Apple is set to unveil the 10th anniversary iPhone next Tuesday, and bloggers are somewhere between frenzied and frothing at the mouth. The company’s stock is trading at an all-time high as analysts are poised for a “supercycle” of upgrades.
But you probably don’t care about any of this. All you’ve probably heard about the iPhone 8 is that it’s going to force you to buy new headphones, and it’ll cost a ton to replace when you drop it and break the glass backplate. So for everyone who hears “5.8-inch AMOLED screen” and thinks “that’ll probably be too bright to use at night,” here’s everything you actually need to know about the iPhone 8.
It’s going to have a stupid name
Depending on who you listen to, the Next iPhone will be called the iPhone 8, the iPhone X, or the iPhone Edition. It doesn’t really matter which one of these Apple picks, because they’re all equally terrible. It’s not the 8th iPhone (that was the iPhone 6S), using “X” instead of 10 is something that fell out of fashion when Rome got taken by the barbarians, and calling any mass-consumption gadget that’ll be produced in millions the “Edition” is just silly.
Let’s not beat about the bush: the notch that will apparently house the front-facing camera up top could be the ugliest thing Apple’s ever put its name on. It’s a tough call between that and the nest of MacBook dongles that’ve moved into my laptop bag, but if the iPhone 8 actually looks like those mockups, you know they’ve blown it.
TouchID is on the back now (or gone)
Moving swiftly on, let’s talk about the first of many infuriating design decisions Apple has made. According to most of what we’ve heard, the Home button will be vanishing, and along with it the front-mounted TouchID fingerprint sensor. Instead, you’ll have a fingerprint sensor on the back — you know, the least convenient place on the phone for you to reach.
Now, Apple’s likely going to roll Jony Ive out of cryostasis to tell you in a soothing British accent about how moving the TouchID sensor has allowed for an all-screen design, which is the zenith of human achievement and basically the same as making the Pyramids, but out of glass. He is wrong. Apple has taken two things that were convenient and well-liked — a physical home button and convenient fingerprint sensor — and replaced them with worse things.
Screen is over-compensating for something
It’s all worth it, Jony will opine, because of the gorgeous 5.8-inch AMOLED screen Apple has installed in place of your buttons, the best and brightest and crispest and most realistic screen ever put in anything, ever. Jony is right: that screen would be excellent in, say, a small tablet, or the lifelike Steve Jobs doll that sings Apple employees to sleep at night. But our hands have been carefully trained through years of sloth to hold nothing bigger than a Pringles can. Big phones work fine for some people, which is why the iPhone 7 Plus exists. But pushing them on the rest of us is cruel and unusual.
It costs how much?!?
Of course, all of these cons assume you can afford to buy the iPhone 8/X/Edition in the first place. But with the price set to start at $999 and go north of $1,200, only the most well-heeled, avocado-quaffing millenials will be able to afford one.
The excuse already being prepared is that it’s just inflation — which is, again, wrong. The first iPhone cost $600, and with 10 years of inflation, that number rises to a little over $700. That’s nearly what a new iPhone 7 costs — inflation at work! Jumping from $700 to $999 in a single year isn’t inflation, it’s the result of trying to build a phone that can Steve Bannon itself while still maintaining astronomical profit margins.
There’s too many models…
The worst thing about the iPhone 8 may be that it isn’t the only new iPhone Apple plans to release this year. The company knows that no-one in their right mind is going to buy a $1,000 iPhone for their teen, so it’s reportedly set to release an iPhone 7S and 7S Plus as well. That means there’ll be three brand-new iPhone models for users to choose from, which is horribly un-Apple. Forget the phone just working: you’ve now got to work out which of the iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus, and iPhone 8 models are just right for you.
…but not enough to go around
Oh, and here’s the final nail in the coffin: because people are bad and money means nothing, the iPhone 8 will still be demanded by a solid portion of Apple’s fans. However, the company has apparently run into production delays, and supply is expected to be highly limited to begin with. That means more stupid month-long lines outside stores, more limited-time pre-orders, and more people scalping a $1,000 phone and selling it for twice that on Facebook Marketplace. That sound you faintly hear? Adam Smith’s corpse asphyxiating itself with its own Invisible Hand.
But on the plus side, once the damn thing launches, maybe we can all stop talking about it.