Very interesting that Apple included this as someone who took advantage of a $29 battery replacement for my 6S just last month. The chain of decisions that took place for this to happen should be a lesson for more companies.
I imagine it went something like this:
- Feedback that iPhones were shutting down unexpectedly due to degraded and/or defective batteries.
- Instead of shouldering the battery replacement immediately, the product team decides to change the performance envelope of the phone.
- The root issue is not addressed.
- Betterygate™ inevitably happens.
- Apple heavily subsidizes battery replacements for everyone
- Some people decide that they'll stick with their phone a bit longer than they otherwise would have, reducing iPhone sales.
- Apple misses their earnings target, likely costing them more in value than it would have cost them to address the root issue in the first place.
Of course there are other factors addressed in the letter, but this issue was notable enough to be included.
>- Apple heavily subsidizes battery replacements for everyone
> - Some people decide that they'll stick with their phone a bit longer than they otherwise would have, reducing iPhone sales.
> - Apple misses their earnings target
This is a gross misrepresentation of the report which clearly states "Greater China and other emerging markets accounted for the vast majority of the year-over-year iPhone revenue decline."
Battery replacements may have been notable, but it is incorrect to imply that they were the dominant factor.
OP is attempting to place causation on the battery problem for the earnings miss or the valuation loss.
That is not supported by the evidence, which clearly shows that the primary cause had nothing to do with the Western market at all.
It's fair criticism, OP is discussing 5% of the problem and presenting it as if it's 100%.
OP not implying causation, they're calling something interesting out.
> "It went something like this:"
>- Some people decide that they'll stick with their phone a bit ?longer than they otherwise would have, reducing iPhone sales.
>- Apple misses their earnings target, likely costing them more in value than it would have cost them to address the root issue in the first place.
It's an extremely clear post they made, IMO
There's is a causative link, which is why Apple included it in this report. How is it possible to miss that connection?
Now that we all can agree swish_bob is wrong, the problem remains that OP misrepresented the primacy of the factors stated in the report.
No he didn't, stop making stuff up. Apple would not have bothered to mention the battery issue if it didn't have a material impact on their business.
> - Apple misses their earnings target, likely costing them more in value than it would have cost them to address the root issue in the first place.
There's an implicit "because of this" between the two bullet points.
Again, it's painting a problem that is 5% of the issue as if it's 100%.
China was the vast majority of this decline, as the earnings reports show.
I have no earthly idea why people are ignoring this fact so badly.
Not about this being the most significant factor. You've decided to infer that from the list - most of us didn't because he _explicitly_ says so in his last sentence. They also had influence over this particular issue, unlike the macroeconomics of China.
It absolutely is suggested, if not implicitly then by omission.
> They also had influence over this particular issue, unlike the macroeconomics of China.
Right, but the more it's discussed, the more it feels like people don't want to talk about the slowing economy in China.
I don't get that in the least little bit from what he wrote. Nothing in his post even references the earnings drop.
“- Some people decide that they'll stick with their phone a bit longer...
- Apple misses their earnings target”
No it doesn't, only that it was "notable enough".
The last line is a dodge because, obviously, China's economy is actually the main culprit stated in the report. But I guess some people are going to hear what they want to hear.
I have an iPhone 6s and my wife had a 6 and needed a new phone. We bought a new Xr but it was a small fortune, even though we're both working in IT and having good income. The phone is a brick and I saw lots of slicker Android phones costing half the price and providing a very similar if not better experience.
My next phone is very unlikely to be an iPhone.
Like what you're doing with these replies and your focus on something the OP didn't say?
I think he forgets to mention lack of innovation. It was the first year that I wasn't surprised from the new iPhone at all and none of my friends did. At this point I don't see much difference in having an X model vs XS.
You'll tell me that they had S models in the past and worked fine for them, sure... its not the same market anymore. There are very strong competitors using android which has also evolved and its doing really well as an OS vs what it was in the past at way cheaper prices.
At the price tag those iPhones are coming at plus the lack of innovation, I only see a constant drop in sales.
Personally I upgraded from an iPhone 7 to XS Max, my wife has an iPhone X and I don't see any difference between them, only the size. That plus the fact that I got my hands on some new android phones and got to use them made me think that I might change to android when my next upgrade is due. The apple ecosystem seems to be okish but I can't really say that it will keep me from changing.
And truth be told there are quite a few solutions out there for them to become innovative again like the new ipad pro... have it use OS instead of iOS, that will definitely make people switch over to that and what comes with its ecosystem e.g pairing your mobile phone etc. Also airpods 2, just make some airpods with water resistance etc maybe improve connectivity a bit. Its not like we are requesting crazy innovation here, just simple solutions that will make us stick with the apple ecosystem.
Disclaimer: I was an avid windows user and android phone user up till iphone 5s came out, I switched to 5s and the difference on iOS quality vs Android was massive. Due to work I also started working with a mac and so I joined the ecosystem and I can't say am very displeased apart from the price tag, but seeing how Android has progressed over the years and how stock Android can be even superior to iOS has made me thinking of changing back.
Which competitors are innovating better than Apple?
With AirPods, they mentioned yesterday that they were supply constrained throughout the holiday quarter. I'm not sure innovation on that product is an issue here if they can't keep the current version stocked enough to meet demand anyways.
It would seem that this issue is far broader than simply Apple's strategy alone.
I can’t imagine Apple headquarters wanting to ignore a 100 million rich people market, but obviously it’s not worth the trade off of having to become business partners with someone they don’t want to be partners with.
What phone you've got matters little as a result. So Apple doesn't enjoy its usual iOS-stickiness factor.
They are absolutely typical Chinese consumers in this regard. As soon as iPhone because hard to distinguish from other phones they switched away. As soon as iPhones became clearly distinguishable again they switched back. This is not just an observation, they say this is why they did it.
I think there are actually three factors hitting Apple in China this year. One is that a disproportionate number of purchasers got the X when it came out because it was so distinctive bringing forward purchases from this year, then there are a lot of Android phones now that look like the X models and the new X models don't look enough different from the original X to look new, finally the economy in China is pretty soft right now and people there are worried about the future.
The root issue is that batteries degrade over time, for everyone, not just apple. iPhone’s did a good job hiding that away by degrading performance along with it.
The same thing still happens with new phones, but now apple just tells you when it happens. My X crashed in the cold and it said something like “your battery couldn’t provide peak power and your phone is now in degraded performance mode. Disable this setting in the settings app.”
I don't see this as any different than the thousands of other OS management decisions like how to manage memory of new tabs or apps when you have a dozen open. What if you want to keep the memory/bandwidth etc... going for one app and not the others? Where's the consent there? Same idea IMO
Put this way - if your car suddenly refused to go above 30mph when previously you'd happilly race along the highway at 70mph, you'd wonder what the hell was wrong, and not think "Oh well, my car manufacturer is just trying to extend the life of my vehicle, it's fine."
You just disproved your own point. This throttling was only implemented shortly before it got noticed and Apple announced it’s existence, like a couple of months at most. Apparently it wasn’t ‘very noticable’ and the perceived slowdowns were all in your head because for all those years you claim this was going on, it wasn’t.
modern cars retune their engines on the fly based on engine temperature, fuel quality, local air pressure, and other factors. this is to extend the life of the engine in general and to prevent catastrophic failure from knocking.
if you use your car as an appliance (the way most people use phones/computers), you will barely notice the fact that your car's performance is constantly varying other than a bit of sluggishness on a cold morning. to an enthusiast, it's almost impossible not to notice what the car is doing.
most apple customers just want their phone to not crash. if you offer them a performance/stability tradeoff they won't know what to pick anyway.
With a car the obvious answer is: get the thing checked immidiately. He did, and he still had to drive around like this for 2 weeks till a replacement part arrived.
The analogy is not quite right though. It’s more like they are forcibly reducing max speed to prevent a high speed stall.
Your user experience will always degrade with battery age. This is an unavoidable consequence of using a rechargeable battery. It is physically impossible to run a Li-ion battery through hundreds of charge cycles and have it work just as well as it did the day it was new.
Without power management, the phone would turn off sooner, in some cases a lot sooner. That is also a bad user experience, especially if you need the phone to make an emergency call. This is one example of why using software code to prolong phone availability creates a better user experience, even if comes at the expense of peak performance.
But to draw an analogy: that's kind of like saying death is inevitable, so there's nothing we can do about infant mortality. It's absurd to suggest that some kind of physical inevitability caused the symptoms actually observed to any significant extent whatsoever.
Battery aging does not need to lead to any user experience degradation within the first few years at least, because you can overprovision a battery, and because such overprovisioning actually not only provides some runway, but also reduces even the relative rate of battery decay.
Not to mention there are a bunch of other things a manufacturer does that influence battery lifespan. Which design aspects are at fault here? Apple surely knows by now, but they're not saying.
But even if you do choose to allow slow degradation - entirely reasonable! - the rate of decay is largely a matter of choice for the manufacturer. You can sell em to last for at least a decade if not more, or you can push em to the limits and have em degrade in months. Sure, that might cost a few extra grams and cost a few percentage points of the maximum initial charge - but nothing a user would likely notice, let alone mind.
Apple simply sold near dumpster-level quality li-on battery integrations - whether by accident, or to save money, or to limit device lifespan - we can't really know.
Which comes at a cost, in dollars, size and weight. Which is why it's probable no phone manufacturers actually do this.
Basically: you can throttle after the battery is damaged or before. And if you throttle beforehand, you need to throttle a lot less.
Finally, you imply this is costly - but don't forget that apple's phones are amongst the most costly out there, and similar sized batteries are found in devices a small fraction of the cost. Clearly the bill of materials for the battery isn't a going to be a big deal for apple, compare to those competitors, which also happened to ship higher quality batteries.
The significance of this will vary, largely based upon the range of the car. Think about how many cycles the battery takes after 100,000 miles on a car with a 100 mile range vs one with a 300 mile range, for example.
In addition, car batteries have:
a) vastly better charge controllers than the cheap crap that's put in phones
b) better quality cells to start with, or at the very least higher QA standards
c) BETTER CHARGERS. Cheap cellphone chargers can kill the battery with their unclean power, especially when linked with cheap charge controllers in the phone.
d) better thermal management with cooling and (iirc) heating, compared with a cellphone battery that has to endure anything between double-degree negative temps in winter to +40 °C when it gets held by the user or the CPU gets active.
As you state it is an issue of consent to this throttling, if it was communicated effectively this wouldn’t have been a ‘Gate’.
A good way described in a podcast (think it was Rene Ritchie on the talk show) would be to let the phone crash then pop up a message with an explanation of what’s happened, that the phone is now dialled down to prevent future crashes, you can turn it off in settings etc..
a) replace the battery.
b) opt-in to degraded performance.
c) upgrade my device.
Rather than (in effect) tricking me into an upgrade before it was really needed.
Also, if you have that functionality, why crash and then display a message. Write: Crash prevented, but clocked down.
Look what a Raspberry PI does: It flashes an icon if the power supply is not keeping up.
What a copout. There is no good reason. Your phone already does a 1000 things that you don't know about. Do you also want access to how many cores are used, which ones, what speed they are running at, which frequency your phone is using, how the GPS is getting its location, etc...
Batteries do not all degrade alike; not even close. There are huge differences in the rate of decay, and those are significantly impacted by the way the battery is used in the device (particularly maximum charging level, temperature, discharging level, power draw, charging rate) and the quality of the battery.
Apple did NOT do a good job of degrading performance along with it; because if they had, they could have degraded performance before the battery became damaged. As a ballpark, I'd expect a life extension for the iphones in question by at least a factor 10 would be technically fairly simple and affordable; i.e. this isn't peanuts that apple left on the table here. A 10 year life expectancy is totally doable.
So a battery as old as the decaying iPhone batteries need not have decayed significantly, as should be obvious considering that not all phones (let alone other Li-On battery devices!) degrade to this extent. The fact that iPhones did decay like this is almost entirely due to choices that Apple made (even if they made those choices without considering the consequences). Apple is pretty competent, so I'm a little skeptical they didn't know they were pushing the edge of what's reasonable, but sure, maybe it was incompetence rather than intentional penny-pinching or planned obsolescence.
User choices can matter too, but given how locked down these devices are and how managed the environment and how technically nuanced the necessary user actions are to have an ameliorating effect it's unreasonable to assume users had any practical ability to avoid this outcome.
It's much harder for users to do this reliably than for the battery controller. Damage is maximized when all factors align; that's e.g. why controllers automatically turn of quick charge for the last few percent; similarly you can get away with violating a few rules without too much damage as long as you don't violate them all.
Finally, 0% and 100% charge are nebulous floating concepts. What you're really guessing at are the voltage levels in the cells - but again as a user it's kind of hard to guess those in a simplified UI. Is 95% worse than 5%? Typically high charge is worse but... who knows, without knowing what the controller actually interprets as those percentages.
I've never looked, but I'd be willing to bet you can find software to do most all of this automatically on a rooted android; to what degree you can automate care on other platforms - I'm not sure.
But again, the whole situation is mildly idiotic: all of these things the battery controller/OS can do too, and probably better that any user. There shouldn't be a need for much user handholding. The only thing the OS really can't do is choose for you when you're willing to accept a small amount of damage for a temporary dash of extra charge or quicker charging; a feature that by default kept your battery in "care mode", with a temporary toggle to charge more quickly or to a higher level.
A quick google find stuff like https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_l... and research articles such as https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/binary/pdf/corporate/tec... and http://publications.lib.chalmers.se/records/fulltext/249356/... and https://res.mdpi.com/batteries/batteries-02-00013/article_de... - and I'm sure there are hundreds more. It's not too hard to find info on Li-ion battery degradation, but it's a little much to expect even expert users to actually do much about it (IMHO).
Apple is good about doing things so the user doesn’t have to think about it. The media just ran with that shit and made it out to be way worse than it was.
Look they could have been more transparent about it and gave the user a heads up but I see it as a super reasonable response. I think people would rather have a phone that's slower than one that crashes at 29% battery.
This was a design flaw. Before the throttling update, there were ~1 year old iPhones that would reboot anytime you took a photo or opened a large app if the battery was below 90% charged.
Now I get why Apple did it, a recall would have been far more expensive, but nobody should be surprised by the media shitstorm and lawsuits that followed.
(A) Apple's terrible because they should have released the device with a "better" battery. One that's not "defective". One that could allow the CPU to run at full-throttle all the time for the usable life of the device. They slowed the device secretly to match the capabilities of the battery because they're trying to cover up a manufacturing defect, and they dont want to foot the bill for repairing everyone's phones.
(B) Apple was trying to get the most performance possible out of the physical capabilities of the battery. Unfortunately, it turned out that as the battery aged, due to physical changes, the battery couldn't keep up with the demands of the CPU running as fast as they thought it could over time. To prevent devices from shutting down and forcing users to replace the battery/phone earlier, they scaled CPU performance with battery age and therefore capabilities. Because batteries are consumable and their performance characteristics change over time. This means that the phone always give you just as much performance as physically possible at any given age.
IMO (B) is way, way more likely than (A).
If this was normal behavior, we would see similar throttling on previous iPhones, Android's and laptops.
I'm fairly confident that what apple did was the most logical thing. They should have been more informative about it, but it's better than a phone dying at 20%.
This is a limitation of Li-Ion battery technology. It has nothing to do with OS or phone manufacturering like you keep trying to imply.
This isn’t really up for debate.
What is up for debate is how a manufacturer should handle this limitation and communicate it to customers.
Your expectation is entirely unrealistic and emotional. This has nothing to do with the size of the battery.
I guess the take away here is that for the X13, they should just clock it way down from the start and just maximise battery life. Which is not a bad idea.
I want them to say (as you do mention) 'hey, your device has been slowed down because your battery is old. Get it replaced to restore full performance'.
I'd absolutely rather have a slow phone than one that arbitrarily dies at 29%, if and only if I'm given this heads up. At least with one that crashes at 29% battery, I might suspect the battery is dying and get it replaced. The average user has no reason to think that an old battery will slow their phone down, and just ends up with a super-frustrating user experience.
There's a fine line between that approach and the approach of actively disregarding the user's need to control their own device. Apple too often falls on the latter side of the line, and "Batterygate" was a prime example. I certainly appreciate it when I don't have to think about something, but when I eventually do have to think about it, I need to be able to do something about it.
I do give them some credit for fixing the issue by making the phone work the way it should have all along.
I'd have preferred to prevent the CPU throttle by replacing battery within the phone warranty period than having to know it(cpu throttling) afterwards, when my phone was already out of warranty.
Apple sacrificed battery capacity for size and weight. They built several generations of phone that had just barely enough capacity for a full day of use and could just barely deliver enough current for peak performance. Unlike their Android rivals, they failed to over-provision the battery to account for degradation over time.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 had a 3300mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy S8 had a 3000mAh battery. The Huawei Mate 9 had a 4000mAh battery. The iPhone 8 has an 1800mAh battery. See the problem?
First of all, battery degradation is a design parameter. You can easily verify from apple own pages that iPads are rated for twice the charging cycles of iPhones. Apple intentionally included a low rated battery to limit the product life.
> iPhone’s did a good job hiding that away by degrading performance along with it.
Apple did an awful job, lets not forget the phone where crashing before apple introduced massive throttling killing the device performances. Neither of which sounds like a "good job".
Here's what a good job would have looked like (since apple sells top of the line devices at peak pricing): from the processor minimum voltage and battery degradation metrics figure out a voltage margin that would satisfy the processor constraints after one or even better two years of degradation.
Or, second best, start of with a throttled processor to begin with, but that would have ruined marketing precious "x times faster than previous generation", so they decided to do the shady thing: selling something as fast and killing it's performance six month after purchase.
And of all this what amuse me most is people defending it.
The iPhone 6 became practically unusable due to throttling. They were not hiding the issue effectively. But they didn't tell people that the issue was the battery. Affected users complained on forums, and tried all kinds of things like factory resets and uninstalling certain apps but couldn't find out why there phone was unusably slow. And Apple support didn't help either. They just suggested to install the latest update.
Only after Batterygate became public did people find out that they needed to swap the battery to fix their phone. I bet a lot of people threw away their phones becUse they didn't know. (why bother replacing the battery when your phone has become unusably slow?)
I absolutely agree, Apple should have alerted the user when the throttling was enabled (and given the user a choice) from the day this feature was implemented.
However, I actually prefer my phone being slower and usable rather than fast but randomly shutting down. But somehow this does not seem the general consensus?
Temperature also effects the performance of the battery so if you're out in the snow it could handle less than being indoors in the heat.
That's why the CPU throttling worked. It kept the CPU from pulling too much power in one instant, and then the battery lasted fine all they way down to 1%
Similar story on the Mac side.
Current phone lineup (not just Apple) sucks IMO. An untouched SE with latest radio and faster CPU would be worth the upgrade for me.
(Owner of a huge phone, but not as primary computer)
I’m a huge fan of the Xs Max. The near-bezelless display gives you maximum screen size in a relatively slim form factor. Watching videos on this thing is just amazing tbh.
iPhone and Android sales numbers have proven time and again that the vast majority of people want a larger screen. Your best bet is probably the compact Sony Xperia Z series.
Maybe 4" is just too small for most, even for one-handed use?
> gigantic ass-phones.
I'd imagine if they reduced the bezels on the size of the 6 product line, you'd really find the best of both worlds. Both small in the hand, but also enough space to get more screen real estate out of your applications.
I’d be surprised if an iPhone 4 based on new power-sipping technology wasn’t within a few percent of the web browsing/movie watching time of the iPhone 8 or similar.
An iPhone XS phone doesn't even fit into most women's pockets. It'll be funny if pockets get bigger to accommodate phones.
Even if they nailed the form factor, how many people are really willing to switch? You see some people swearing off a brand (on the internet, anyway) when something egregious happens but there's definitely inertia that keeps most people firmly in one ecosystem or the other.
It's sad I will have to move back to Android within a year (I can neither buy big iPhones nor spend those amounts the way the new ones are priced). I wish there were fully functional privacy focussed ROMs that was shipped by Android OEMs.
I'm sure everyone on this discussion board knows why this will never be the case, unfortunately.
With that said, are there any regularly-updated aftermarket ROMs that are privacy-focused? I've had a rough look at LineageOS - a continuation of CyanogenMod - and it seems to mostly fit the bill.
I'm aware of CopperheadOS, but they had a "touch" of infighting about half a year ago and mostly dissolved.
I too am moving away from Apple products, for the same reason. They are reaching expense levels (especially in my country) that I simply can't justify when I can get a HP or Lenovo business-grade laptop with drastically better hardware specifications and install simply OpenSUSE on it. Without going all-in on the Apple ecosystem to fully reap the rewards, it's simply not worth it for me to use any of them.
Does Apple report enough data for us to attempt to make correlations between average height (as a proxy for hand size) per country and purchasing decisions?
—more attractive screen
—much better camera, which is not a big thing for me, but always nice to have
—size in pocket is fine, but the size is annoying for on-screen reachability
—FaceID is better than TouchID in two particular ways: in-app authentications and unlocking the phone with wet fingers (which is common because of my work)
—the swipe down for Control Center is far less convenient on the XS because there's a much smaller target area for beginning the gesture
—the XS can't by default show the battery percentage, and for long-term device life I preserve my battery (I always run in low-power mode, even), so this is information I like visible at a glance
There's no doubt the XS is a more capable device than the 6S, but for how I use a smartphone the gains are not particularly beneficial. Maybe after I add the second phone line to increase the telecommunications divide between myself and my business I'll appreciate the XS more, but for now I am regularly reminded how much I enjoy the 6S when I pick it up to use it as an iPod.
However, when my MBP literally caught fire in my bed while I was asleep and melted the keyboard, apple refused to fix it as the warranty was two weeks out and they claimed that the "liquid sensors had been triggered at some point in the past - and while apple recognizes that the machine catching fire was a safety issue - they didnt find reason to justify fixing the machine. You can purchase a new MBP for $1,299 - or we can replace all the guts of your machine for $1,500"
So this means that 12 months ago I bought a 32GB SE for 100 pounds, sold my 16GB model for 95 pounds (SE prices seem to bottom out around there) and got a brand new model a year later for free. At an overall cost of five pounds I've gotten a phone (well, two phones) that's hopefully gonna last me a total of 3 years.
Beyond the inconvenience of catering for a 320px wide phone in the app store, it's not hard to see why Apple felt the need to kill it.
No manufacturer gives free battery replacements to 3 year old, out of warranty phones.
And even if they did the issue would still be wide spread because most people wouldn't necessarily come in to have it replaced.
If you had brought your phone in to an Apple Store during that first year I'm sure they would have replaced it for you under warranty.
Repair shops have simply been victims of Apple's aggressive approach to security.
Meanwhile, Apple does something like https://boingboing.net/2018/10/20/louis-rossman.html
Customs seized it. Not Apple.
> Apple is working with the government
And from the source article
>[Apple] will not allow me to replace batteries, because when I import batteries that are original they’ll tell me the they’re counterfeit and have them stolen from by [CBP].
Customs in general prevents the importation of counterfeit goods. Which they determine by whether that item has a logo and if it came from a legitimate source.
All solved now and third party repairers can do most things.
Furthermore, the root issue could have been addressed not just by offering free replacements (They weren't), instead of slowing down phones and having customers believe their devices were obsolete much earlier than anticipated, they could have been transparent about the issue like they are now.
Instead, I ended up with 1 free battery replacement, and 1 heavily subsidized replacement, which certainly factored into my delayed upgrade cycle. Apple experienced this enough to warn their investors about it in this letter.
The point I am making is that NO manufacturer replaces naturally degraded batteries for free. Defective sure. And not just phone manufacturers but I haven't heard of any manufacturer doing that. Batteries are a consumable item.
I do agree however that Apple should have been upfront about their measures they were taking to mitigate battery degradation.
Apple initially refused to replace my battery because they're consumable, even though they later admitted that some batteries were defective. They replaced some batteries for free , everyone else got an iOS 10.2.1 update with silent throttling . Note that Apple did not admit to defective batteries until late 2016, and then announced an update with silent throttling in early 2017.
I am not implying that Apple should replace everyone's batteries for free, I am however under the impression that they attempted to keep warranty costs low by denying for as long as they could, and quickly following up with an update that hides the symptoms.
They explicitly write about a sharp turndown in China.
The guidances drops from 89-93 to 84 (about 8%). From what they are writing that all can be accounted for by the drop of revenue in China. Since China accounts for around 1/5 of Apple's revenue - the drop must have been around 40%-50%.
Which is a lot for a single quarter.
Also notice the reaction in the forex market. That certainly indicates that this is a broader issue.
In the bigger picture Trump has decided that a trade war with China is a good idea, so of course there are going to be unpleasant consequences.
Cook's reign has been rather miserly - pay more for less. It's been an effective short-term strategy for investor returns, but it hasn't created a solid foundation for future expansion, and has also given users very little to be proud of.
Where does Apple want to be five years from now? iPhone XIIIS? MacBook Hydrogen? Mac Pro Gold Professional Edition? There's only so far you can push that boat before the lustre fades.
Apple market share can still grow in established markets (what percentage of laptops are macs, what percentage of phones are ios).
Emerging markets; China, India, Africa can still grow for Apple.
And then of course they can innovate; find new product categories, services ...
Indian market for Apple has been shrinking because of the ridiculous prices for Apple charges in India. Samsung, One Plus and others now dominate there.
There is also a massive slowdown of the Chinese economy that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the trade war.
You could get the exact same Apple Battery from China for about $7 including shipping. I would bet Apple have them for less than $5. Even at a reduced cost of $29, there is still $25 margin for Apple. Even if you subtract the operational cost involves, I doubt Apple ever subsidizes.
Also, a $7 battery from China is a gamble especially for something heavily used and physically next to your body a lot of the time. I'm sure you'd get a battery that had the same physical size and stated spec, but I'd be skeptical it'd have gone through the same QC. You could get one from a bum batch, or a relabeled one operating out of spec. You just don't know.
Not to mention Apple outsource a lot of these Battery replacement programme to Registered Third Parties.
A better Spec battery cost less than $7 from LG Chem. BOM cost on battery are not expensive at all, and it is not a secret.
>Apple outsource a lot of these Battery replacement programme to Registered Third Parties
Congratulations, you played yourself.
Just in case you did't know.
I think the lesson should be to have your battery replacement prices be reasonable to start with and avoid inflating the market for your devices artificially.
It’s extremely obvious they weren’t ready for this quantity of repairs.
I'd rather use an external battery pack than change from my 6S.
iPhone 5c was a cheap and performant phone with a good ecosystem.
Apple made everything worse through updates, bloat, and price increases.
My phone became so impossibly slow that I bought the cheapest but also nicest walmart phone I could on a whim (LG Zone4).
It's been so amazingly performant for just $100 that I would never, ever consider buying an expensive phone again, ESPECIALLY not one from Apple!!
And that's not because of the battery, that's just because of the software updates. Like, the CPU didn't lose any MHz along the way.
If Android doesn't follow the same path then I will be good-- if they do, then onto the next idea!
The software changed its requirements. Within reasonable limits that's just the nature of technological advancement and availability of faster hardware. I don't know if the performance degradation of iOS 11 and 10 were reasonable, but judging by user feedback Apple seems to have increased performance with iOS 12, particularly for older devices. Of course that comes too late for the iPhone 5C, which isn't supported anymore.
I don't want to hate on Apple. I have no allegiances to anyone in particular. I just am a cheapo user that values basic functionality, some speed, some longevity.
I don't put a premium on privacy or animojis or nice cameras or huge amounts of storage :)
And phones are not like cars, even in the post Moore’s Law world, silicone improves quite a bit.
Now someone at Apple thought instead of shutting the phone why not slow it down so that user can still make that urgent call. That's brilliant and all phones should emulate it. Apple's bad is the did it silently so user didn't know it was a battery problem, the blamed os updates, hardware, weather but not the battery, because degraded batteries never slowed down any phone including iPhone till now. So instead of getting battery replaced they bought a new phone which as a 'side-effect' was beneficial for Apple.
Now once people figured it out they were outraged, so as a PR measure Apple gave discounted battery replacement and once people did that phone was good enough again so delayed new phone purchase. Now as karma striking, all this news and discounted battery may have nudged users who otherwise chuck their phone every two years to get the battery replaced and the fact new device is costing 1000 fucking usd, some delayed for another year.
Except, no, it doesn't.
Unethical LPT: Always buy the extended 'protection plan' since this problem happens so reliably around the two year mark. Call complaining that your phone crashes when it's low on battery and get a new phone for like $100. Cheapest way to get 4-5 years out of a single phone purchase.
And since it's been two years since you bought the device they'll almost always give you a better phone as a replacement.
Because Apple shouldn’t offer something they don’t want people to use that phrase being very poorly chosen.
My wife's brother has a 6S Plus. My mother has 7. They work amazingly well and fast. To them X / XS / XS Max are basically "spend 1300 EUR to get a bezel-less phone and nothing else"... and in a way, they are correct. Many people don't care about FaceID or OLED screens.
Smartphone market is nearly saturated. It's time for more realistic pricing. And I am saying this is a loyal Apple user.
I don’t care about new features such as Face ID. I do look with envy at the X camera though.
My next phone might be another 7 unless Apple drastically cuts prices or introduces an iPhone 9 with the X camera.
There is no justification for adding 50-100% to the monthly cost of a smartphone in 2019 when it’s the first time I don’t really need a faster phone!
Apple obviously realize that if they had a reasonably priced phone it would eat all their XR/XS sales, but the product strategy just looks like it risks losing customers to Huawei/Samsung.
Just before Christmas I bought an iPhone 6S for $99 from AT&T. That’s a very realistic price for a very nice phone!
Fine print: I had to pay $145 plus tax but $45 is credited to me for monthly charges. The phone is locked to AT&T for 3 months. After Christmas the price has gone back to $199.
But I could have been clearer: I meant the newest models.
Take a look at this video from Microsoft where they show how hover and squeeze gestures can dramatically improve the phone experience: https://www.theverge.com/2016/5/5/11595564/microsoft-3d-touc...
This shows there is plenty of room for innovation, Apple just isn't innovating fast enough.
I agree Apple -- and everybody else -- does little to no innovation in the smartphone sector but I don't feel that's the only factor. At certain point prices are so high that people refuse to buy and then do post-hoc rationalization. My wife's brother loves the idea of a bezel-less phone but he is not in a situation to spend the ~1000 EUR on an iPhone X or ~1500 EUR on an XS Max so he just said "screw that, it's not worth it". It seems that many others are doing the same.
I don't necessarily disagree with you -- just adding that IMO there's a maximum price you should not test your loyal buyers with no matter how much can you sweeten the deal otherwise.
It’s so utterly insane that I just cannot imagine how people justify buying one to themselves.
Consider it like buying an expensive bed and mattress because you use them an awful lot (20-30% of your life, pretty much, for most people.)
It kinda is, though. If I spent a huge amount on something and never used it, that would be a status symbol thing.
> the added value of a 1400 Euro phone over e.g. an iPhone 8
That's implying there's no difference worth the additional cost. The X has a better, bigger display than the 8; better camera(s); better battery; all things which are extremely relevant to my daily use.
But you should not generalize. Many people, me included, made a rational analysis and chose the iPhone for the unqestionable benefits it offers (and for personal philosophy reasons like Apple's stand on privacy).
As usual, it's not about if something is "overpriced". It's about if the device commands enough added value so the customer deems the price fair. MANY people, me included, find the Apple tech expensive. But for the things I am looking for in my mobile and personal computing needs they don't have competition. So we swallow the price and pay up. It's pretty simple.
I feel a lot of people feel the need to express contempt and call many Apple users "iSheep" but they are missing a lot of legitimate factors in the process.
Which is baffling. A screen protector and case will cost you about GBP20-30 and they work. I closed a taxi door on my iPhone X last year - all that happened was the screen protector broke and there was a dirty scuff on the case.
I've dropped my phones countless times and only once has the screen cracked (and then I didn't have a screen protector on.)
 Which was an internal hairline that you couldn't see unless it reflected external light just right. Apple Store said they'd never seen a crack like it and replaced the whole phone immediately without question.
Unfortunately, my device is needed also for work -- and the ways I am using it are very strictly bound to the smartphone format.
I am not a social networks addict. My device works for me, not I for it. But I still need the bigger screen, the touchscreen and all the apps.
It's a solid 3-5 years investment especially if you use it a lot -- like I do.
More hidden UI in a car seems like the absolute worst place to use such a hardware feature. Drivers should have their eyes on the road, not staring at the screen while they try to get their finger just the right distance to make some UI element pop up.
Edit: the linked Microsoft demo is pretty cool, and could improve mobile devices, but is exactly what I was thinking should not be in a car control surface.
One success of the iPhone is that regardless of what is happening a user can alway simply press the home button and be back at the home screen. I think one of issues with the new X phones is that the lose this.
My mum / gran can use an iPhone because of this - they never feel intimidated or confused by it. Start to throw in new, undiscoverable interaction gestures and you start to lose this simplicity.
I miss more physical buttons. The first semi-smartphone devices were perfect. They had 6-10 physical buttons and still plenty of screen. Nowadays everything is gestures. :(
With emerging tech like radar-like detectiong of gestures above the screen I feel this trend will become even worse.
I suspect people like to throw a lot of airy claims about terms like innovation without understanding what exactly does that even mean vs. what do they actually mean, although we'd need less hand-waviness and more well-stated gripes to be sure.
...Hell, these are not innovations. They are baseline expectations, IMO anyway. Let's not even mention AppStore which is an awful experience overall. I literally type the exact name of an app and AppStore cannot find it! Discoverability is a joke.
I like Apple's ecosystem better for reasons I won't list so as not to make this comment huge. But it's IMO undeniable that Apple has been coasting for a while now.
They should take a few hints from Android, the now dead Windows Mobile, and Sailfish OS.
I don't demand Iron Man level of UI and usability with holographics and intuitive blend of real world and VR interaction. I demand a more modern and smooth experience though. And even on a very strong device like the iPad Pro 10.5" and an iPhone X, many Apple apps still manage to lag and take several seconds to respond.
This is inexcusable.
The smartphone as a product has peaked for the moment. Apple's growth will eventually stop as it's tapped out all its markets. It has nothing to do with innovation.
Apple has a lot of opportunities to innovate outside of smartphones though. They can be a luxury version of Nintendo, innovating on the front of HCI, not repeating 'Thinner, Faster and Pricier' recipe every year.
Apple has a smash-hit already in the Watch, which is an amazing technological achievement and a sales success. But nothing they can do measures up against the explosive growth of smartphones, so all their innovation will be overlooked in any case. If the complaint is that smart watches are too small of a product for Apple (not what I'm saying, but a lot of eggheads out there) then "a luxury version of nintendo" won't sell nearly well enough to matter at all.
But it doesn't help that Apple is trying to compensate for slower sales with higher prices. They are digging themselves deeper that way.
The OLED screen is arguably a downgrade because it uses flickering PWM brightness control.
See here for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse-width_modulation
Not sure how specifically it's done for OLED though.
I don't believe it exists, and I place this in the same category of people who think that wifi makes them sick.
The problem is phantom array effect artifacts when you move your eyes. These appear and disappear in response to eye movement, so they can be perceived as motion, which is distracting to some people. I personally find PWM very obvious and annoying, but I suspect I have unusually weak saccadic masking.
Is this intrinsic to oled, or will future versions be able to avoid this?
You may not be bothered by it, mind you. I just tend towards dry/sensitive eyes and don't want to aggravate it.
However, you can use reduce white point and a higher brightness at night to avoid the flicker. Can be triggered with accessibility shortcut.
That's not to say no one can be bothered by it. But it's much less likely to bother anyone. I have sensitive eyes and tend to notice flickering at anything less than ~70hz. My Xs hasn't bothered me and I tend to use very low brightness even in well lit env.
I have seen the videos (especially review videos) where the flicker on the camera is present from another camera, but I haven't noticed any eye strain or any problems with this device. If anything, I'm using it more than my previous ones because reading text on it is so enjoyable with the better screen.
The main people affected are those who get headaches, would you say? Maybe I should reconsider.
I know people who can easily buy 10x iPhones for their entire family and part of their relatives -- and they refuse. These are people who can spend $50k and almost wouldn't notice and even they think the modern iPhones have taken the price too far.
They did address this.