The expectations around Apple’s upcoming September 12th event are curious. On one side of the coin Apple is set to double down on the technology packed into last year’s iPhone X handset, with an update to the base mode, a phablet-sized version to increase audience appeal, and a lower-priced model to replace the four year old iPhone 6 design. The other side looks at Apple’s approach of incrementally updating the line up as a way to keep the faithful engaged as it struggles to match up with the rush of innovation seen in Android while taking no risks that may disrupt the sales of the Golden Goose.
The faithful are going to get very excited with the new handsets. Every increased specification, every larger screen, every extra gigabyte of storage will see a cheer that tries to raise the roof of the Steve Jobs Center – as if any of the news will be genuine new to those paying attention.
But annual iPhone sales continue to stay locked into the 200 to 210 million handsets per year window. Apple is not reaching out to new markets with significant success. Can this year change that script? Even if that is possible, would Tim Cook gamble the guaranteed handset sales in his hand for the potential of ‘super cycle’ of iPhones?
Last year’s choice of ‘iPhone X’ as the title of the tenth-anniversary smartphone harkened back to successful products such as OS-X, but also led many to question what would happen with the next handset family. Would it be iPhone 11? iPhone Xi? iPhone X2?
Expect 3 super-big iPhones with no home button
So what will these phones in question be? The company is likely to announce three, as reported by The Verge: First, the iPhone XS, which will be basically the same (5.8-inch) flagship phone as last year, but with some internal upgrades. Second, a supersize (6.5-inch) version of the iPhone XS with a name TBD (popular guesses are “Max” and “Plus”). Finally, a slightly less expensive version of the XS that might be called the XC. That one will have a less fancy screen (LCD instead of OLED, but still huge at 6.1 inches). The first two are rumored to be stainless steel (with a gold option!), and the XC is rumored to come in some fun and funky colors without the stainless steel.
Again, none will have a home button.
This iPhone X is weird af idk how to close my apps and there ain’t no home button
— Jesse Olivas (@jesseolivass) September 8, 2018
So I’m due for an upgrade and I’m trying to decide over an 8 plus or the X. Idk if I have the mental capability to function an iPhone without a home button. Also don’t know if my tiny hands can handle a plus
— Landerova (@kirious_kiri) September 10, 2018
So Apple is not releasing a new iPhone with a home button. Looks like I am keeping my 7 forever.
— Adam (@codexavellum) September 6, 2018
Removing the home button makes sense if you’re designing a phone that has to be more impressive than the phone before it; it’s a way of making the iPhone’s already enormous screens even larger, and of forcing people to use the swipe-gesture navigation introduced with the iPhone X last year. It does not make sense if you are just a person who needs a phone for standard personal and professional reasons. The home button is a button we’ve been using for 10 years, and it works. There’s nothing wrong with it.
The answer appears to be the old trick of adding an ’S’ to the handset. Starting as far back as the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3G, denoting updated internals, but not updating the design. Following that the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S continued the tradition, then the 5 and the 5S, the 6 and the 6S. By retaining the design of the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 broke that chain.
The biggest update should be to the Apple Watch. The fourth version of the smartwatch is arguably Apple’s biggest success story of the last few years and one of the few areas that Tim Cook can legitimately claim as his own. The wearable is not standalone and requires connection to an iOS device (helping keep that average revenue per user high) and has evolved into a more fitness focused product and remote control.
News Source: Forbes