The ‘X’ in Apple’s iPhone X will stand for ‘exclusive’ with some ‘experimentation,’ too

“Today’s iPhone launch, coming a full decade after the release of the original iPhone, will feature a device quite similar to Apple’s first ever smartphone,” Vlad Savov writes for The Verge. “The newest iPhone, whose name has already leaked out as iPhone X, will be like the original in that it will be higher in price than most people are used to paying for phones, it will be constrained in availability due to the difficulty of its manufacture, and it will serve as a status symbol for its owners.”

“When Apple launched the original iPhone, it was wildly different from the devices we called ‘phones.’ In 2007, Nokias with T9 keypads were doing battle with BlackBerrys sporting full, three-dimensional QWERTY keyboards,” Savov writes. “Today, it’s no longer possible for any company to break so far from the norm — the mobile market moves too quickly, leaks are abundant, and phone designs are too mature for such revolutionary change — but Apple’s goal with the iPhone X is to indeed signal a new path for mobile devices. Sure, the Cupertino company will have the usual iterative updates to its lineup in the shape of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models, but the X version will be the one that tells us where Apple wants to go.”

“A good way to think of the iPhone X is as a sort of technology preview. Reading through all the leaks and off-the-record Apple reports, a picture emerges of the iPhone X as a radical redesign that strains at the edges of what can be done with current tech,” Savov writes. “Maybe for Apple internally, the iPhone X means as much “experimentation” as anything else. The company can’t afford to take many chances with the hundreds of millions of iPhones it sells every year, but a limited-edition model can serve as the proving ground for new technologies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, the “X” really stands for “ten,” this being the tenth anniversary iPhone. That won’t stop everybody and their mom from calling it “iPhone Ex.”

It’s Mac OS “Ex” all over again. Joy.

We think that regardless of the price tag Apple hangs on iPhone X, they could have charged more.

As we wrote back in July, “the iPhone X will be Apple’s flagship, premium, cutting-edge iPhone. It should be priced as such. Customers who are looking for lower prices can simply opt for iPhone 7s or iPhone 7s Plus or even the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, which are likely to stick around as the entry-level models through late 2018, just as the 6s and 6s Plus are today, or get the iPhone SE, of course.”

20 Comments

    1. If all this is true… only Tim Cook’s Apple would create such a confusing mess.

      Just create a new phone, keep it simple, and keep the price the same. Make it happen. If this is some expensive thing that is limited in quanity then Apple truly cannot innovate anymore.

      1. Kinda reminds me of when Jobs introduced the Macintosh II, the first color mac, at $15k…he priced himself totally out of the market. Smaller players like Amiga and Atari jumped in with the same Motorola 68xxx chipset and kicked his ass at a fraction of the MSRP of the Mac II.

        1. Yes I remember. But you must also remember that when the first i386 came out. Compaq sold the first ones that had a special DOS to allow for bigger Hard Drive partitions for even more (they put in a full page Ad in the WSJ when they released it). The Amiga definitely benefitted from the Mac II issue.

        2. Botty, you’re getting it wrong once again. Don’t perpetuate the “Apple Tax” myth when it’s not founded.

          The original Mac II was NOT $15,000 even maxed out with all the bells and whistles you could possibly add. It was introduced at $5,500. That was about par for equivalent offerings from IBM and HP at that time. It was much less than the next step up (Sun and Apollo, etc.)

          You could, in theory, have six monitors hung off it which with all those video cards and the top end monitors you could get into the $10,000 range, but $15,000 never happened. (One note though, I saw demonstrations by Apple engineering staff with six monitors running at once, but I never met someone outside of Apple that could get more than five going at once without the system constantly crashing. Maybe the Apple team was using some in house build that never went public.) The equivalent HP and IBM machines of the day could only support two or three monitors no matter what you did to them.

          Atari had its proponents because of the OS that was on the ST. It was not because it was that much less expensive (though it was).

          And, just for the record, in the 80s Steve Jobs was never a proponent of selling the Mac at stratospheric prices. Sculley was behind that pricing much, much more than Steve. The Mac Plus having gross margins of over 55% was not Steve’s doing.

          1. I meant in today’s dollars, mea culpa.

            The Apple Macintosh II is the first personal computer model of the Macintosh II series in the Apple Macintosh line, and the first Macintosh to support a color display. Released in 1987, a basic system with 20 MB drive and monitor cost US$5,498 (equivalent to $11,590 in 2016). With a 13-inch color monitor and 8-bit display card the price was around US$7,145 (equivalent to $15,062 in 2016).

      2. That’s just not true and it’s reminiscent of the stupid things you see of the combined cost of the parts that make up and iPhone. All of that decides to completely ignore a free economy. Cost + DEMAND drives a price. Innovation is one thing and it may in many cases drive demand. In the case of the iPhone X, we should see today about the innovation. But the price will be driven primarily by how many people would want one. And THAT will determine the price which will almost certainly, and with reason, be a multiple of the true cost of making the product. I look forward to it and I’m trying to decide whether to keep my Jet Black 256GB 7 Plus or sell it.

    2. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 starts for around $929 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 (64GB) retails for $899. If the iPhone X starts in the same general price range, then the flagship phones from Samsung and Apple are at least in the same ballpark, price wise. I would hope that analysts would acknowledge that fact when they gripe about the price.

      Don’t get me wrong – $900 to $1000 for a handheld computer/smartphone is a lot of money. But people are using their phones so much – all day, every day – that they have replaced desktop and laptop computers and tablets for many functions. As a result, I believe that many people are willing to spend quite a bit on a great new smartphone. As a result, I anticipate that Apple’s FY2018 iPhone sales will be strong. But I sincerely hope that Apple will continue to offer more reasonably-priced phones for people who have to be a little more careful with their spending. I would hate to price an increasing segment of the consumer base out of the iOS ecosystem. That path led to the marginalization of the Mac starting in the late-1980s and extending through the 1990s until the release of the bondi blue iMac CRT.

  1. So, the iPhone X is kind of like the Nokia “N series” of iPhones?

    “The Nokia Nseries is aimed at users looking to pack as many features as possible into one device. The better-than-average cameras often found on Nseries devices (with many using the higher-quality Carl Zeiss optics) are one such example, as are the video and music playback and photo viewing capabilities of these devices, which resemble those of standalone portable media devices. As of 2008, in all recently launched devices GPS, MP3 player and WLAN functionality also have been present.”

    N series included things like hardened AMOLED screens, dual LED flash, multiple aperture settings and a mechanical camera shutter, Ovi maps and navigation, USB host connectivity (devices connect to it as the host), HDMI output, built-in digital tv tuner, FM radio receiver and transmitter (to listen to MP3 player functions tuning into a FM radio – typically in a vehicle before AUX connectors were common,

    I can remember for wanting, but never wanting to pay for, a N86.

    Now, I won’t use anything but an iPhone.

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