Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max (apple.com)
567 points by Zaheer on Sept 10, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 1155 comments

Former Apple Store employee here! You would be surprised by how people become blind from all the smokes and mirrors of the Apple branding and advertisement. I remember one day, there was a 40-something years old man, that came in with an iPhone X and switched it for an XS, adding 500 euros. Only to return 1 week later to switch the XS for an XR with better storage, adding 250 euros. Only to return 2 weeks later, to switch the XR for an XSmax adding 400 euros more or less. This gentleman was so brainwashed into FOMO by Apple that threw 1000+ euros out of the window. One other time, there was another gentleman that clearly couldn't afford an iPhone X. He was so torn when deciding if to buy or not. I tried to give him hints that it was better if he let go of it ("maybe wait next year, your iPhone 5 is still doing the job"), but no, in the end he decided to go for it and we tried to do a 6 months payment plan. His card got rejected. Then we tried with a 10 months payment plan. Rejected. Then we tried with 20 months one. Finally, accepted. He wasn't even happy about that. Was probably thinking about what he was going to have to renounce for that iPhone. I tell you, the whole process was physically painful.

>I remember one day, there was a 40-something years old man, that came in with an iPhone X and switched it for an XS, adding 500 euros. Only to return 1 week later to switch the XS for an XR with better storage, adding 250 euros. Only to return 2 weeks later, to switch the XR for an XSmax adding 400 euros more or less. This gentleman was so brainwashed into FOMO by Apple that threw 1000+ euros out of the window.

Sounds like quite orthogonal to Apple, and relevant to personal issues the single anecdotal example person had, overcompensating by constantly buying gadgets, etc...

There are tons of people with 2, 3, 4, 6+ year old Macs, iPhones, and iPads (my iPad is from 2014 or so and works just fine)...

Yes, what you said is completely true. I am not saying that Apple is evil, I personally own Apple products and I think they're great (but overpriced). I just wanted to point out the length some people go just to have Apple in their pockets. Apple is not evil, but they know what they're doing, and they know that the prestige of their products is used by people to try and neutralize the sense of worthlessness they feel inside. This manipulation is even more evident now that they are selling phones that are almost identical to the previous generation, bring nothing substantially new to the table, if not new smokes and mirrors. I'm sure that in their headquarters, they now spend less and less time innovating and more and more time refining their selling skills.

And you are also a founder of a fashion company which is even more about selling a temporary sense of worth than what Apple does.

How can you criticize Apple when you are doing the same thing?

Did you really resort to scavenging OP's online presence in an attempt to discredit his anecdote against Apple?

To me this behavior reinforces OP's point.

I didn’t resort to scavenging anything. I just looked at his HN profile. Why have profiles if not for us to look at them?

I honestly expected to see him engaged in something that was against the kind of preying on insecurity he claims Apple is doing, and was curious to see what it was because I want to see examples of marketing that doesn’t do this.

I was genuinely surprised to see what business he was in, and find it bizarrely hypocritical of him, since he is doing exactly what he accuses Apple of doing.

Can you explain how this reinforces his point?

You should try working at a car dealership. People do this with brand new vehicles, just multiply the euros by 20!

Applying just now ;)

Right on, it sounds like the customer here was hooked on the unboxing experience or something like that, or was seeking out a distraction from life.

Probably so.

Apple stuff lasts, this is not an Apple issue, any of those phones would have been good for several years. I'm only my 3rd iPhone in 9 years (soon to replace it though). Also 3rd iPad in 9 years. My Macbook Air is from 2012. Apple do software updates going quite far back. A lot of Apple's hardware looks exactly the same from generation to generation, so even if you updated, how would anyone know? If customers want to chop and change that's on them, Apple is not forcing it really.

What you said it totally true. But to say that Apple is not forcing is a white lie. It's true that they're not pointing guns at us, but they are smoothly pointing us in that direction. There's a psychological pressure to have the latest tech, otherwise not only your phone, but also you yourself, are outdated and uncool. No kind of manipulation was ever forceful. That's what makes it a manipulation. You think you're doing it, but another person/company slowly brought you to do it. A lot of people are intelligent and strong enough to resist this brainwash, but a lot of others are not.

Blaming Apple for the general human desire to demonstrate status to one another seems like a bit much, and IMO grants them a level of implied power over society that they haven’t earned.

I mean... is your theory that if Apple didn’t exist, people wouldn’t buy things to look cool?

> A lot of people are intelligent and strong enough to resist this brainwash, but a lot of others are not.

Speaking of signaling status... somehow comments like this are always posted by folks who sort themselves into the first category.

Maybe people buy things you don’t want to buy just because they like them, not because they’re too dumb to resist “brainwashing.”

I'm sorry if I came off as a virtue signaler. No I'm not blaming Apple, and of course people would buy cool things to look cool even without them. What I'm saying is that Apple is especially good at applying pressure in right spots: as you said, the human desire for status and fear of being left behind. Some still haven't recognized it and I've seen countless people make poor financial decisions because of their blindness to what is moving them to buy. Maybe I should have used "aware" instead of "intelligent", since intelligent people can fall for it too. Of course I'm generalizing and as you said, people also buy Apple just because they like it and can afford it, I did that too. But too many times I've seen people really torn and staying there thinking to themselves for half an hour if they should buy it or not, because they know they shouldn't. If you just like a thing, but you know that buying it will have very bad financial consequences for you for the next 10-20 months, it's not difficult to resist. So the fact that all these people were buying anyways, makes me come to the conclusion that there were more powerful internal forces moving them, then just "liking Apple".

> Speaking of signaling status... somehow comments like this are always posted by folks who sort themselves into the first category.

I mean, I can't think of a person who'd be aware enough of it and be willing to state this as a member of the second category?

Which makes it hard to distinguish between a real phenomenon, and a rationalization that people employ to frame their consumer choices as superior to others'.

Baffling the more vulnerable customers with bullshit to sell them expensive things is hardly a phenomenon isolated to Apple or even to the United States. That's a proud cornerstone of Capitalism.

One could argue a whole lot of highly valued startups are built on the premise of selling conveniences to people with far too much money and not enough sense.


US = Apple = Capitalism

>There's a psychological pressure to have the latest tech

You mean marketing? What company isn't doing that?

Yes, but not only. Please read my other responses.

The phones from 2012 would still be perfectly functional if the software didn't come with increasingly ridiculous performance requirements. What's the reason for the upgrade? Camera?

With the ability to easily swap batteries, and more efficiently written software, nobody would have to really update their phones. Which is why I guess most batteries are now integrated.

It's a terribly waste just for corporate profits and peoples vanity's sake.

You can have the batteries swapped out though. I had the battery on my 6S replaced twice. The first time I got it for free because of the degraded performance issue and even the second time was very well priced ($60??) and have the phone a new wind. However, now the power connector had become very loose and disconnects randomly when moved wrong. I probably could have that fixed as well for cheap, but want the new camera. On my recent vacation I took almost no photos because I wanted my wife to take all the good shots with her XR Max. I'm on the fence though because I use ApplePay a lot and cannot imagine using that with FaceId and I also am somewhat attached to the audio jack. I don't want to carry headphones for my phone and another set for my Switch when on a long trip.

Pro tip: 95% of the problems with the power connectors are due to dust trapped inside the charge hole. Yes, there is a lot of dust in there, even if you can't see it. No worries though. You can solve that problem in 2 minutes. Here's how: 1 take a clip, or something similar (thin and rigid) and use it to dig out the dust from the connector hole in your phone 2 be surprised at how much dust you actually find 3 keep digging out the dust 4 your phone is as new! Try charging it and you will see that it won't disconnect randomly anymore. Hope it helps :) p.s: We charge 10-15 euros for that in the store, and obviously don't tell how easily we got it fixed to the customer. I know, it's funny and infuriating.

I wouldn't recommend digging inside the power connector with a metal clip.

A spurt of canned air followed by digging with a toothpick wrapped in cotton and damped with ethyl alcohol does magic.

Apple says the canned air can damage the connector. I can confirm toothpick + cotton does the trick, though.

When I had problem with charging on my iPhone 6 I've went to Apple Store with that and "genius" at Apple Store literally told me to use SIM removal tool to dig it out and then he proceed to do it on my phone as I watched. Pins are only on one side so as long as you be careful and not bend them you will be fine.

Wow, thanks! I used a can of air, almost no dust at all came out, but it's fixed. So silly! Thank you very much! Now I'm likely gonna hold off for another year with upgrading from my 6S.

Huh I'm still on my first battery and it's decent but I have that same issue with the lightning connector so I'm also considering upgrading

Do you have AirPods ? or have you considered buying them ? I'm also on the fence about that Face ID stuff

I don't have air pots. I've been thinking about buying them since a long time, but I really don't have a good reason to other than that it's new and shiny. At least when traveling I'd still have to carry my current earphones for both my Switch and to connect to the airplane's entertainment system. I'd rather have fewer things I can lose or forget it simply have to find a place for. It's not a problem in everyday life, but I'm on airplanes a fair amount and the is never a good place for stuff like this.

> What's the reason for the upgrade? Camera?

I’m convinced that the camera quality degrades as the phone gets older/more used. What convinced me was my mom receiving a brand new 6S replacement from Apple and seeing the major camera improvement even though her broken 6S was in mint condition.

Can anyone provide some insight to this? It took years of speculation for us to learn our slower OS/battery concerns were real. I’m wondering if this is next.

Lens scratching over time?

This certainly happens on older iPhones. People also get grease on it and it’s hard to remove. The new(ish) sapphire front elements make scratches much better.

My 5s took enough spills that I think some small opening in the case let lots of dust/sand get under then lens. The OG battery was losing sectors left and right too. Probably fixable, but I went with a new phone anyway, 5.5 years on a phone was long enough...

Pretty sure it would have to be software if it happens at all. I don't believe the sensors in the camera degrade or wear out.

The 2016+ 15" Macbook Pro is at least one very clear exception. Mine has had keyboard (which includes logic board) replaced several times. Screen replaced 3 times. Brand new replacement unit once. Now getting intermittent black screens every 5 mins or so. I paid for an Apple but I got a lemon.

So, basically you replace your phone every two years. That's the rhythm that Apple and cell providers generally aim for (time for new housing design and length of contract). What other expensive item are you replacing as frequently?

I think it's unfair to place the blame entirely on consumers when Apple capitalizes on a culture which places value on having the latest gadgets and gizmos.

Typical consumerism. I have siblings who did the same for a fancy bed. These people are mostly helpless. And you're only an employee.. I'm sure it's not great to try to turn a customer away from a sale right ? Even as a sibling, unless I'm ready to start a family war there's no leverage.

ps: the 40yo man might have sold or made use of the other iPhone. I hope he did not just pile them up in a drawer.

For me personally, working there was a perpetual moral internal debate. I was good at convincing people that were on the edge of buying. On one hand, the more you sell, the higher the commission you get, for you and the whole team. On the other hand, you have to sell tech that is one of the best, but for the time being, totally overpriced. Therefore, you have to manipulate a lot, and tell half-truths if not blatant lies at times, which is not great either. This becomes much harder when you have to manipulate a person, that is clearly struggling in their decision because of financial reasons, into buying a phone priced 1000+ euros. On the inside, I was always screaming "what in the world are you doing!" The way I operated was this: when a manager was nearby me, I had to act the part, but when I was alone I tried, in a not so explicit way, to clear the fog in their brain and make them get back some reason in their heads. I prefer being able to sleep at night, instead of getting a few more bucks in my check. To be clear, I like Apple products, and I personally own them ,because I was able to get them used (but brand new) with huge discounts in price, but they are not for everyone. About the 40yo man, he gave us back his phone each time. The way it works is this: if you bring back a phone, you get an evaluation which is at best (even in perfect condition, got out of the box just a week earlier) half of the initial price tag. You can get a new phone, give back your old one and pay the difference.

I read you work in Italy Apple Store, and this is the first time I hear Apple Store has commission.

Does anyone know any other region where Apple Store operate with commission, one of the things John Gruber likes to pride Apple are their employees don't have commission and therefore could give candid advice.

Or did All Apple Store has commission now since Burberry Queen took over?

He should have returned sooner, within two weeks you can return or exchange it for free can't you?

Once you open the plastic outside the box (not even the box itself) you can't return it for free, it might have been compromised in some way. Its value is automatically cut in half in the store's eyes.

I see you said you were in Italy, but just to be clear, in the US I have returned an iPhone bought in-store, nearly two weeks later, for a full refund.

Really? That's interesting. Good for you then :)

You can even turn it on, try it and then return it before 2 weeks for free in EU

This is, as far as I know, only possible if you bought it online.

You're right. Here I shop only online, I haven't been in a store (other than grocery store) for at least 5 years. When I buy something online, they deliver it same day to my doorstep, so why would I not. You can (for a small fee) use their service to pick up returned items (or return them yourself at their service center with no charge)

Physical Apple Store purchases too - https://www.apple.com/legal/sales-support/sales-policies/ret...

Apple integrates their online store with their B&M locations so closely it really wouldn't make any sense for them to have different return policies.

Mmm that was not our policy. I worked in Italy, so maybe there are different rules for different countries. But something like trying it out for 2 weeks, then coming back and getting a refund or switching it (for example for a different color) was never ever allowed.

I forgot to add that it is only for online purchasing (the only kind of purchasing I do for 10 years at least). It's 14 days minimum set by EU regulation. The item should not be used, but you're allowed to try, verify that it works, return it if you don't like it (no explanation at all needed), etc.

30 days in NL

oh bad deal for the 40yo man then..

I applaud your approach to sales, very empathetic. Are you still working there ?

Thank you. But any person with morals would do the same. No, I worked there for a few months. After a while they reached out to get me back there, but I declined.

Now you're selling altcoins to old people right ?

Of course! I thought there was no need to say ;)

"This gentleman was so brainwashed into FOMO by Apple that threw 1000+ euros out of the window"

for some people, a dinner out costs $2k.

that is why you should never judge your clients.

same thing for the other gentleman.

you don't know their stories, or their backgrounds.

I knew/know this person personally. We all knew him because he was an habitual client. He is working as a professor in high school. So the probability of him being so wealthy to change one iPhone per week are not that high. That said, even if he is, do you think that his behavior would be consider sane? His story is just to point out how the sense of worthlessness in some people is financially exploited by prestigious brand like Apple.

> That said, even if he is, do you think that his behavior would be consider sane?

I think your prejudices see him as some sort of insane man. When, as I've written above, there are people who spend a lot of cash indiscriminately. Not all of us have to be financially careful.

> His story is just to point out how the sense of worthlessness in some people is financially exploited by prestigious brand like Apple.

Apple did not exploit anyone. If you desire something so much, then go for it. What imperative does Apple have to forbid someone to exercise their freedom?

I don't see how FOMO explains anything more than the first purchase. The second and third purchases just seem like random stupidity.

> seem like random stupidity.

Or phones are his thing. Everyone has a thing they have probably spent stupid relative amounts of money on. A gaming computer? Games? A guy I know from Jiu-Jitsu collects Gi's at $200+/each.

Could be stupidity, or compulsive fomo. I think that to do what he did, stupidity is not enough, you have to have a big fear or insecurity inside to work as a sufficient motivator.

I know that nobody should be stretching themselves financially thin for a newer iPhone. Unless it’s something like an app developer needing to buy a test phone, which this clearly wasn’t.

> I know that nobody should be stretching themselves financially thin for a newer iPhone.

I think people are free to do whatever they want with their money. Is my view an extreme one nowadays?

Sure, I think that he should have the literal freedom to do so, but that does not excuse him or Apple from being roundly criticized and berated for it. Like freedom of speech, your right to say something doesn’t make that thing right.

How do you know he was stretching himself financially? Perhaps he was rich and 1000 euros was not much money to him.

He signed up to a 20 month payment plan?

That's another guy. There are 2 person in the story. The first one throw money out of the window. The second one is the one struggling for money and need the payment plan.

The 20 month person was a different guy

Those were two different people.

> "Then we tried with 20 months one. Finally, accepted"

The social pressure for having "an old phone" most have been incredibly high.

Something like that happen to me on university, I had a 5 years old phone with no Whatsapp/Blackberry chat. It made me feel so left behind and even sad sometimes.

The cool thing now is that you can have a brand new 2019 phone with the latest tech for 300/400 euros. So if you want to keep the pace, you can do it without selling your soul. I think it's more about the temporary sense of worthiness that an Apple product can give you.

Even for 100 Euros, but non-tech people don't always know that. Many of them think that to stay current they need "an iPhone", and 100 Euro iPhones simply don't exist.

you can even get an iPhone 7/8 for reasonable price right now, if Apple is a requirement. I'm still on my 7 from late 2016 and will stick to it through this cycle as well.

Good choice!

It's kind of sad really. Businesses prey on the human condition and there's nothing we can do about it because, well, Apple's not really breaking the law and we all like good cellphones.

I find marketing pretty unethical. Manipulation of emotions and the brain to sell stuff.

Commodities seem harmless, but brainwashing people to buy moderate quality products at luxury prices is horrifying.

No mention of self-control.

100% agreed.


Here I am with an iPhone 6 still.

It plays music, like my iPod did. As well as podcasts. I don't use any apps otherwise that don't come with it from Apple. On the rare occasion someone decides to call me it answers, sometimes (it's slow to answer, but after 3 retries, sometimes the first).

I try to answer text messages on my Mac with Messages.app. It's easier to type.

Not sure I want to upgrade. I was planning on it. I can afford it. Kind of just trying to see how long I can keep it going for fun. I think I've had it for close to 5 years now.

My iPhone 6s, with its weird turning off and on randomly at times and other funky behaviors, was (and will always be) my favorite phone I ever owned! I'm not joking :)

Same, still have mine since release. My only issue is the battery but that's cheaply replaced. I'm still deciding if i should upgrade or try to push another year or two with it.

When my 6 broke, I decided to switch carriers (from prepaid) to try out the new (at the time - earlier this year) XR. For the 1 week I owned it, there was something strange about it that I just can't describe. It wasn't buyers remorse, but it just felt wrong in my hands. I genuinely asked myself if spending 1k + 100/mo was worth it. Ended up returning the phone, returned back to my old carrier, and ended up going with a 6s making my purchase at 250 + 30/mo. No qualms.

Was it your first job dealing with people? People are funny, and it can be hard to account for their motivations and ways in which they want things and make changes. Ascribing these anecdotes to Apple's advertising/brainwashing program is a little bit silly.

Not really. I worked at a movie theater before that. I saw all kinds of crazy people and funky behaviors there. So I was used to it!

That's bad. But imagine these guys chose similarly priced Android phones instead.

I thought it couldn't get any worse, but thank you for reminding :)

Smartphone hardware is done. There's no significant gain in buying a new smartphone if you have bought one in last 3 years, absolutely nothing if the battery is replaced; there could be even diminished returns if you buy a new smartphone(unavailability of headphone jack, losing metal body, losing faster biometric authentication).

Improvement in camera could be enticing, but the platforms to which the photos, videos are shared would compress them anyways making them all nearly identical. Better frame rates is the only thing which makes a difference. Case in point : MKBHD made a blind test last year and low cost smartphone Mi Pocophone which scored pathetic camera performance in individual reviews came out top in the blind test.

So, the subscription services are the new lifeline for the hardware manufacturers; included free subscription should add some value to the new customers and if the SW services work; may be compensate for diminishing hardware sales.

"Case in point : MKBHD made a blind test last year and low cost smartphone Mi Pocophone which scored pathetic camera performance in individual reviews came out top in the blind test."

Marques doesn't have kids.

I loved my Redmi Note 4. I even liked the chin, as the buttons were on it - so my usable screen size was actually larger than the Pixel XL that replaced it.

That phone took perfectly acceptable shots with still subjects that I'd have been happy to live with but the shutter lag was terrible. I have six months of mostly blurry photos of my kids solely because the phone couldn't deal with any amount of fast motion so it had to go.

Recently upgraded to a Pixel 3a solely because of Night Sight and for my use case it was a no-brainer as I can't get the time back. I also couldn't give a rats behind about notches and bumps - my phones go straight into bumper cases and 9-glass before they're turned on.

Some people really do need the less-talked-about features that are only of late getting any amount of attention by manufacturers.

Absolutely. I had the same experience with the first Moto G phones - reviews called it amazing quality for the price and had camera samples that were admittedly very nice. There was no way I could get a picture of my dog in that time, or even a group picture with at least one of my friends/family members being blurry - there's always movement with people, even if it's a bit, and youtube testers rarely account for that.

Going from a crappy camera to something like on Pixel3a is truly a leap especially when you are looking photos yourself on the screen.

But say you had bought iPhone 8 (same year as Redmi Note 4) and you share pictures to social media; Pictures from iPhone 11 would be indiscernible to those who see your photos at the other end.

> Pictures from iPhone 11 would be indiscernible to those who see your photos at the other end

I disagree. As an iPhone 8 user even iPhone X pictures are massively improved, not to mention a Huawei P30 or Pixel 3XL... night sight doesn't exist and post-processing by external apps only.

I wouldn't say Massively improved. But it was definitely noticeable. By not massively improved, I mean photos from iPhone 8 looks fine, but when you gets to compare with X, you immediately notice the difference.

The same goes to X and Xs, although the difference is a little less drastic, but P30 and Pixel were both winning, and when you compare it, it was obvious.

I have an 8 and while the X is subjectively better, a moment or two in snapseed can more than make up the difference.

That night photo difference looks a lot better as one example in the landing page. Would that not be a noticeable difference?

> Smartphone hardware is done. There's no significant gain in buying a new smartphone if you have bought one in last 3 years, absolutely nothing if the battery is replaced;

I am excited about the possibility of graphene based batteries. https://www.graphene-info.com/graphene-batteries and https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-develops-battery-mat...

Which could be as early as 2020-2021 if the leaks are correct https://www.techspot.com/news/81435-samsung-rumored-readying... my current phone will last me until then.

More about that https://www.wired.co.uk/article/graphene-batteries-supercapa...

It seems this graphene tech can be used for other things too, the future looks exciting.




Graphene battery, foldable display, 5G network, >1TB internal storage, Fingerprint reader at any point on the screen could all kickoff new generational cycle.

But, it will happen in increments and for all the above features to be available in one smartphone which is affordable, will take another 3-4 years and hence my OP comment that current generation is done.

Edit: 1TB

> Graphene battery, foldable display, 5G network, >1TB internal storage, Fingerprint reader at any point on the screen could all kickoff new generational cycle.

These are all nice, but I'd rather have thin AR glasses powered by the phone's CPU/GPU at some point. Might fix the smombie infestation, too.

I would love one, just for our(brain) memory or lack of thereof; especially to remember faces of people we meet once, when we meet again after several years and they ask do you remember me? The smart AR glasses should give us the name via bone conduction!

Your comment made me research what happened to Google glasses and I found this:


Why are these not available to the public?!? Because of the Google glass PR disaster?

I think that's probably the reason Apple decided not to take a risk with their version:


Let's see. I don't agree with many of the points.

5G Network? Every phone will have it in 3 years.

>1TB storage? In Android land you can already buy a 1TB microSD card and stick it into your phone resulting in >1TB total storage. Are many people doing that?

Fingerprint reader in the screen: Who cares if its below the display or on the back of the phone? It's a rather small improvement.

Meant TB, corrected.

>Fingerprint reader in the screen: Who cares if its below the display or on the back of the phone? It's a rather small improvement.

Fingerprint authentication at any point on the screen could decrease the overall time taken for unlocking the phone and getting to the intended action. It's quite common in android to have always on Amoled display for notifications, touching the notification can directly take one to the app without having to authenticate separately first.

Damn. We’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

Isn’t a 1TB microSD card going to be much much slower than the storage used in an iPhone?

Correct, a lot slower; Hence I specifically mentioned 'internal' storage.

Will it be very noticeable?

What would the speed comparison be for all that storage via microSD vs internal?

>and hence my OP comment that current generation is done.

May be it should have worded better, I reread the comment multiple times and I don't get where the current generation is done comes from. It reads to me as Hardware is done, period.

The market is saturated, and of course every company will try to milk it for as long as they could, while trying to figure out the next big thing, if there is any that is the size of current Smartphone market.

> blind test

Well yes, all cameras look the same if you do a "blind" test. :)

Not that type of blind. Basically given a scenario, take a picture with n number of phones varying in quality/price. MKBHD the Youtuber then found that a worse quality camera came on top as the "best" quality for twitter/instagram users because that bad quality camera over-compensated with over exposure and some other factors (as far as I recall).

Essentially, camera quality in this day and age doesn't matter, unless you're a "pro" (which I predict 90% of the people who buy the 11 pro aren't)

Case in point: I have a SE and it takes photos fine. I'm not any model or pro, so taking pictures of basic day-to-day events or things is good enough for me.

May I suggest the parent comment was being sarcastic?

Thought of that for a second, but didn't catch on. :P

A few years back one of the big Android sites did a comparison, some new Android phone vs the current iPhone vs some DSLR

They had people vote on the 'best' picture, and they always chose the sharpest one. You could clearly make out which camera took which photo. The biggest problem was that the DSLR was never focused right so it was blurry.

out with you!

> MKBHD made a blind test last year and low-cost smartphone Mi Pocophone which scored pathetic camera performance in individual reviews came out top in the blind test.

This simply means that it was a crappy test. As far as I remember, people choose a colour profile that was much more punchy.

Cameras are much, much more than a colour profile. These tech reviewers are fun to watch but I wouldn't base my opinions solely on their work.

He took different pictures of same scene under same settings from about half dozen flagship phones, shared the picture on different social networks and asked people to vote.

This test for real-life camera usage is as objective as it can get. Most people shoot pictures to put on social networks, not to submit for documentary film awards.

>This test for real-life camera usage is as objective as it can get

Not at all, most people do not take different pictures of the same scene under the same settings from about half a dozen flagship phones, post it on Instagram and ask which one is better. In fact, this is the only time I've seen such usage.

In practice, people use a single phone to capture moments that do not come back and even if the scene is repeatable people prefer to succeed on the first take, therefore they will take photos until they get one that is good enough and editable. Most people don't even know how the photo will look like until they try a few edits. It is an intuitive process that involves multiple trials and misses.

So the best camera is the one that gives you the photo that is easiest to edit to achieve the picture you desire. #nofilter is a special case, a niche and If you ask me, it's not a nofilter just because the device applied a filter by itself.

Anyway, if that test was correct the cheap and great photos phone would have been a viral hit. When people see a great photo, they do ask how you took it. That did not happen.

Most people don't edit photos. And to be honest those people posing for 5 minutes to get anyway a crappy picture in poses around famous places are proper pain in the ass.

If you want perfection, get a proper camera and more importantly learn how to shoot with it

The Pocophone was a huge hit though. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaomi_Pocophone_F1#Sales

I wouldn't be surprised if it was subsidised by the Chinese government and filled with malware

I have a Sony A7 and a bunch of lenses. Prob 10k on lenses. I still use my iPhone 7 to take photos of my Daughter cos capturing the moment is more important the the detail or colour of the photo.

While that might be true, the majority of people buying a smartphone are just regular people, not photographers, so they'll favour things like punchy colour profiles.

But at the end of the day it's not the opinion of a super-set of consumers that really matters. For owners of iPhones its whether the phone meets their own requirements and expectations that matters. Not whether huge tranches of non-iPhone owners agree with them or not.

I don't give a rat's butt whether 70% of consumers don't care about the features and characteristics of my phone. I care about them, and that's all that matters. Currently rocking a 6s which is serving me fine though.

I've been using a OnePlus 5T since it was launched and I can't think of any reason to upgrade. It's still as fast as the day I got it, the screen is adequate for me, and it does everything I want to do. That it costs literally 1/4th of an iPhone Pro in my country is the icing on top.

It's not done. There is nothing in the market that I want and what I want is achievable. There's a lack of innovation, not a lack of potential for innovation.

> Smartphone hardware is done. There's no significant gain in buying a new smartphone if you have bought one in last 3 years, absolutely nothing if the battery is replaced; there could be even diminished returns if you buy a new smartphone(unavailability of headphone jack, losing metal body, losing faster biometric authentication).

That's true in the Android world as well. When the GPS in my three-year-old LG Stylo 2 finally crapped out so thoroughly (along with a puffed-up battery, perhaps with a built-in antenna being damaged?) that I couldn't ignore it anymore, I wound up getting a Stylo 5.

As it turns out, it has the same Qualcomm 450 SoC as the three-year-old phone it replaced. It's fast enough for my needs, but no speed demon. The only real upgrades are support for more of T-Mobile's LTE bands, a higher-resolution screen, an aluminum frame, a 3500 mAh battery up from 3000, and Android 9; the camera app is improved, and the Bluetooth stack is more up-to-date. Much to their credit, they had the courage to not remove the headphone jack. There is one major downgrade: the inevitable sealed-case, non-removable battery schtick that I really hate. I hope that fad passes by the time I need to replace this one, but there's too much money at stake for the phone manufacturers not to shaft their customers. I better hope the battery doesn't crap out prematurely.

That being said, I like the Stylo 5; the 2 had excellent battery life even when the battery got puffy, and the 5 is even better (at least in my first week of usage). That relatively-anemic 450 SoC is at least power-efficient.

Can't agree with that statement. There is a thing called Moore's law.

The smartphones will continue to grow and accelerate their hardware and software development. This is simply the future. I the next 50 years I think everyone will use just one device and this is more likely to be something like a smartphone.

What Steve Jobs did in his first iPhone presentation can't be done again. He simply set the bar so high that there is no bar anymore, I don't see how other companies will reach them, not because they can't but because they all try to copy them from that point on, instead of trying to innovate like they did.

I can't also really understand why the public is bashing so hard those events expecting miracles, and making statements that Apple is not innovating. What do you want cloaking software making you invisible? Let's be real, also who is that naive to think that even if they have developed something amazing they will release it right away. Things don't work like that in the real world.

Except Moore's law ended in 2012.

Apple and Steve did some truly "breakthrough" product announcements. Steve mentioned this in his iPad announcement. The timing was right, the technology was right, the market was right.

It's possible we're not going to get another one of those remarkable revelations like the iPhone and the iPad in our lifetimes. And that's ok.

The speed of change has been tremendous in the past 100 years and –besides doing a lot of good– also has serious social and ecological repercussions.

Perhaps I'm getting old, but maybe it's a good thing that the pace of change is slowing.

> Smartphone hardware is done. There's no significant gain in buying a new smartphone if you have bought one in last 3 years, absolutely nothing if the battery is replaced; there could be even diminished returns if you buy a new smartphone(unavailability of headphone jack, losing metal body, losing faster biometric authentication).

Yep. I have a BLU smartphone that I bought for $55 bucks off of Amazon. It literally does everything I need and has now lasted me > 2 yrs with no sign of slowing down. I will never understand why people would pay the price equivalent to buying a decently speced out desktop or laptop for a phone when there are so many cheaper alternatives that provide the same features and functionality.

I use my phone so much now that all the actual differences in a more expensive device are significant. Even with the Pro ones it’s a bit like buying a mechanical keyboard. Does it really do anything a £3 OEM keyboard doesn’t? My phone was about the same price as my 3 year old i7 laptop and the processor is faster. It’s a more useful device to me.

I bought a couple of those BLU phones as testers to ensure our apps were usable regardless of device (in an office full of flagship phones this is easy to overlook in “hallway” testing)....I’m not generally a phone snob but I will say that using the BLU phones makes my 4 year old iPhone feel like an ultra luxury rocketship from the future. The difference in performance and quality is remarkable side by side.

There aren't many alternatives when you consider that cheap phones are Big Brother devices for Google.

And expensive phones aren't? As far as I can tell the only smartphone where you can be sure to not be spied on is yet to be released.

I grant you that an iPhone is still no guarantee, but there is a difference in the level of surveillance that Apple and Google exhibit.

Cheap phones provide the same functionality, they just do it slower.

> Smartphone hardware is done. There's no significant gain in buying a new smartphone if you have bought one in last 3 years

Agreed. Even a Xiaomi Mi A2 with Android One for 130-150€ is almost on par with these high end phones that cost eight times as much: It's fast enough. It has a gorgeous display. It has a decent camera and it has up-to-date software. In these times of diminishing returns it's amazing that Apple is able to fetch these prices. It shows us how much of a vendor lockin there is. Perhaps (hopefully) also how much people are willing to pay extra for more privacy.

Privacy policy is great, what about actual security?[1]


A privacy conscious company wouldn't remove from their app store all the VPN apps as they did in China

I doubt many people are buying iPhones for extra privacy.

Well I am. It's anecdotal but it's the one thing that keeps me on iOS.

I'd bet given the rise in privacy plugin use for browsers (Privacy Badger, uBlock, etc) I'm not the only one doing that either.

I am. Will not switch to Android unless there is some astonishing quality difference.

Snd it can't be a small number, as Apple constantly mentions privacy in their marketing, down to the level of individual services.

For the subset of people who care, they're virtually a monopoly.

I am, but I definitely agree many people don't consider privacy in that choice.

I am.

> Improvement in camera could be enticing, but the platforms to which the photos, videos are shared would compress them anyways

Strongly agree, and the reason for that is that is that level of quality is good enough for the 99.99% use case of photography and anything above is simply a waste of storage space.

If you are actually a professional artist, it matters. If you're doing computer vision, it matters. For the other 99.99% of photos, it doesn't matter.

What Apple is selling at this point is just the aspiration that you're in the special 0.01%, or could be.

Agree and disagree.

Yes, the chips and sensors used in modern phone cameras are ridiculously good for the size and cost. And phone cameras started replacing budget and mid-price P&S cameras years ago.

But, Apple's move to a triple camera set-up is really compelling. Not only has the phone replaced the average P&S, it's now replacing higher end P&S. The main argument for a separate P&S these days is a zoom lens. Apple just made that argument moot (superzooms notwithstanding). You can now take landscape, snapshot, and portrait photos natively on the camera without stitching or cropping. That's amazing. Or, at least I think so.

I was considering replacing my wife's older Canon S90 P&S with a new Sony RX100 IV. I probably won't bother - I'll just replace her iPhone 8 with an 11 Pro.

I guess that's why Apple seems to be positioning their Phones for `Pros`. I kind of feel like it's the `Note` equivalent of Galaxy series. And also for the same purpose, the showed videos of Professional Videographer shooting videos with the iPhone 11 Pro. Those are the people who'd probably take out raw video/pic and edit it in Premire or lightroom.

This opens a huge area of business for them, if they can convince ad film makers devices because the current set of filming devices that they use aren't inexpensive.

With Apple these days, Pro means ‘bloody expensive’, and even more so outside the US. The rebrand may help to justify the pricing, but it’s odd to do that with such an incremental update, rather than save it for a year with a bigger design change.

For a lot of the world, a $500 smartphone was a luxury, and a $1500 smartphone (like a $3000+ laptop, or $1000 monitor stand) is an unfunny joke.

While they’re amazing devices, they’re just not replacements for a real computer, being locked down, with no exposed file system, and the imprecision of touch-only input.

I live in a country where practically no one except businesses possess personal computers and maybe 50% of the urban population has a smart phone (usually some $30 Huawei crap). I worry that this kind of leap frogging that 3rd world countries do is harmful in this specific case. The web to them consists entirely of Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Telecos provide extremely popular subsidized “internet” packages that consist exclusively of access to these sites. Instead of the web and technology being catalysts for production, they are solely used for consumption.

This in my opinion is very dangerous and will prevent the country from ever becoming a producer of information and services.

> Smartphone hardware is done.

I'm as sure as I agree with this statement that this can be a historic comment about smartphones until the next breakthrough happens :)

I find is pretty silly to say smartphone hardware is done when Apple is still sporting a notch.

There's nothing about sporting a notch that's problematic, except when it comes to OCD.

If it didn't have the notch it would just have a larger bezel on a side, or some BS like a popup camera.

The "camera behind screen" idea barely works (for obvious reasons), and is hardly what would revolutionize mobile hardware. It's an aesthetic concern, not a functional one.

Things that might do that, larger camera sensors (e.g. 1"), week or more long batteries, total voice control, etc.

I get what you are saying but that would still be a pretty incremental update right? It wouldn't make the phone significantly more usable, really only a bit prettier.

I think the point here is that the recent "big" features are all pretty minor things like 60fps screens etcetera, they are really nice but nowhere near as important as the new things we used to have every generation.

The notch is a rather small issue that only affects looks. When the display is off, you don't see it. When the display is on, you usually look at the display, not the notch. Sure it's not pretty but personally I don't really care.

I think the notch is a lot less annoying than the weight. Maybe I have small weak hands, but I feel a physical strain from using my iPhone XS. Unfortunately you can’t seem to buy a new SE around here.

Same for me! When I first bought it, I liked that it felt “premium”, but after using it for a while, I definitely have some strain in my wrist from the weight. Maybe it’s because it’s small enough to use one handed but too heavy to actually be comfortable. Have you tried a pop socket or something similar? (I have not) I’ll definitely be checking the weight of new phones from now on. I may even upgrade if the weight is less on any model. I would like to see something like the SE come out, because I want a phone that can do everything but is compact, but their solution seems to be the Apple Watch so you have a super small screen to accompany your phone instead of a smaller phone screen.

That would hardly be the weight, since it's quite (to very much) less than older phones we all used in the 90s and 00s, and early 10s...

I’ve only had smartphones since 2012, but it’s definitely the heaviest phone I’ve owned and my wrist also occasionally hurts after using it. Older phones probably weren’t used as much as we use then today either.

Smartphones I’ve owned:

HTC One X: 130 g

Galaxy S5: 145g

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge: 157g

iPhone XS: 177 g

I’m happy with the screen size vs the phone size on the XS, but I didn’t realize I wanted something lighter too. This phone is way too heavy. The new iPhone 11 Pro is 188g. Hopefully next time around they make something lighter.

I mean the notch is basically the symptom of having gone into anti-feature territory. Removal of headphone jack, removal of physical home button, removal of TouchID for face recognition that is much slower, removal of 3D Touch... the iPhone 20 at this rate will just be a slab of metal.

>of having gone into anti-feature territory

Headphone jack, sure. But after face ID / full screen, I wouldn't go back to home button and touchID if they'd paid me...

The parent is exaggerating but really, 90% of spotlight on these models is the new camera system but Huawei &co. was offering similar features for a long time.

> Smartphone hardware is done.

Eye tracking based scrolling would be something that I'd like; for reading long articles/books. Using regular camera is prohibitively power hungry; not sure if there is research for special purpose cameras for this purpose.

Didn't the Samsung galaxy S4 have this?

You can almost generalize to computers. It's still crazy the pace of pocket hardware has gone through. But these machines have more oomph than a pixar workstation in the 90s, the vast majority of the users will never even need 50% of that.

Unfortunately we all need the performance due to the unbelievable bloat of the web. And even with my iPhone X a lot of sites are still laggy and unpleasant to use. The state of the web is honestly really sad and makes me feel bad about our entire profession.

I would be so pissed if an iPhone X would lag on the web. I'm actually pissed right now just reading about it. BRUH

I have the same feeling. Sure, manufacturers still try to experiment a little with their folding phones etc., but overall the software and hardware changes very little from one generation to the next.

I bought my last phone over 4 years ago and it wasn't new back then. The only reason I'm thinking about buying a new one is the software version. But it probably won't cost more than $200, because that's already enough to get better hardware than I got 4 years ago for double the price, and I don't have an issue with performance.

Needless to say, I don't quite get how flagship phones still sell so well considering you can do basically everything for a small fraction of the cost. Is there really a mobile game or other app out there which requires top specs? Would such a game even sell enough quantities?

The biggest issue I have with buying a new phone is getting fewer features(!!!). I have a OnePlus 5T and that's the last OnePlus to have a headphone jack. There's nothing that I can "upgrade" to without losing that feature(from OnePlus). And the performance of the 5T is more than enough, so there's literally no reason to upgrade.

Why not just use a small, cheap headphone adapter (or several)?

Because my use case for headphones very frequently coincides with the times the phone is charging - I cannot both charge and use the headphones at the same time with an adapter, unless there is some weird USB-C monstrosity that would enable this(without just implementing an internal sound card connected over USB).

Gotcha. Personally I never use wired headphones while charging after reading about a woman who electrocuted herself doing that a few years ago (due to a fake power supply).

That's not really the point, is it?

The point is that the upgraded version ships with less features. I use bluetooth-headphones so I don't care, but I can easily see why this is infuriating to others.

Well now I have to carry this additional junk all time, plus this just create additional waste for no reason at all. as people will break and throw away them eventually

Better selfies or Tik-Tok videos. I presume we, HN crowd aren't big fan of those.

I just replaced the battery on my iPhone 6s [purchased in 2017]. Performance is snappy, and the new battery lasts an entire day of use without charging.

The next evolution will be foldable phones that can unfold into tablets. Smartphones in their current form have essentially peaked, I agree.

The ultrawide lens and night mode are significant in my view, if you don't already have them.

To me it seems the hardware innovation shifted from Apple to Google & Asia.

Google is hot with the ML train, they develop and release new state-of-the-art algorithms and improve all aspects of smartphone (videos, pictures, batteries, actions, gestures, keyboards, biometry, security, ...).

On the Asia side, companies are the first to release foldable phones. They are already acquiring user feedbacks and cost insights for the next generation of foldable phone, and Google is a supporting partner, with Android 10 embracing those new phones with new APIs.

I'm looking forward for foldable phones improvements and more Google magic

Regarding Asia, forcing unfinished bleeding edge features into products just to be able to say ”I was first” isn’t innovation, but greediness.

Apple is rarely first to put certain component or piece of technology into their products, but is usually first one to do it properly and create first actually usable product. That’s why pretty much every actual innovation only takes off after Apple has implemented it.

It's been clear for quite some time that terms like "Extreme", "Pro" and "Max" are marketing terms. They are not accurate classifications of how they will be used.

If people feel strongly enough that the name is not accurate, they will have to buy a competing product that fulfills their needs at the price they are willing to pay.

I suppose what would be interesting, but highly proprietary, would be Apple's marketing research information on how the "Pro" marketing term is received by their target consumers.

All that being said, I personally have never bought from Apple, and think the $150 upgrade cost is ridiculous (not to mention the $300 jump from the XR, which is still $300 more than I paid for my Pixel)! So I could say the "Pro" marketing isn't working on me! But overall, they aren't hurting for customers.

"Pro" has been pretty useful, I think, as a marker in Apple's other product lines.

"MacBook Pro" and "iPad Pro" are the ones you buy if you need it for work, because the increased price will pay for itself with increased productivity. But buy the "Air" or basic versions if you are primarily using it for more basic tasks and media consumption.

Not sure the "Pro" distinction will hold up for iPhone, though. I guess it depends if Pro Photographers actually will give up their "Pro" cameras for an iPhone 11 Pro. And I can't think of any other profession where the iPhone Pro will "pay for itself" in productivity increases relative to other iPhones.

“Pro” is not just for productivity but comfort of use as well. As an analogy if you sit on a chair 8 hours a day you’ll want a super nice chair, even if it wouldn’t have direct effects on productivity compared to a just decent one.

For most people relying on a smartphone for work, be it 700 or 1000 the device will pay for itself in a few months at most, so I think the price difference won’t matter much. Better battery performance could be significant though.

Honest question, who relies on a smartphone for work? I mean, obviously people rely on a phone for work, people rely on email for work, but what jobs are there where getting the iPhone pro model would make a difference to getting, say, the now much lower priced iPhone 8.. or for that matter a used 2/3 year old flagship android phone?

The BBC make extensive use of the iPhone for news gathering. The photo, video and audio quality are all acceptable for online use (and broadcast use in many cases). LuCi Live is now almost the default option for radio outside broadcasts. The BBC have developed their own app to facilitate direct ingests of media content from iPhones to their asset management system. It's now entirely practical for a broadcast journalist to report on a story with nothing more than their iPhone.

I'm not sure how meaningful the "Pro" suffix really is, but the iPhone has undoubtedly become a piece of professional equipment in the media industry.



Very interesting, I knew there would be job categories where it would be a completely obvious tool and you'd want every aspect of it to be the best possible and of course journalism is one.

Dictaphone, camera, editing and publishing, phone, notepad, email... arbitrary other software around all of these, all in your pocket. Makes total sense.

Not even exclusively for work. If I'm away from my desk for any reason, be it in my vehicle, in the server room, at a friend's place, and I need to urgently know something I always reach for my phone. My phone has my passwords and credit card numbers. My phone gets me connected to all my friends, near and far, for whatever reason. I have access to my email and most critical documents. I use the cameras and microphone to document my life, my projects, and special moments to me. And let's not be glib about it, it's a great tool for passing time between when I'm doing useful and fun things. I can browse Reddit while waiting for my wife to get her hair done.

I find it odd how people will happily pull their wallets out for a PC they will spend a ton of time on, but then balk at the idea of spending half that on a device that lives in your pocket and can help you do practically anything that comes to mind, even if all that comes to mind is entertain you for a few moments. Is it just down to the physical size of the device?

I agree with you, that as one of your most used electronics, if youre constantly using it, that the little features add up at times when youre not expecting it.

But none of what you described explains why you would need a Pro instead of the standard. Its nice to have, but the base model isnt nerfed to a point that makes it unusable.

Frankly when it comes to phones at least (and often times any electronics) I just get the most powerful option available. Do I need it? Probably not. But in my experience:

1) They age better, and oftentimes are more not just useable, but actually a joy yo use, for a longer time

2) The price difference just isn't that much to justify taking a lower power device. Sure, the iPhone 11 would probably be just fine compared to an iPhone 11 Pro. But when you're talking about phones in that price caliber, honestly what's an extra $200? And I've never had a phone in my hand wishing it was less capable, so why chance wanting to replace it earlier?

Like I said, I bought the X at launch and that was to replace, in turn, a 6 Plus which was still very usable so I'm far from an every year upgrader, and I think that has to do with the fact that I always get the biggest and best, and then just age out a few cycles instead of continuously upgrading.

My 0.02.

This strategy has served me well. My cycle is 4 years though. 2010 most powerful blackberry -> 2014 iPhone 5s -> 2018 iPhone X

Yep. I wouldn't even say I necessarily have a cycle, I just upgrade when I wanted to. I passed on the 7 and 8 because they didn't have anything overly compelling. The X had FaceID, more gesture control which I like, and the better camera so I jumped on that one. Now I'm debating the 11 Pro just because that new camera also has my interest, and I really like the Midnight Green color, but I'm not sold just yet. I think I'll wait and see how long it takes Apple to start shifting units before I decide for sure.

Almost the same experience here. My old 6 has now gone to our son who continues to get tons of use out of it - all the iPhones in our family end up being given to kids for their phones when we upgrade. Usually the batteries are starting to degrade but the phones themselves? They last for years, and years, and years. iPhones are great

I think because phones are largely still changed on a 2 year cycle in sync with contracts.

I’ve been handing down my iPhones since day one. All of them have got 6 years minimum use.

I mean, my gaming PC has roughly the same cycle, though I suppose that's only for given parts, not the entire thing each time.

I dunno, for all the uses and advantages my phone gives me, I'm happy to pay. My last one was an X and it's served me extremely well since I bought it at launch. I passed on the XS, but the 11 is tempting.

Most people buy cheap PC's, too.

Do “most people” even buy PCs, nowadays? I think most do, but also think it won’t take a decade for that to change.

You may “need” one when you’re at school or university, but i would think many people can easily do without a PC, after that.

Photographers. Many will choose a smartphone that would work as a "b" camera. Is it really that difficult for you to come up with other examples?

Here is one: I'm a botanist. I take a lot of pictures of herbarium specimens (pressed plant specimens in natural history museums) to make morphological measurements. I have a Sony A7RM3 that is a MUCH higher resolution, better quality camera, but it's a lot bigger, requires more setup time, etc. With an iPhone, the pictures I take are automatically uploaded into Apple's cloud storage and available on my laptop. It's a very nice, simple, relatively seamless system.

I shot most of a City Council campaign this summer with just an iPhone. Took a DSLR to like two big events because I needed telephoto, but all our other official photos and social media stuff was phones.

If I'm shooting something for a billboard, yeah, I'll go get out a real camera. Almost anything smaller than that can absolutely be done on almost any modern flagship phone.

I see where you’re coming from, but it also feels like asking ‘why do you want to work in a nice place ? what difference is it really making that your desk has smooth angles and is made of sturdy materials instead of a particle plank with feets we’d buy at IKEA ?’

People can be productive and do fantastic work on any working material. But why have it worse when you’ll be using the device day in day out and stare at it for years ?

I don’t think we are arguing the Pro is nicer, right ?

Well sure, but the particle board thing tcompares to getting a cheap Android budget model though. Not last year's flagship at 40% of the cost. (Well, last year's iPhone hasn't dropped quite that much, but in the Android world they often do with some smart shopping.)

No, I definitely agree, in fact I was going to give that very caveat ('aside from the pro model just being nicer to use if you use a phone all the time at work') but didn't want to presume your point too much. Also I was genuinely interested, maybe there are jobs like this and I'm just not aware of them :-)

> I don’t think we are arguing the Pro is nicer, right ?

I didn't watch the entire presentation, but didn't seem very different from current high end phones, except for the camera.

Why the weird extremes? Did the Iphone 8 or X or a android flagship from 2017 stop being nice? Is that your standard for an "IKEA particle plank"?

Working at a "nice place" is what you care about when you've already decided that everything else about the job is going to suck. When the rest of your working conditions are decent don't care what your desk is like.

I decided long ago that I won’t work for places that can’t be bothered having decent offices, whatever they do, whatever they pay *

I don’t mean candy bowls or flashy sofas, but well lit, well ventilated, with decent toilets, noise isolation and living space between desks, and ergonomic chairs (at least adjustable in height and depth/inclination)

Cheaping out on work environment is the first sign of misplaced priorities IMO. Especially when it’s so easy to get penalties from work inspection.

* I’ll settle for a million dollar a year, I confess

Having ergonomic equipment is pretty important IMO regardless of the job.

There's a big difference between decent, ergononic equipment and high luxury though. The most expensive flagship phones compare to high luxury, not basic, functional, ergononic environments.

Right but we're talking about SV jobs, which do suck and only get employees for the pay and perks.

I had been a Windows phone user for 3 years from 2009 to 2012 (HTC HD7, Nokia Lumia 800 and 920). Then switched to android for 7 years. Had a OnePlus One, <one more android here>, then a Google Nexus 6p, a Motorola ( solely for a 5000mAh battery as I was fed up with the nexus battery). Finally got an iPhone XS Max this year and I don’t think I am going to switch. My needs are to have a reliable phone with good battery life to last a day and that will run for 4+ years and get full security upgrades (else I don’t get work email on my phone). I think if I get 5 years out of it, the iPhone even with its 1100$ price tag will be cheaper in the long run.

A can see for some people where images are an important aspect, but not central to the work, the new cameras might come in handy - off the top of my head ...

I’m estate agent and I want to be able to photograph exteriors and interiors.

I’m a garden designer, I like to photograph my clients gardens for a portfolio.

I run a small bar, that has live music sometimes- I like to photograph and video the bands for my website.

I'm a startup founder and I use my phone more than anything else to demo my company's technology. But any of the modern phones is fine for this (I've been rolling with a 7 Plus since it came out), and frankly I prefer the LCD screens to the new OLEDs because of ghosting/lag issues.

There may be other folks out there who want the fastest phone for the purposes of demoing technology. For me, I mostly just don't want to look like I'm a luddite (although I've seen a surprising number of founders/CEOs who rock the SE).

On OLED screens, the ROG "gaming" phone has an impressive 90hz. It's a little cheaper than most flagships too.

I'm with you here. Got a SE few years ago and it's doing great. Albeit I don't use it as much as I use my Mac, but it does the job.

1. No Camera bump (c'mon, this is simple)

2. Good photos (I'm not trying to replicate Mona Lisa, I just need an ok camera that captures day-to-day things)

3. Small, portable

"I have to waste money on conspicuously consuming the most expensive phone on the market or else my partners won't think my company is a legitimate business" is a great ilustration of how SV is in a bubble of phony valuation for phony products.

> conspicuously consuming the most expensive phone on the market

This is an iPhone 7+ we’re talking about... Maybe not the best springboard for your complaint.

Physicians - always on the go, need access to calendar, reference apps, communication (messages, email)... to me, having a fast phone with a big screen is a no-brainer.

Don't all of these work equally well on the non-Pro version?

The Pro is advertised as having significantly better battery life. If he is indeed always on the go then that will be a big plus.

One thing the top end iPhone has is a better camera, and for tangentially-professional photographers, this makes a difference. ("Tangentially" meaning professionals that need photos, eg insurance claims adjuster, but that's it's not a primary focus of their job so an SLR doesn't make sense, eg wedding photographer.)

I'm a hobbyist/pseudo-pro(shot a couple of weddings) photographer that used to carry around SLRs, but have found the iPhone camera good enough to use for daily photography, so the best photography in a phone is a huge plus for myself as I can appreciate the photography enhancements.

Obviously for heavy lifting, I still would prefer an SLR with an assortment of lens options and such though.

Instagram influencers of course.

It's entirely the camera + case material that differentiates pro from non.

Depends if you mean work on your phone, or on your phone at work.

Agreed on the comfort aspect. I splurged and got the iPhone X a few years back, and in daily use it still feels snappier than even the most recent flagship Samsung phones.

I get that's the marketing intent, but the last iteration of MacBook Pros (with the gimmicky taskbar, the fail-prone keyboard, and glued items) has failed on that regard, at least for me. I had to replace the keyboard on mine, and it took Apple 10 days to do it. How is that "pro"?

Twice during this summer, I was not able to share my screen with coworkers using Zoom because my MacBook pro would overheat and throttle the processors. It might be that there's some dust inside the fan (I have a cat) but I am not able to open and clean it up. How is that "Pro"?

Our servers are all linux based and virtualization in mac is spotty (especially if you want to share a Docker-based setup via Zoom on a mildly hot day).

I strongly doubt I will go back to Mac when the time comes for renewing. I really do need to get stuff done, and this machine has gotten in my way too many times.

The finger reader thingie is nice, though.

I don't think any professional photographers will give up their DSLRs or Mirrorless/System Cameras in favor of an image sensor smaller than their fingernails.

The Pro iPhones are definitely for 'prosumers' rather than actual professionals. You know, the type that has a semi-professional DSLR, but just uses it to take better pictures than anyone else when they're at a party or going about the city.

However, with the growth of more organic looking content on social media, there are a lot of other types of "pros" using iPhones daily for commercial content creation.

Where I work, for example, the social media team are looking to buy an iPhone for IG Story content, as well as internal videos.

Whilst it obviously won't replace a pro photographer's equipment for static, paid shoots, it will be used often in a "pro" setting.

It could have some niche applications in low-budget films / advertisement, as well as in the "meme" sphere.

Yes, agreed there, but in any sort of high budget capacity, I'd rather get an actual camera or film equipment.

Pro photographers that make bank by being instagram influencers will be all over the iPhone Pro. This will completely upend the vlogging industry too.

I vlog with a DSLR and even with an iPhone X most people can’t tell when I use footage from that (running with a dslr is hard, for example). iPhone Pro likely makes better video than my T6i Rebel in many situations. Depth of field is usually where DSLRs shine

Why? Why wouldn't anyone with more than a passing interest in photography buy a dedicated camera for much less money that will work much better?

Compared to most new mirrorless or DSLR cameras, an iPhone is cheaper. A mirrorless or DSLR camera may have better sensor and optics (if you buy the right glass) BUT the computational capabilities of the phone far outstrip the computational capabilities of the camera.

I find that modern phones are better than traditional cameras a) by nailing exposure more consistently in tricky lighting conditions, b) having a far better display for proofing your shots, and c) can use computational photography tricks to create great HDR photos.

Kinda makes you wonder when somebody will release a DLSR body with minimal controls, no screen, and an iPhone mount.

Sigma cameras are getting close to that form factor. [1]

[1] https://www.sigma-global.com/en/cameras/dp-series/

It would need to mount pretty close to the CPU to take advantage of all the DSP hardware in the phone ...

Built in WiFi hotspot, an app on the phone...

Accessibility and ease of workflow. I've had (and have) some nice cameras, but the phone is almost always with me and almost always more convenient to get at and use. The phone can also own much more of the lifecycle of the image than a stand alone camera. Viewing, editing, backing up, and sharing images are all much easier on a phone than at least the stand alone cameras I've used.

Where the standalone cameras are useful are where you need a capability that you just can't get in a phone. (And that's a set of capabilities that's been greatly diminished over the years, although it will never fully go away.)

You don't need the best gear for (that kind of) Instagram, an iPhone that takes fantastic photos _and_ lets you edit and post in a frictionless manner is probably a more productive platform.

People don't _look at_ Instagram posts in the same way they might a fine art photograph. It's a double tap while scrolling through hundreds of posts.

I say this as an avid amateur wildlife photographer who posts on Instagram and gets a handful of likes while friends get hundreds or thousands for an out-of-focus image of a milkshake and bagel.

The word that fits here is "lifestyle."

The iPhone is a lifestyle product. It does a lot of things, but it does some of them quite poorly.

The new camera is better than it used to be, but it's still a long way of short of the quality you'd expect from a high-end professional photo studio camera.

As a lifestyle product, the important factor is the narrative that buying it will put you within reach of that professional creative lifestyle.

In a sense it will, if your definition is limited to lifestyle social sites like IG and FB.

But in a more honest and realistic sense it won't, because it lacks the quality and the flexibility of real professional equipment. A good DSLR + glass will still kill it, and medium format - which is what the most successful full-time studio pros are likely to use - will absolutely destroy it.

There are still situations where that high end is needed. Fashion, ads, and high-end portraiture and photojournalism all rely on it. I don't think studio photographers working in those fields are going to be moving to an iPhone any time soon.


My point was mostly that the definition of “pro photographer” is much wider these days than many people realize. For many values of “pro” an iPhone Pro is going to be absolutely fantastic and a better fit than higher-end pro.

> In a sense it will, if your definition is limited to lifestyle social sites like IG and FB.

That's precisely what I meant. It's what most people do most of the time.

Taking a shot of my breakfast smoothie with my 150mp Phase One, editing on a calibrated workstation and exporting to have it resized to 2mp for display on mobile phones is beyond pointless.

True, but even then, your best camera is the one you have with you. I have a nice Canon DSLR setup, but appreciate good camera quality from my phone, because even if I don't have my camera with me, I almost always have my phone.

How does that apply to 'pro photographers who make bank off of instagram'?

Because you iphone is accessible on seconds notice anytime anywhere. You have to plan to bring a DLSR with you.

How would this 'revolutionize vlogging' for 'pro influencers who make bank off of instagram'?

Because why lug around all your serious gear all the time to make videos people watch on their phone when they’re bored on the crapper? Or for insta stories?

But the part it’s really going to revolutionize is the baseline level of expected image quality. Just like Casey Neistat forced everyone to start using DSLRs for vlogging with his famed 2 or 3 year experiment.

> Because you iphone is accessible on seconds notice anytime anywhere.

Not if I'm travelling internationally, as then I'm concerned about the implications of having border officials demand access to my phone. Or if I'm participating in various watersports/snowsports/backcountry activities where a phone is problematically fragile and difficult to keep charged.

In either of those scenarios (which account for the majority of pictures I take) I'm more likely to have a camera accessible than a phone.

Okay, so you are an edge case... what's your point?

It's not less money, though. I can buy a telephoto, wide angle, and super wide lens and not have any money left over if my budget is the cost of an iPhone. The point isn't that the phone can replace those things in every situation it's that it's so good that it's more than good enough to replace those things for a significant percentage of the times I need them.

Case in point, I have an iPhone X and a DSLR with all of the above lenses and the camera kit + lenses were more expensive than the new iPhone and I probably would use them less.

I think apple "Pro" has been equivalent to "Prosumer" for years now.

More like "Prosumer" digital cameras, without removable lenses.

Don't know if the new mac pro will shake that up.

> Not sure the "Pro" distinction will hold up for iPhone, though

It does, you need to be able to charge its cost as a business expense to be able to afford it. The "Pro" signals to the tax auditors that Apple approves of this :-)

> any other profession where the iPhone Pro will "pay for itself"

Self-styled "influencers". They'll be all in.

>It's been clear for quite some time that terms like "Extreme", "Pro" and "Max" are marketing terms.

A great example of this is the "PS4 Pro"

Listen pal, my eSports Twitch career won't go anywhere with just the base model /sarcasm

> All that being said, I personally have never bought from Apple, and think the $150 upgrade cost is ridiculous (not to mention the $300 jump from the XR, which is still $300 more than I paid for my Pixel)! So I could say the "Pro" marketing isn't working on me! But overall, they aren't hurting for customers.

I love it when people complain about the prices Apple charge, especially given the experiences I've had with customer service at Apple, so... story time!

I had an iPhone 5 when it first came out. At the time I was a heavy motorbike rider to and from work. One day when I was riding home it rained heavily (this was in England, so yeah...) and my pocket had been left open. When I got home my iPhone was completely submerged in water for at least 20 minutes.

I took it to Apple the next day and they replaced it for free. Try that with your Pixel... oh that's right, you don't have any stores to take it into world wide. Shame.

Fast forward to only two years ago...

I was in Vienna for Christmas a few years back. We'd gone through Italy to get there. During my time in Italy I noticed my iPhone 6S' battery was dropping quickly. I couldn't work out why. By the time we got to Vienna it would drop by 20% every 15-20 minutes. I found a premium reseller who took it in and replaced the battery in 45 minutes for free. I bought the phone in Australia.

Try that with your Pixel... oh that's right, you have to post your phone to the manufacturer and wait for them to fix it or replace it, a process I know to take weeks. Shame. But you saved $300 though!

I personally don't think it's worth counting the pennies in that manner given the services you're getting outside of the hardware. It's not much of a price hike at all, in the grand scheme of things.

So, you have very expensive insurance?

As it turns out, I've never destroyed any of my own phones, so I saved $300 every two years since I started buying smart phones 12 years ago. So $1800. If my phone gets submerged and Google won't replace it, I guess I'll have to buy another phone with my $1800 budget!

Also, when I got my Pixel 3, the back had some waves in the paint. It literally did not matter at all, because I put a case on it, and it couldn't affect functionality at all, but I told them I wasn't happy, and they shipped a new one that did not have the cosmetic imperfections. Try that with your iPhone! Oh yeah, it would probably work.

shrug This isn't a competition. Just be smart with your money (or do with your money as you choose, whether someone else thinks it smart or not!)

> So, you have very expensive insurance?

Expensive compared to what, exactly? Car insurance, which doesn't have a world wide chain of stores you can walk into when your car is smashed up? House insurance, which also does not afford you the luxury of world wide stores with commission free staff to assist you when your house burns down?

Most "insurance", if you want to call it that, doesn't offer you the same level of experience, so in what way is it expensive?

My house insurance doesn't teach me how a boiler works so I can use it correctly, or my dish washer, TV, or anything else about the property I own. Apple DO run classes for learning to do just about anything on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc. I'd have to only attend one, perhaps two, of those classes for the staff member's time to be worth more than what I paid for my "insurance".

So what are you comparing it to that makes it expensive?

> As it turns out, I've never destroyed any of my own phones

Which of course means no else does, neither.

> shrug This isn't a competition.

Then why did you argue price as a competitive factor in your purchasing decision? That's literally a competition.

It's expensive to pay nearly double for a phone just because they have physical stores where you've gotten phones that you've destroyed replaced for free.

It's expensive to pay nearly double for a phone because you feel you need classes to learn how to use it.

I'm saying it is perfectly fine if you want to spend more money for the Apple experience. And obviously you are fine with that, too. I prefer to use my money on other things. It's not a competition between rabid fans. It's a market for selling chunks of hardware. So yes, they are competing for our dollars. I prefer to maintain my decision-making over where those dollars go. Having special in-store luxury experiences is not why I buy a phone that takes pictures and does other things nicely, too. But it's fine if you spend that money.

Insurance is betting you're going to have something bad happen. Expensive insurance is when the ones calculating the insurance make a bunch of money off you because you pay a lot more than you get out of it. Paying a ton for a low deductible but never making a claim. If you personally don't destroy phones, paying a lot for insurance on them doesn't make sense. I never said no one else should do so, or that no one else destroys phones. Obviously you do. But still not enough to make up for the price premium.

Overall it's not a solid argument for the phone, but you have your reasons for buying it. It just does nothing to discount my reasons for saving my money and buying a different phone.

> It's expensive to pay nearly double for a phone

Now you're just being dishonest. You know right well that a flag ship Android is near the same price.

I'm not being dishonest. I'm basing it on availability. The Pixel 3 I own was purchased from Google Fi for $400. The price right now is $500. Technically the Pixel 3 XL ($600) is the flagship just like the iPhone XS Max / iPhone 11 Max are the flagship. (Looks like you can't buy the XS Max direct any more, so I can't find current pricing.) The iPhone 11 Max starts at $1100. That seems like "nearly double" to me.

>a premium reseller replaced the battery in 45 minutes for free. I bought the phone in Australia. Try that with your Pixel...

Actually on a (Samsung) Galaxy 5 you could've just popped open the back of the phone and replaced the battery yourself in a few seconds.

At a cost to you.

Did you pay for Applecare?

Most people do not get free replacements or repairs for their iPhones.

So are you saying you got a new phone and battery for free?

I somehow managed to get an almost invisible crack on the inside of the Gorilla glass a few years ago via a drop. Took it into an Apple Store for a screen replacement; they gave me a fresh out of the box phone for free (partially because they'd never seen that failure mode before, partially because they were busy and my slot got delayed 45 minutes.)

(Admittedly, the bloke next to me with the iPhone 4 arguing that the back glass had shattered "all on its own; I didn't drop it, honestly!" probably wasn't going to get a new phone for free...)

I am saying that, because it happened. I'm OK with you not believing me, because it'll still be the truth at the end of the day.

Honestly I never really understood the need to chase the newest flagship given the premium price. I probably upgrade about once a year to 18 months, and purchasing the prior model flagship saves me about 60% to 70%. I upgraded to the pixel 2xl shortly after the 3 came out for about $260. Even being able to afford it I just feel I'm getting ripped off at $1000.

You then pay somewhere around 175 to 260 usd per year for your phone. The newest iPhones are about $1000. From my experience, and from others, they last a very long time, and a 4 year cycle can be expected, as well as passing the phones on to their kids and so on. There is also the possibility to sell it used down the line, and the iPhones keep their value much better than any Android phone.

Thus the "expensive" iPhones are $250 or less per year. And they are, in my opinion, usually better than the Android equivalent.

You might say; "but what if I have the same upgrade cycle with iPhones". Well, then you can have a look at what a used version of the last gen iPhone costs. Where I live; it is something like $100-200 less than what it was new. That means; some people are having the newest version of the iPhone for only $100-200 / year. That is, at least, roughly the same price as your are getting (or better, depending on resale value of the specific Android phone), but with the newest version of a more premium product.

In other words. You might be getting ripped off at $260. It all comes down to money over time, not amount at a defined moment, unless the amount is prohibitive.

Mostly sound logic and I switched to the iPhone 5 years back after a similar calculation. Only, the 6s started becoming wonky in 3 years and I most definitely missed _some_ Android features.

When it was time to upgrade, it apparently also became time for apple to jack up the price of their flagship to a thousand bucks and I just vehemently avoided that out of principle.

Looking at alternatives,the Galaxy seemed like a reasonably similar premium (not polished software fosho) phone, but sticker price was similar to iPhones. However thos things go on sale a lot. Nabbed a S9 few months after release for 500 and looks like it'll last me three years at least. Super happy with the hardware (and software actually) as well.

The only "flaw" in your logic above is that in principle an iPhone probably can last 4 years but that's not constant - models from them are sometimes just not as reliable (we talking 4 year reliability vs 3) and it's not just a thousand dollars, it's thousand and tax and bells and whistles (which for apple is always more). Plus you now have a premium phone that you better don't break or scratch (if you want to sell) or you're out a very large number of Benjamins.

That is true, but then again, you can probably repair it 3 years down the line. Repairing a 3-year old Android is usually not as easy.

Don't get me wrong, I am writing this on a Sony Android phone, which I expect to get 0 dollars for if I try to sell it. But from an economic perspective I don't think there is a clear advantage to Android devices.

Looking on ebay, you can get a new or lightly used iPhone XS 64GB (the only option that was as little as $999) for around $700. So if you bought it a year ago, your annual cost after selling it is about $300. The Pixel 2 XL goes for about $200 on ebay. Looks like it costs as much as $200 per year more to have the flagship iPhone new than it does to have a year old flagship Pixel.

In your opinion, the iPhone is better, so it's OK that you're spending more, but it's weird to say someone's getting ripped off by buying an excellent one year old phone for much, much less.

The money over time argument rarely works out as better for a more expensive item. Anecdotally, the people I know that buy a brand new flagship do not wait four years between phones. The ones that are OK with a one year old flagship are also OK with a three year old one. And even if they upgrade more often, it's just so much less expensive (over time.)

If it was a need they would probably not be able to charge so much.

Real estate agents, industrial photographers, people who make money affiliate marketing, maintaining a (whatever) review channel on YouTube, journalists, heck even sales or running a small business, lots of professional use cases. The difference between good and great is the little things.

The photos I see on real estate listings are horrendously compressed and have a potato-like quality. I have no idea if they were taken 15 years ago on a $10 point and shoot or on a brand new professional DSLR. Only thing you can sometimes tell is that they used a wide-angle lens.

In my experience (Sydney, Australia) they tend to get professionals to shoot with a quality DSLR, then they get pimple-faced Photoshop jockeys to flatten the dynamics and punch in a fake blue sky.

This new extra-wide camera is interesting as it's fairly rare for a consumer-targeted camera to exceed a 24mm (FFE) focal length. Even in expensive professional lenses, getting to 13mm (FFE) is fairly unusual. Most ultra-wide glass stops at 16mm.

Or you know... bring a camera and be professional.

The idea that apple needs an extra $300 dollars to fit that into my phone, maybe i'll just get two pixel 3s. Or a nice point and shoot.

The 'bare minimum' that the consumer will accept vs 'the average feature set expected' vs 'lets sprinkle in some unicorn dust and charge people up the wazoo' model is getting a little old. Its why I have iPhone 6s, 7s, still in the fleet of devices I support. The consumer and businesses are simply tired of this bs.

Whilst I agree with your premise, the problem is that they explicitly made the distinction that this was for professionals. I can't remember the precise verbiage but when Cook introduced it he said that this was by and for professionals.

Well they specifically said it’s Pro users... and for everyone else who wants the best of what Apple has to offer. They could certainly remove the 64gb entry option and thus increase the base price but then everyone who only needs 64gb is paying more for a feature they don’t need or want. Rather Apple usually waits until part prices make it so they can both reduce the price and this remove the previous entry model which one can assume will happen in a few years.

Instgram influencers are professionals in their particular niche.

> It's been clear for quite some time that terms like "Extreme", "Pro" and "Max" are marketing terms. They are not accurate classifications of how they will be used.

The new iPhone Pros appear to mark a shift; it's the same shift the Mac Pro announcement did in June, and was also a source of contention on Hacker News.

Pro at this point is just key for "the expensier/fancier one".

It's hard to name the more expensive version to convey it's better without in turn suggesting the cheaper one is shittier.

"Pro" lets you do that by suggesting that it's for a different audience, allowing consumers of the budget model to save face so to speak (I don't need it because I'm not a professional).

"Pro" probably works great to bring in people trying to elevate their social media quality. It doesn't necessarily mean (in Apple's marketing terminology) actual, legitimate professional industry anymore.

I'd imagine people getting into vlogging and such, or even people who just want to be "that cool and popular" (especially younger people) that would buy in to the "Pro" moniker.

> It doesn't necessarily mean (in Apple's marketing terminology) actual, legitimate professional industry

I made the point elsewhere, but I think that ignores "professionals in the workplace doing this alongside other things". These can easily be "pro" for content creation teams, like editorial staff for capturing Stories from events and the like.

Just because they're not replacements for high-end commercial photography equipment doesn't mean they're not being used as intended by professionals.

Completely agree that their terminology might be skewing, but I wouldn't be so dismissive of their use in a professional context, even if the users aren't "photography professionals" themselves.

I think "Pro" is just admitting that they're running into two tiers now. They released the 8 and the X together, they released the XR and XS together. The iphone has diverged into two products and hopefully they've picked a consistent name to differentiate them - because the difference between XR and XS isn't obvious at all.

“XS” seemed to me like a blunder of a name. First off, I don’t know anyone who calls the X iPhones “ten” - they call them “x”. And so XS looks and sounds like “extra small.”

Without knowing anything about the X phones, I at first assumed that XR was the top of the line X phone. XR just... sounds like a better phone.

I think they resolved this with the 11 line.

To me I couldn't help but read it as "excess", as in this phone is excessive.

Exactly. It's the same as with iPad and Mac. The name "pro" is just a throw-back to an earlier Apple, and it works because customers already understand the term. It doesn't matter if it is for real professionals or not.

“Pro” means more powerful. That doesn’t mean that you buy it if you need it work work. I know Fellows making $1m/year who have a MacBook Air because they prefer the low weight when they’re doing emails etc, and code from a desktop workstation.

I suppose they could protest a 64GB pro version or they could buy a bigger one. I guess we all pick our battles.

If you need a "pro" phone but can't afford the iPhone, you could always get a UMIDIGI A3 Pro, or an ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2, which are quite a bit cheaper.

Naturally it's just a marketing term.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact