The lessons and questions of Apple’s iPhone X and iPhone 8

“The products Apple unveiled at the new Steve Jobs Theater could not have been more appropriate: a cellular watch significantly smaller than competitors with comparable battery life, a new iPhone 8 improved in virtually every dimension, and, of course, the iPhone X, with nearly every new feature dependent on that integration,” Ben Thompson writes for Stratechery.

“Apple clearly decided to not minimize the notch, the black cut-out at the top of the iPhone X that houses an array of sensors and cameras,” Thompson writes. “If anything, the company went out of its way to emphasize it, including playing video such that the notch obscured what was being shown (that is actually an optional view; by default video is letter-boxed such that it avoids the notch).”

MacDailyNews Take: Unapologetically notched.

For the record, as regular readers know, we hate the notch/cutout, having called it an “inelegant kludge.” We also expect we’ll get used it is within days, if not hours or minutes. You’ll be able to have our iPhone X units when you pry them out of our cold, dead hands.

A little iPhone X notch humor:

Apple's iPhone X. Say hello to the future.
Apple’s iPhone X. Say hello to the future.

“Moving beyond the notch,” Thompson writes. “I don’t know if Apple can segment the iPhone market; what has been shown is that they can’t, that the iPhone can only be the best, nothing less. That is why I find this launch so fascinating, and will be watching the upcoming quarter’s results so closely: Jobs built Apple to be the best, and the company has succeeded by being exactly that. Does that foreclose the possibility of being really good, and the gains from market segmentation that follow?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier today:

The iPhone X’s $999 starting price will sell many millions of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus units while Apple will sell as many iPhone X units as they can assemble, box, and ship. Apple offers different iPhones, at different price points, for different buyers.

Wall Street analysts say the $999 iPhone X takes Apple’s ‘franchise to a whole new level’ – September 13, 2017
David Pogue hands-on with Apple’s iPhone X: Gorgeous plus-sized screen in a compact body – September 13, 2017
The Verge iPhone X hands-on: Feels like ‘the future of the smartphone’ – September 13, 2017
Apple charts the future of smartphones with new flagship iPhone X – September 13, 2017
Apple unveils iPhone X – September 12, 201


  1. so sick and tired of wall street narrow minded view of apple’s innovation, it’s a harsh and unfounded insult, they would only respond to anti-gravity machine with unlimited battery life. they all want their blackberrys back to match their neanderthal thinking

  2. It “has been shown” that Apple can’t segment the iPhone market? Actually, the 5C sold quite well, as does the SE. Since the 3G, last year’s model (and sometimes the year before) have been sold as lower-cost alternatives to the current flagship model. Those have outsold the premium phones from most other brands and made Apple a lot of money. The iPhone X just adds a new level to the prior segmentation.

      1. Now that it appears Cook hired the Microsoft marketing team for iPhone product management, Apple may just as likely offer an inspiring new name like iPhone Vista SE Creator Edition XI. Just as stupid as meaningless marketese like Space Gray or Blush Gold.

        1. There are at least 100M German-speaking people in Europe. That, in addition to this being the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, is a good reason why Apple skipped the “9” for iPhone naming. Pretty darn smart way to do it if you ask me!

            1. Maybe because in German ‘9’ is similar in sound to ‘no’ so ‘iPhone No’ would be the resulting meaning. “Chevy Nova” is another famous product name that was ‘bad’ for the Spanish speaking countries since it translated to “Chevy Doesn’t Move”.

            2. Actually the Nova sold very well in central America and beat expectations. the Nova “NoGo” is a well debunked myth. as there was also a chain of gas station in central America at the time that also used the brand name of Nova. to think people would confuse Nova WITH No Va is to assume that when people go to the store and see Notable(R) brand dining room set they would clearly think it would not come with a table

          1. In case you haven’t noticed, German people speak German.

            When they pronounce the figure 9, they say ‘neun”, which is pronounced more like “noyn” and significantly different from when we say “nine” in English or Germans say “nein” for no.

            The Germans certainly don’t have any issues with the number nine in products. Try doing a search for “BMW 9 series” and read about their forthcoming flagship car, scheduled for 2020. When it’s released, I’m confident that English speaking people will not be able to resist making the obvious lame jokes about the name, but it won’t cause any confusion at all with Germans.

            1. I’m not claiming they misunderstand. Just that they might find it amusing. Just as we find some Chinese names may be amusing when heard with an English ear. e.g. Long Duk Dong from “16 Candles”. Or the magician who goes by “Fu Ling Yu”.

  3. The design mistakes plaguing Apple for the past 6-years clearly show that Tim Cook is lost.

    The cutout, the Apple pencil charger, the extended battery phone bulge, the camera bump, the clueless ATV remote orientation, rearranging iPhone button so that I lower the volume when I’m out jogging, 6 generations of iPhones lacking innovation (versions 6-8), now removing critical backup functions from iTunes.

    Apple is a completely different company and not for the better.

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