Apple’s bizarre iPhone X launch

“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


  1. Apple is much smarter than you think, tech reviewers have devolved into purveyors of half baked personal bias clickbait blogs, so Apple decides to put iphone x into hands of actual users and pundits rage and accuse.

    Good for you apple marketing.

    1. Then why did Apple bother to give it to “tech reviewers” 20-ish hours early? If Apple actually thinks as you describe, why not make the usual reviewers wait until Friday with the rest of us? More likely, it’s another bad idea from the post-Steve Jobs Apple.

      (Brought to you by Carl’s Jr.)

        1. Seems to me it’s about time companies got away from feeding the usual lazy peddlers of BS, after all many of them have it written before they lay hands on the product anyway or even despite having product in their hands depending upon what needs to be said to best pay their wage or earn money for their publication to help oil their careers. At least it’s honest now so that they don’t have to make out thier opinion is actually based on a week’s use. Meanwhile a whole range of people less infuenced by bias and prejudices get an opportunity to voice opinions, or at least so many do do that a truer reflection of its abilities filters through by drowning out the overt liars at either end of the spectrum.

    2. I lose more respect for the now gazillion reviewers of new gadgets who are all competing to say something attention-grabbing that will garner some clicks with each new gadget.

      E.g., I’m sure the LG V30 has either the worst or best screen of any 2017 phone, or maybe it’s just middling…. …so yeah, one of those….

      They also don’t spend enough time – focus on their own little views of what makes a good geegaw – and most of the reviews are of pre-production units which mostly never get updated.

  2. The “pro’s” have been obsessing about cell phone minutiae for the last few years so I think Apple was more interested in getting it into the hands of users. It’s driven me crazy the importance they ascribe to a “form factor” change when EVERYONE just ends up with a big piece of black glass on the front. Does anyone really care what covers the back? That’s but one example btw.

    1. Thats like saying cars design is irrelevant.. everyone ends up in sit with a steering wheel in their front..
      Kind of a very crude approach no!

      Those who care about design care about ever Aspect of it including the back! Which is gorgouse by the way.

      Utilitarian minds of course could not care less..

      But that is not Apple .. Apple is about design and function!

  3. I for one am LOVING the tech tubers reviews. I have grown to hate all the so called “Tech Reviewers” now as all they tend to do is whinge and complain about things that don’t matter. It’s refreshing to see real people’s hands on experience. For example that guy that took it to disneyland

    1. “that guy” (Matthew Panzarino) has been doing that for a few years, and he’s been reviewing tech for a lot longer than that. The one example you gave as “refreshing” is one of the very few actual tech reviewers who got extended early access.

      1. Do you need a special degree to be an “actual tech reviewer”? Time for new blood, enough of the geezers sucking up all the air in the room, critiquing products aimed at people 30 years their junior. To be fair the trad-revs would probably focus on the fact that virtually all apps, Apple’s included, aren’t yet optimized for the new screen size/notch/gestures so it will take months before a stable, satisfying user experience is reached. Obviously Apple doesn’t want people to be discouraged by this and prefers that they buy now rather than wait.

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