Last week, Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, much to absolutely nobody’s surprise. The new smartphone is made of “the most durable glass ever”, is water-and-dust resistant, and boasts a state-of-the-art Retina display and a 12MP camera. It has the “most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone” and a battery that you charge completely wirelessly. Apple CEO Tim Cook portrayed this new phone as a revolutionary, never-before-seen-or-even-thought-of at Apple’s unveiling on September 12. The masses were effectively blown away and already scrambling for their credit cars, when Cook threw a curveball: the iPhone X, named for the ten-year anniversary of the first iPhone.
That’s right. They skipped the iPhone 9 for the aesthetic.
The iPhone X (and don’t you dare call it the iPhone 10 because you’ll probably be arrested by Apple’s secret police) is even better and cooler than the iPhone 8. It offers facial identification (a feature already on various Windows devices), edge-to-edge Retina display, a 1,000,000 to one contrast ratio, and no need for a home button.
So what’s the point of even bothering with the iPhone 8 when the iPhone X is obviously so much better? The obvious answer would be the price: The X is $1319, while the iPhone 8 is only $929. However, Apple is more strategic in their business plans.
As far as anyone’s concerned, Apple has had every user in the palm of their hand since the first iMac. With almost yearly new arrivals, the excitement of buying a new i-whatever never fades and Apple capitalizes on this addiction of the populace by releasing multiple devices per year, each flashier and sleeker than the last. Their innovation is of the smallest, most insignificant type (the cameras only get marginally better and really, what’s the point of not having an audio port?) yet consumers still scramble to get the newest thing. They wait in lines as long as the Empire State Building and fork out thousands of dollars just to say, “Yeah, I have the newest Apple device.” Why shouldn’t Apple release two new iPhones at the same time?
The thing is, they aren’t. They only unveiled the iPhones at the same time, but while the 8 comes at the end of the month and is already available for pre-order, the X won’t be available to purchase until November. A short gap, certainly, but more than enough time for people to shiver in anticipation for the newest iPhone, keeping warm with the heat of their brand-new iPhone 8s. At this point, people will settle for the slightly less-interesting 8, yet drain their bank accounts once more when the X comes around and the reviews start pouring in. The chances of people buying the two latest phones within six months of each other are incredibly high, and Apple knows this. They know the weight they have in modern society, and Cook certainly knows how to use it to his advantage.
Those who wait for the X to trade in their old phones will consider those who bought the 8’s idiots, and those who wait for the X release to buy their assuredly cheaper 8’s will point their fingers and snicker at those with the $1000-plus X. However, this superiority complex is completely unfounded. In a way, we’re all fools for believing that Apple – and any other smartphone company, to be perfectly honest – truly credits themselves as innovators. They’re business people, first and foremost, and are more than capable of convincing the innocent masses that we’re in a new age of progressive technology. The truth is that we’re more than eager to contribute the most expensive fashion trend the world has ever seen. Steve Jobs would be proud.