I have an iPhone 7 Plus and comparing it to the iPhone 11 versions I don't see anything in the latter that I'd upgrade for. The best I could come up with would maybe be the watch but that's only because I have a Series 1 that is probably on its last legs. If I'm being honest, however, when the Series 1 goes I'll probably go back to my $30 Timex. $5/mo for Arcade and TV+ each is a great price but then again, at least for the latter, I'd be paying a little over a third of the price of Netflix for a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the content. Sure they'll be adding more but nothing they have now really gets me excited to watch.
I used to so look forward to product announcements because it was like being a kid again. Looking through the Christmas catalog at all the things I'd love to have. Imagining how my life might be better "if I just had that new iPhone!" Now? Meh.
I'm genuinely sad. I feel like it's the end of a very long era.
I mean I have an iPhone 8 and what I see are:
- An edge-to-edge screen
- Longer battery life
- Faster processors
- Improved cameras (don't care much myself but it is still improved)
- Updated Wifi and LTE technologies (not sure how much hype that is)
- More durable (apparently) and more water resistant (at least compared to my 8)
- Multiple wireless headphone support (not sure I need this either but it is still a feature others will use)
I don't need to upgrade for any of these things, which is probably a good thing in terms of e-waste, but it is still definitely a clear upgrade from my current phone.
- USB-C charging
- 5G (for futureproofing, more than anything)
- High refresh rate screen
- Refreshed/less dated looking design (that notch has aged very poorly, regardless of the tech they squeeze into it)
- Larger default storage
- No touch ID/in screen fingerprint reader
None of those missing features are deal breakers, but without all of them it makes this phone seem iterative and a difficult sell - especially since it seems likely/is rumoured that a lot of them will come next year.
5G is far from that. It requires reworked battery technology, antenna systems, and we don't even have a complete picture of the effects on our health. The phones that have 5G currently have terrible battery life and are hundreds of dollars more expensive than their non-5G counterparts. All for the 20 or so cities that have it.
Once the technology is actually ready for primetime, Apple will include it. And it will work way better than anything you're seeing right now.
For me, it was how the announcements were made, they did seem to just feel like they had a massive "Wow" factor.
Even way back on the first iPhone announcement - When Steve was on stage and talking about the Palm and Blackberry devices having "physical keyboards", and that he had merged it all with the iPod with touch screens, to me that seemed like a massive jump. (OK I admit, at the time I was very much in the camp of "my Blackberry's keyboard is the finest!", but I watch the announcement back again... there was a very Steve Jobs finesse to the whole thing!).
The more recent announcements have kinda been a bit "meh", and I think maybe it's just that - I think a new type of device that has not been thought about, would bring back the "Wow" factor again.
I think, just for me anyway, that jumping over the releases (so skip a release and upgrade), I see more of a jump, than say if I was going between each version.
Anyway, my thoughts - and I don't know - maybe others see the same with the announcements not quite as they used to be - due to the slowness of "upgrades" to the product.
Maybe you’ve grown up some since then? New phones are fun gadgets, but in the end, it’s just a phone.
Now (or at least for now) the changes have become more iterative. The delta between several generations are still nice, but between individual generations are less enticing to immediately upgrade.
In the end this is not bad. Upgrading a still perfectly working product every 1 or 2 years is quite insane and taxing for the environment. A lot of credit should go to Apple for maintaining iOS support for old iPhones. This makes it possible for people to keep their phones longer or hand them down. Or for people with lower incomes to buy older generations and still get upgrades.
Of course, slower upgrade cycles are bad for manufacturers. So it's smart of Apple to increase revenue through services (Apple Music, Arcade, Apple TV+, iCloud Storage), rather than forcing their customers to upgrade perfectly-fine devices.
Perhaps there's a smoother motion, double clicking, then face-id then press. To me, the finger print sensor just means I'm tapping my phone on the sensor.
You could have said the same about your iPhone 7. What features of the 7 made you WANT to switch compared to earlier models?
"People don’t know what they want until you show it to them."
What would make me "upgrade" (not sure if I can really call that an upgrade in the absence of a headphone port).
2. 5G support using a single-chip like the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 baseband chipset (not a separate 4g and 5G chip as with the X50)
3. No more stupid notch
Nice to have:
4. Some sort of anti-slip ridges or grip milled into the casework
5. Getting TouchID back
6. No more stupid lens bump
1. Headphone jack. Absolute MUST for any sort of music recording (lag, quality) and long distance running (battery life).
2. TouchID. My wife has FaceId and I hate it so much.
Everything else I can live with or without.
I’m still on my 6s+ for those reasons, and it’s sad. Nobody would NOT buy the latest iPhone if it had those things. But a non-zero population doesn’t buy it bc it lacks them. Just silly.
I guess it's not a "fast" smartphone anymore but... it's definitely Fast Enough.
You can't see the cracks in normal head on operation and there are no usage issues but I think it would mean that I'd have to have the screen replaced to replace the battery. At some point this is not economically good sense.
I can easily afford an new iPhone every year but I want a headphone socket for use with Rosetta Stone. When I use my headphones wirelessly with it it switches to a headset profile (with an annoying beep) and the sound quality drop to that of a headset before it switch back to audio profile (with another annoying beep).
Apple's solutions things like audio in the new iPhones seems half baked. Using a 3.5mm headphone lead with the same Bose QC35s everything works perfectly with clear sound at all times.
Also FaceId won't work when sitting in the charging cubbyhole of my car, TouchId does.
That’s not a clear cut win to me.
The cost of going from a 6 year upgrade cycle to a 5 year upgrade cycle is something like 12 cents per day. Even if you're not entirely happy with the current phones, at some point waiting to upgrade is a net negative if you actually cost it out and compare it rationally to your utility curve.
Keep in mind USB-C came to Android on the Nexus line in October of 2015.
Yes, in a tech forum the majority of us have many USB-C devices. But I personally don't have that critical mass of USB-C devices compared with Lightning or microUSB.
It makes sense for the laptops to replace their proprietary power ports with USB-C but they'd need a time machine to be consistent across product lines and not screw somebody over.
What I mean by Lightning tax is the literal Lightning tax. Lightning is a proprietary connector that needs to be licensed by Apple and of which Apple makes revenue from.  So by Apple keeping it around on their flagship device Apple continues to profit from accessories continuing to be made.
I'm curious why you think it's great for Apple buyers that tote MacBook Pro, iPad Pro and iPhone to need two types of cable for charging and connectivity?
Remember FireWire? It was great for it's time but saw it's day well before Apple finally dropped it. Lightning has seen it's fate. A flagship phone, with the price Apple commands, should have a current generation port.
At the end of the day, having different cables is a slight inconvenience but not terrible. I know with both USB-C and Lightning I’m tired of cleaning the connectors. I’m not going to say I want them to go away, but Qi charging ftw! Renders this entire debate almost entirely moot, and lint isn’t an issue.
Replacing one annoying connector with another isn’t an upgrade, it’s a lateral move at best, and a downgrade for people with iPhones today that are well invested in Lightning peripherals.
USB-C is on its best day, equal to Lightning for the purposes of shifting electrons, and is in some ways worse because the design of the connector is more fragile on the female end, I.e. the phone, rather than the more easily replaced cable. The day Apple switches over to USB-C is the day the connector is meaningless. It will probably happen, but today is not that day.
I haven't seen exact specs for a Lightning cable but I've seen it suggested that it tops out at 12W.
In theory USB-C can shift 100W (20V * 5A) so, again in theory, it would allow much fast charging if the phone could support that.
Careful what you whish for. I can totally understand the desire for uniform and interchangable power adaptors and ports, but USB-C on my S8 wore off within half a year, to the point that to "take" and speed-load, I had to ram it into the plug several times in succession, greatly contributing to wear.
They might announce this later — I think that tracking AR tags will end up being huge.
The notch isn't so bad, I'll fullscreen videos and don't even notice it.
I should do this on my XR...
There were zero rumors of this, it was just wishful thinking, but man if I didn't dream...
On a similar note, I’ve been disappointed in the removal of 3D Touch. I understand that it adds complexity to the display layer, but replacing 3D Touch with long-presses doesn’t really cut it for me
The only other update I want is more battery life. They’re thin enough; make them a third thicker with all of that used for battery. Or just thicker so the new camera is flush against the back casing.
SERIOUSLY! Why does the <1mm thinner matter so much to them to have the fugly camera bump instead? That space surely could be used by a slightly bigger battery if nothing else.
Is there any use case where WiFi + Bluetooth hotspot makes more sense than enabling each separately. Bluetooth is a huge battery drain. To avoid this as it is now, I have to select Wifi + Bluetooh, wait for my device to connect via WiFi then go back to settings and disable bluetooth. If I forgot to do so, my battery is gone in a few hours.
With battery life being such a priority, I'm genuinely puzzled as to why this hasn't already been implemented.
If you are reliably experiencing something you can clearly pin on Bluetooth, you either have very unusual usage patterns, or are experiencing a severe bug.
Having bluetooth turned off results in _worse_ battery life? How so?
The only time I use Bluetooth is for AirDrop. And that requires turning personal hotspot off.
I don't want the screen going to the edge.
I want the fingerprint thing, not FaceID.
The rest are nice I guess, but those two things are the sticking points.
I don't think anyone doubts the "clear upgrade" part. It's the "need" part we're talking about, here.
Sic.. they don’t even really try to sell a longer battery life, they just are content of getting through the day
- a larger screen option. 6.5 isn’t enough
- a mini pencil to use on that larger screen
- some type of integrated headset or device to use the new iPhone as a VR/AR headset
- Better battery life. I know they announced this, but the batteries need to be 10-100x better. I can’t use my phone all day without it dying. I should be able to use it for a week without dying
Thought of a few more that would have been good:
- a flip phone option, something really innovative (not a joke)
- a much smaller version of the iPhone. Like an iPhone nano
- a gaming version of the iPhone that had a gpu and could run steam
I know some of these sound like science fiction, but that’s kind of the point for Apple events. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad were all next level. What have we gotten from Apple in the last 5 years? Headphones? A notification machine for your wrist?
My friends with regular iPhones should be able to stream the games I’m playing if I give them permission, and if we’re in the same room we should be able to play party games easily with less resource intensive (ie score displays or trivia questions or whatever) able to be displayed on their devices. Or they should be able to use their iPhones as 3rd or 4th or ... Nth touch screen virtual controllers for multiplayer.
Because it’s a phone, it has a touchscreen for super fast data entry of my online accounts or whatever, 4G and awesome cameras, gyro and accelerometer as well.
Now you have my attention.
That is the only thing I want; sure there are good feature phones (I never use my iPhone for normal cellular calling) that have long battery life, but I want a high spec smart phone with at least 1 whole day (let’s say 24 hrs; when travelling, and that is often, I usually spend whole days working only on my phone; browsing,
dictating, writing and doing conference calls; it is just empty after half a day like that) while using it the entire day. I do not need it to be so thin; I need it to last all day while using it with screen and 4g on.
I even tried out Oukitel monster phones; the k10000 first version actually made this but was bad otherwise (way too heavy, any kind of drop would shatter the screen; not very good specs besides the battery) while the next version did not make it (really cannot understand why).
So with my 7 plus I now carry an external battery and am contemplating the Chinese approach to battery life; carry 2 phones instead. I really wish they could fix this.
The watch helps when not travelling; it allows me to leave my phone off for long stretches but it it not an ideal solution.
> iPhone nano
I did not try the latest watches but do they not have a SIM and basically are a tiny iPhone?
It exists, it’s called the Apple Watch cellular edition.
This is the golden age of any technology; the lack of something great, and seeing it approach from the horizon, then repeating with the next thing.
Smartphones definitely seem to be converging on a form factor and a feature set. This is what happened to "feature" phones that we all had just before the smartphone became available. Do you remember any features you were dying to have in your next flip-phone? I don't. They had matured.
What will happen after smartphones? It's anyone's guess, and I'd say that whoever is going to invent that new device already has the idea and is trying to get it developed.
I get that 5-10 years ago it was a totally different field, when technology wasn't matured, and everything they announced was something groundbreaking.
But now, besides from the yearly camera and chip improvements, I honestly can't think of anything I would want in a smartphone.
The main reason is that I don't like managing different devices, installing different apps, using different OS, I just want to customize my working environment once.
That or having a single OS that works on different devices and synchronizes cleverly every settings, installed apps configuration in the cloud and adapt them to the device.
I would love if I could just have one device, and different adaptors for different situation. Although I’m not sure if current smartphones are powerful enough for pro-desktop users.
Obviously the OS would have to adapt as well, and not just the smartphone OS scaled up.
"This has everything I want."
That is when market opportunities appear in front of those with good ideas.
Who knows when the next thing is coming? No one; so plan as if it isn't.
By removing the home button, Apple turned iPhone into a device completely controlled by gestures. It's arguably the biggest UX change since the first iPhone, and one that was surprisingly unreported at the time. It makes the phone feel more cohesive, and the initial impression, once you learn the app switching gestures, is vaguely futuristic. FaceID works great, too, and certainly feels futuristic, though on its own it's not really a game changer. It's the integration into the buttonless UX that makes it a worthwhile feature.
(I actually wish there was also a fingerprint sensor, because the FaceID doesn't work well for contactless terminal such as the ones you find in stores -- you have to first hold the phone near the reader, then pick a card, then hold the phone at the right angle for it to recognize your face, then bring it back to the reader. Not ideal, though someone claimed the new phones would do FaceID at steeper angles, so maybe it's gotten better.)
I don’t have any problems with FaceID — it’s more reliable and easier than TouchID for me. I live in a rainy place, though. Obviously a YMMV situation.
With TouchID do you just put your finger on the home button and hold it by the reader?
I'd argue that it's still a slightly more complicated interaction than with TouchID, though, requiring a bit more mental preparation, perhaps.
As for TouchID: Yes, that's how it works. It's a more fluid action because typically you'll have added your thumb as the fingerprint, and it's easy to hold the phone with your thumb on the home button while holding it near the reader.
First and most noticeably they no long have a "master of ceremony" someone that is not only excited by the products but also enthusiastic to show them off to you. This is exemplified with no more "One More thing..."
Second, their designs are old and tired. I don't know if Ive ran out of Braun/Rams designs to borrow from or if the execs fear any major design changes, but Apple has become too comfortable with their design language and unfortunately they are starting to show a lack of taste (looking at you over-sized camera bump)
Third, the products have matured. Apple hasn't really done anything new or exciting with their lineup. Gone are the days you expected to see a new product that is lifestyle changing. Now days you might see a spec bump, or a change in product to make it thinner, but nothing that really stands out as "Wow I've gotta have that". The thing I remember most from the last two announcements were features targeting "influencers" - Animoji's and "Slofies".
Finally, I don't feel apple understands the waning in their product appeal. Be it on price or function, I see a lot less Apple products at coffee shops and colleges these days.
Smartphones are pretty much done. The one thing I'd upgrade for is apparently not possible with current technology: A display that works perfectly in sunlight, being illuminated by it instead of trying to compete with it. Other than that? I can't even think of something!
It'd be much easier to use my phone for what I want to use my phone for -- productivity and being connected (and occasionally looking things up online). Instead, my phone successfully hypnotizes me with it's bright colors and videos. More and more, I find myself using my phone not because I actually want to, but because it sneak attacked me with some notification that sucked me into doing something that's just wasting my time.
Also, with e-ink, the battery should last at least a couple of days. And, to your point, you could use it under any lighting conditions -- at least I can with my Kindle Paperwhite.
I never understood the need for so many people to tune into those Apple live keynotes. It is of course all marketing and slideware.
I feel like it's the end of a very long era.
I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that today’s hardware is not changing as fast as it was 10 years ago (or even 5 years ago).
Looking at the quality and size of devices now, I can’t imagine much will be different in 15 years until we get to a major re-invention of things; I.e. holographic devices or implanted smartphones, things that you dream about. The screen quality is just so great already that I can’t imagine it being 1000x better - like you might compare an iPhone to a mid-90s gameboy screen or early Nokia candy-bar phone displays & UI.
What can we possibly expect from new devices besides more storage, slightly more pixels, and slightly more powerful processing?
The first iPhone at "everyone had" came out a little over 11 years ago.
I'd hazard a guess most people who were in their ~mid 20's back in 2008 is now in their ~mid 30's, and have probably lost a lot interest in "new and shiny thing".
I'm swiftly approaching 40, and what gets me excited has changed dramatically in the past decade.
We'll see how long the line up is on release day, that'll give as an indicator of how out of touch us old folk are.
1. iPhone 3G available in 22 countries for as compared the original iPhone available in only 7 countries, according to the Wikipedia articles for each
Now I can have my other number without worrying about green bubbles. Instant clout. I'll pay for that: the device and additional number monthly.
Goodbye Google Voice/Skype numbers! Well I'll keep gvoice for a third number for shenanigans, like craigslist replies