It’s around the time of the year when companies start rolling out their newest and smartest devices. On September 12, Apple announced their latest iPhones: the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and the iPhone Xr. While the iPhone may be the most popular smartphone on the market, many customers are unhappy with the choices Apple has made recently. In 2016, with the iPhone 7, Apple decided to remove the headphone jack to the dismay of many. Since then, companies ranging from the likes of Motorola to Google have also removed this ‘essential’ component from devices. With the recent announcement of their three phones, many begin to question whether Apple is heading in the wrong direction.
Right now, Apple is a mixed bag when it comes to where they want to go next. The recently-announced iPhone Xs and Xs Max are the successors to the iPhone X, which Apple released last year. For the most part, the Xs and Xs Max are just slightly improved versions of the X, a trend that Apple has fallen into recently. Without going through specific specs, the Xs is the same size as the X while also boasting similar cameras and a minor upgrade to a sub-par battery. The Xs Max is the same as the Xs, just ‘plus size’ as the name suggests. These token upgrades to the phones have led many to forgo purchasing a new iPhone this time around. For $999 (Xs) and $1099 (Xs Max), customers expect something intuitive—not the same device from last year. Apple did something similar with the iPhone 8, a “new” phone that was, in essence, a minor upgrade to the previous iteration, the 7. Now they are repeating the same trend with the Xs and Xs Max.
Apple, in my opinion, has not released anything groundbreaking for a while and instead, has taken a step back. In recent memory, Apple elected to remove the headphone jack and added a notch to its display, nothing ultimately worth charging $1,000 for. That price is absurd for a phone and like the headphone jack phenomena, other companies are sadly following suit. Samsung recently released the Note 9, a small update over the Note 8, for $999 to compete with the iPhone X. We may soon be heading to an age where our phones cost us over $1,000, and it will all be Apple’s fault.
However, the last of Apple’s new phones might be its saving grace. The iPhone Xr is the successor to the iPhone 8, and a good one at that. The iPhone Xr is a slightly downgraded iPhone X, sporting one camera as opposed to two and a lower-quality screen. But compared to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, these are big improvements.
Apple seemed to know that most of their customers wouldn’t opt to buy a $1,000 phone, and decided to finally take the next step with their “budget” phone and make significant changes to it. The iPhone 8 seems to be the last of the traditional iPhone template, with the Xr giving the company the fresh blood it needed. Considering that the Xr offers more for $50 less than the S8 Plus, Apple may have found itself a winner. Other companies should follow suit, and improve their phones substantially instead of making minor tweaks. When the iPhone Xr releases a month after the Xs and Xs Max, it’ll be a step in the right direction for Apple.
It’s safe to say that Apple has found itself going in two different directions. On a positive note, Apple has made drastic improvements to a phone that is an ideal price for most of their customers. On the other hand, charging $999+ for two of their new models may be signaling a change for the worse. It will take time to see which direction Apple chooses to go. Will Apple keep making improvements to their market-friendly phones, or will they continue to make questionable choices?