X marks the 10-year spot for Apple’s world-changing phone
Apple has marked the occasion with the launch of three new iPhones, but can the flagship X live up to the hype?
It is 10 years since the launch of the first iPhone. Apple marked the occasion by launching three new iPhones: the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and the iPhone X (spoken as "ten").
The 2007 iPhone was a pet project of Steve Jobs, and delivered on his promise that it would "reinvent the phone". The funny thing is that it wasn’t the first smartphone (not by a long way), the first touch-screen device, or the first phone running apps. So how did it shake up the industry like it did?
The first iPhone — which looks tiny, chunky, and underpowered by current standards — was deceptively simple. It was intuitive, and made purchasing device-compatible apps seamless. It put a computer in the palm of your hand that looked just space-age-enough to impress, while remaining inherently usable. It totally disrupted the competition, and set the tone for a decade-long narrative that continues to pit Apple against all other manufacturers even when sales figures tell conflicting tales.
The new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are, arguably, a solid specs upgrade on the iPhone 7. But can the X — the new flagship iPhone — live up to the expectation and hype?
Well, it is pushing the envelope in welcome ways. It has no home button. Instead, the 5.8-inch screen unlocks using facial recognition (Face ID) enabled by a "TrueDepth" camera that, Apple says, will recognise your face even if you grow a beard or wear a hat. This tool is also incorporated into various content and messaging elements of the device, like the ability to turn yourself into an animated version of popular emojis.
Apple has also opted for an OLED screen in the X that it calls "Super Retina Display", with a resolution of 2436 x 1125 pixels. Inside, it’s running the fastest chip in an iPhone yet: the ambitiously named A11 Bionic has six cores and is about a third faster than the one in the iPhone 7. All three of the new devices support wireless charging. How this all works in real-life use remains to be seen as review units become available.
The iPhone X will be available for pre-order from October 27 in more than 55 countries, but it is not certain if SA will be one. US pricing for the iPhone 8 starts at $699, the 8 Plus at $799, and the X at $999.