Apple's confusing new iPhone lineup


Continuing the discussion from Australian iPhone XS/XS Max/XR Pricing:

I think the most interesting thing about this year’s iPhones is that as an iPhone X owner, there’s very little narrative from Apple that tells me why I should be upgrading.

I get that we’re in an S-year, but Apple messed up their cadence a little by releasing the iPhone X just a year after they released the iPhone 7. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great move that undoubtedly contributed to their ongoing financial success, but now everyone that bought a new iPhone two years in a row (7, then X the year after) has very little incentive to upgrade, myself included.

I already have (slower) Face ID and an edge-to-edge, top-notch screen (albeit with less dynamic range). I doubt I’ll notice the minute neural-engine powered differences of the camera, although maybe I’ll miss being able to adjust depth of field after the fact. I’ll get all the benefits of iOS 12, just like everyone else. So why should I buy an iPhone XS?

S-revisions have typically had some drawcard, but it seems that this year’s XS has the fewest of any. Long gone are the days when the S stood for speed (and even then, the 3GS had video recording where the 3G didn’t), for Siri (as in the 4S), for speed and Touch ID (as in the 5S), or whatever features the 6S had that the 6 didn’t.

I find it nothing short of curious that Apple’s marketing of the XS focuses on how it has the biggest screens ever. Yes, it’s a bigger and better screen than last year. Yes, it’s a little more resistant to water and dust, and I absolutely agree that if you’re on an iPhone 7 or older, any of this year’s iPhones are an incredible upgrade, just like how the iPhone X was an incredible upgrade last year from any device because of how different it was. Apple previewed and released the future of the iPhone in 2017, and now that we’re in the future, what now?

Anyone have any ideas? Maybe we can chalk it up to being “just an S-year”, and I shouldn’t think about this too hard.

They are kinda expensive, after all.


How much more can we really expect?

I know that a product’s life cycle is decided well before it is released, but the iPhone came out 10+ years ago - I’m sure that even Steve couldn’t have dreamt up all the additions that we’ve seen added to this device in recent years.

The problem of course is that now the rest of the tech world has caught up - or indeed surpassed Apple with their own smart phones - the level of innovation both is critical, but also harder and harder to dazzle.

If they play all their cards year in year out, their hand will be spent, and sales will dramatically fall as customers realise they didn’t really want to pay $xxx for some rather pointless bling that was absent from their previous model.


Speaking as a former 6+ and 6S+ owner…

what the 6S+ had that the 6+ did not was the ability not to bend like a flimsy piece of cardboard :frowning:

I think this year the focus is not intended to be on the flagship models but rather on the mass market Xr models.

It’s not about ‘wonderful new features at the flagship end of the range’ but ‘bringing wonderful features to mid range phones’ (well mid range for Apple).

If they can increase volume of sales (with the Xr) then there will be yet another year of increased profits (and because the technology in the Xr is already paid for and developed mostly from last years X phone the high profit margin can be maintained).

I suspect that next release will see either a Full HD Xr and the one after that will be an OLED Xr and the Xs and Xs Max will just get incremental improvements (like we see in the macbook and macbook pro between major shape changed).

My guess is Apple are moving to a 3 year major upgrade cycle…


When I first saw the new range, I read one model as XMas - but christmas gift, or not, there was no SE upgrade path :frowning:


Confusing iPhone Line Up?

Optus… the iPhone 8 is $5 cheaper per month than the iPhone 7… That’s confusing. (Presumably relates to stock levels… but still rather confusing.) (Ok and 64GB 8, vs 128GB 7)


For someone still on an (ancient!) iPhone 8, how do apps with Touch ID enabled work with Face ID? I assume the developer needs to program for both, so banking apps etc may require PIN input if they support Touch ID but not Face ID?

I’m thinking of getting a Gold XS but I have to wait until November.


From what I understand this is all about the secure enclave. The app says ‘provide security clearance’ and the FaceID or TouchID just come back YES/NO so the app doesn’t need to be aware of how it all works, just that it passed that check.

I’ve seen my Wifes banking just work with FACEID from across the room, it’s pretty magic.


I went from an X to an XS Max - I did miss the larger screen of the Plus models, and so that was a great reason to upgrade for me. Loving it so far.


Related to this thread, kind of…

One day - Apple’s selling iPhone X, SE, 6S… Next day - ceases to sell them.

I imagine they were planning ahead to some degree at a production level to avoid an over-abundance of phones, but surely the fact they were selling them up until - they weren’t - they have excess stock.

Will that just be siphoned overseas, or via the App Store as refurb / parts?

Is that a bit odd? One thing to discontinue a product, but another to actually not sell stock on hand?




Maybe they get dumped into the retail channels for the telcos to flog them off, or as you say, used for replacements on warranty work.


If you go to the Compare page, put an SE into the mix and go to where the Buy button was, it says “Available at authorised resellers”.