iPhone 8 “Are you insane?!?” and The Red Dot

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I have been flip flopping around the iPhone 8 for a little while and after spending some time with it, not much was needed, I came to the conclusion that 99% of people should avoid it.

While inspecting the iPhone 8 in a Three store, I got to play with only the front because it was secured to the desk. At first I thought I was playing with the iPhone 7 which was next to the 8, but I was indeed informed that I was trying the 8. Honestly, I could not tell the difference.

I waited while a lady questioned the pricing of the contracts where she was duly informed that for 4GB of data per month and all inclusive texts and voice she would need to pay £79 upfront and £55 per month for a 64GB iPhone 8.

She then asked about the iPhone 7; £49 upfront and £43 per month for the 128GB or £38 per month for the 32GB model. Her response-

“Are you insane? £17 extra per month for the same phone?”

The glass back and some very minor design changes do not hide the fact that it is effectively an iPhone 7 aesthetically. And as such it is an iPhone 6s and an iPhone 6 with changes onboard that the vast majority will either not be impressed by or even use.

The Apple focussed sites can write reviews explaining how it is faster than previous iPhones and how the camera is better than before, but ultimately it is the same phone for the majority.

We should continually remember that the overwhelming majority of the population use their phones for everyday things such as surfing the web, taking photos, a bit of organisation and communicating with others, just like power users do. The only difference is that power users understand more of what is happening behind the glass and may do things that are more akin to computer tasks than a phone.

Apple’s problem is that the iPhone 6s works perfectly well today and will do everything most people want, and arguably the iPhone 6 can as well. If both devices look practically identical to the iPhone 8 why would anyone spend such a huge amount on a contract to get what they may see as 95% the same phone?

When I need to buy a new washing machine I may take a little bit of advise from the salesperson, because I have no clue about washing machines, and will make my choice based on price and my perception of reliability and possibly the look of it. There are people, however, who are very into washing machines and who may sneer at my lack of knowledge when making a purchasing decision. These people are no different to serious phone users who seem to believe that everyone should be like them and understand everything before buying a new phone.

So, the reality is that most people will look at the iPhone 8 and will wonder what is new, and they then may not be too concerned about buying a lesser model because the savings outweigh the desire to show off the new phone. Add to this that the showing off aspect is diminished by the iPhone 8 offering none of the shallow changes that show offs need and we start to understand why sales have been lacklustre.

And of course the iPhone X ticks most of the boxes the iPhone 8 manages to miss.

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Next up was the Apple Watch series 3 which is very fast in use, identical to the series 2 apart from the red dot and, oh… that’s the problem. The red dot looks ridiculous, it really does. In the marketing shots it looks acceptable, but in the real world it is rather shiny and looks completely out of place.

It may signify to the rest of the world that you have a cellular Apple Watch, but that can never be worth the kudos when it looks the way it does. Take a look at one for yourself and let me know what you think- it’s a shocking design decision.

4 thoughts on “iPhone 8 “Are you insane?!?” and The Red Dot

  1. Agreed, on both fronts. I have a 6S, and see no reason to get the 8. The X is more interesting, but I want to see how others fare without TouchID before even thinking about it — I’m not sure I’m a fan of face-based authentication.

  2. Yes, phones have been pretty adequate for a while now, and if the durability holds up, they don’t age out like they used to.

    “The glass back and some very minor design changes do not hide the fact that it is effectively an iPhone 7 aesthetically. And as such it is an iPhone 6s and an iPhone 6 with changes onboard that the vast majority will either not be impressed by or even use.”

    Hell, half or 2/3 of everyone tosses it in a case anyway, right? And the phones are being made thin enough to do that- for the 5 and earlier it looked more like a “phone in case”, now it’s more like just a larger phone.

    I’m still aware of how they manipulate memory and pricing tiers to nudge people up, though.

  3. I suspect lots of people will upgrade on the two-year plan. It’s two years since I got my last phone and it won’t cost me much more. Do most people realize that they’re paying off the phone over time?

    I have a 6S and I won’t be upgrading. I’ve seen nothing that’s compelling.

    1. I’m on the fence about getting a new one. In retrospect the SE form factor was a good experiment with a slightly negative result. (I notice how tiny it seems as i try to pull up some sheet music for quick reference during a gig…)

      The only incremental improvement that matters for me is the camera – but good photography is more an effort of attention than the camera.

      Here in the USA, there’s been a deliberate shift away from 2-year-subsidized phones. Interesting both Apple and Samsung have stepped in with programs that use rather similar “you don’t notice the cost when it’s spread month by month” plans.

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