scratching their heads.”

“iPhone X reviews have started appearing,” O’Brien writes. “And not only is the mix of people who got review units odd, some of the more experienced reviewers only got their units 24 hours before a publishing embargo was lifted. That led to some apologetic (though generally positive) reviews in which the reviewer emphasized that they hadn’t had sufficient time to really test the phone. ‘Because I’ve only had about 24 hours with the iPhone X, I’m in no position to write a review yet,’ wrote Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber.”

“The odd review strategy prompted a story by The Wall Street Journal: ‘Apple departed from its traditional preview strategy for what it bills as its most important new iPhone in years, prioritizing early access to the iPhone X for YouTube personalities and celebrities over most technology columnists who traditionally review its new products.’ YouTube folks like Highsnobiety got a unit,” O’Brien writes. “In another unusual move, Apple then issued a press release rounding up some of the most glowing reviews and even making a Hollywood poster-like graphic of the most favorable blurbs.”

MacDailyNews Take: We can almost hear the pitch in Apple’s marketing department now, “Hey, we’ve got a great idea, let’s market our next iPhone the way Hollyweird markets the movies they know are flops. We’ll offer no advanced screenings and tout no-name reviewers’ blurbs on a web poster!”

Great idea.

O’Brien writes, “Of course, none of this will matter if Apple sells a gazillion units of the iPhone X.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Not “if,” Chris, “when.”

Apple could market it on milk cartons and sandwich boards and still not be able to make enough.

Still, we remain perplexed as to why Apple didn’t provide review units to the usual suspects. Limiting notch exposure? Or, maybe Mossberg’s retirement threw a monkey wrench into the whole thing.

At least one traditional tech columnist did get an iPhone X unit for over a week: David Phelan, who wrote reviews for The Independent and for Forbes.

Tim Bajarin’s first impression of Apple’s iPhone X: Face ID worked flawlessly – November 1, 2017
The Verge reviews Apple’s iPhone X: Clearly the best iPhone ever made, despite being marred by its ugly notch – November 1, 2017
The Independent reviews Apple’s iPhone X: ‘This feels like the future’ – October 31, 2017
David Pogue reviews Apple’s iPhone X: ‘The best thing is its size’ – October 31, 2017
Forbes reviews Apple’s iPhone X: Opulent, gorgeous, classy; the best iPhone yet – October 31, 2017
CNBC reviews Apple’s iPhone X: ‘The best smartphone on the market’ – October 31, 2017
Above Avalon’s first impressions of Apple’s iPhone X: ‘An entirely new iPhone experience’ – October 31, 2017