Why did Apple release the iPhone 8/8 plus?

by Alan   Last Updated September 13, 2017 14:12 PM

All eyes were on Apple to release a redesigned iPhone this year, as the last three models: iPhone 7, 6s, and 6 all largely have the same design. Yesterday when they announced yet another iteration of this design with the iPhone 8, I couldn't help but question why. The iPhone X is clearly the future vision of the company, so why have a foot stuck in the past?

Issues the iPhone 8 models create:

Naming

Is this Windows all over again? iPhone 8 and iPhone 10. What happens next year?

Same reused design

A poor design at that. I own the 6s Plus, and the large bezels and thick frame are unwieldy compared to almost any other phone out right now. The iPhone 8 models are even thicker.

Fragmenting the whole platform

Releasing the iPhone X adds a level of fragmentation to iOS, but continuing to offer these older models makes this even worse. Some examples that developers and users have to deal with:

  • Square screen vs. Rounded screen with cutout
  • TouchID vs. FaceID
  • Home button vs. Gestures
  • 16:9 aspect ratio vs. almost 2:1

Possible answers that I question:

Cost

I understand offering an iPhone 8 model at a reduced cost is good for consumers. However, they always reduce previous models in price. Also, they could have designed a smaller iPhone X without an OLED screen, dual cameras, etc. just like the normal iPhone models.

Supply

A big rumor leading up to the announcement was the limited availability of the X model. Based on their later release date, this appears to be accurate. But again, why not design a new lower-cost model with more available parts?


There has to be some strategic vision Apple has for these phones that I'm missing.

Tags : iphone iphone-x


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