back to article Shock poll finds £999 X too expensive for happy iPhone owners

"The iPhone X cost twice [as much as my old smartphone] but isn't twice as good. It's for the Rolex wearers," concluded Alistair Dabbs after a fortnight with Apple's flagship. And it seems many iPhone owners agree. 40 per cent haven't upgraded to the £999 X – and a third say it's because it's too expensive. Piper Jaffray …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Planned Failure?

    Because they released the iPhone 8 just before the X could it not be possible that Apple were hedging their bets a bit?

    No matter, my use case makes using FaceID a non starter (as a Motorcyclist). The TouchID on my refurb iPhone 6 works fine. I'll keep it for a few more years and see if Apple has realisted the FaceID is a failure.

    I guess I fall into the 'happy with what I've got' camp.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Planned Failure?

    Weren't the iPhone 8 sales "disappointing" because people were wating for the X?

  3. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Re: Planned Failure?

    Weren't the iPhone 8 sales "disappointing" because people were wating for the X?

    Quite right. Thing is, in Appleland, bad stuff is always someone else's fault.

    When you combine that externalisation of fault with the infallibility of the leader of the one true faith, It's clear Apple is just a religion. But its the first religion listed on on NYSE, as far as I'm aware.

    I think the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, and others should focus on their IPOs.

  4. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Re: Planned Failure?

    It's not just iPhone users. As someone who has been upgrading every 18 months since the Galaxy S2 came out, I won't be upgrading my Galaxy S8 to an S9. There's just no point - it does everything I need and it does it very well.

    I'd actually still be using my S7 if I didn't drop it face first into a kerb when it was about 6 months old and the screen replacement was non-economically viable.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Planned Failure?

    Wife's ancient phone had accumulated faults and mine had accumulated cracks, so I upgraded us both to S8 to be in parallel (e.g. stupid charger plug tricks).

    Otherwise, well, I just had to check the back to know which 'wonderful' we had. It's just a phone, not an extra sex organ!

  6. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    "... and others should focus on their IPOs."

    Religions have better ways to separate gullible people from their money, and have centuries of experience in doing so...

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Re: Planned Failure?

    Quite right. Thing is, in Appleland, bad stuff is always someone else's fault.

    Did you say Russia?

    Btw, what happened to all those tablets? I vaguely remember that at some point the bus was filled with tablet/slab-fondling people but now I see none at all? Was I just dreaming? Has there been a dieoff?

  8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Planned Failure?

    "I vaguely remember that at some point the bus was filled with tablet/slab-fondling people but now I see none at all? Was I just dreaming? Has there been a dieoff?"

    I think most who want a tablet have one, there's not the same reasons or incentives to upgrade, and the people on the bus have either got larger phones so no longer bring the tablet with them, or the magic has worn off and they don't feel the need to be face planted into it all the time any more.

  9. Wyrdness

    Re: Planned Failure?

    "No matter, my use case makes using FaceID a non starter (as a Motorcyclist)."

    As a fellow motorcyclist, I completely fail to understand what your use case might be.

    You obviously can't unlock the phone using FaceID when wearing a helmet.

    But then, you can't use touch id when wearing gloves either.

    So even with touch id you'd have to remove your gloves to unlock the phone.

    In which case, you could just enter your pin to unlock it.

    So what's the problem?

  10. Naselus Silver badge

    Re: Planned Failure?

    "Btw, what happened to all those tablets? "

    Replaced with e-readers and phones for people who want to read/watch stuff, and laptops for people who want to work. Which was fairly predictable from the get-go, since tablets are actually kinda shit at, well... everything.

  11. Pat Harkin

    Re: Planned Failure?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFuPixjzm8Q

  12. leexgx

    Re: Planned Failure?

    most have 2 year contracts (not me)

  13. djstardust Silver badge

    It's not just Apple

    Samsung have shoved yet another £50 price increase on their S series handsets. When will this end ...... when people stop buying them.

    The Note 4 was £569 and the Note 8 is £869

    The Galaxy S was £399 when it came out, now it's double for the current model.

    Even factoring in inflation and Brexit tax this is absurd. Manufacturers are just taking the piss. And this time Apple have been burned and it seems Samsung just blindly follow them.

    I'm all for businesses making a profit but billions of pounds profit is just greed.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: It's not just Apple

    There are two paths for smartphone peddlers these days.

    1) Sell plenty of cheap phones, use the sheer volume of sales to make up for loss in profit margin per unit sold. Can't beat the Chinese phones with this strategy now.

    2) Sell a small number of expensive phones to your 'captive customers' (loyal fanboys) who tend to be more price inelastic. Maximize your profit margin per unit sold. You need to have an established, sizeable market share to execute this strategy.

    There is no middle ground. Also, Apple's 'premium' branding makes #1 quite impossible. On the Android camp, only Samsung could afford to do #2; its cheaper A-series and J-series Galaxy phones also face fierce competition from Chinese phones. Other Android phone vendors are struggling, caught between #1 and #2.

  15. werdsmith Silver badge

    Re: It's not just Apple

    I wonder how a smoker on a 5ish a day habit feels about burning a £1000 a year for nothing compared to someone buying an X, using it for a year and getting £500 selling it used.

  16. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Re: It's not just Apple

    I'm all for businesses making a profit but billions of pounds profit is just greed.

    Depends on how much they've invested and the prevailing interest rates, surely? In Apple's case, yes, it's greed. But as a profit motivated business, that's what they're supposed to do. If your pension fund was considering its investments, which would you rather it invested in, back in 2015, Carillion, a private equity stake in Maplin, or Apple?

  17. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Re: It's not just Apple

    Galaxy S8 is now available for around £500, same as a OnePlus 5T. If you're a small business owner, it's cheaper still, because OnePlus don't issue VAT receipts - something no reviewer mentioned.

    Today I cancelled my OnePlus order and went for the S8. Shame about the awkward fingerprint sensor, but hey ho.

  18. Adam 1 Silver badge

    Re: It's not just Apple

    > There are two paths for smartphone peddlers these days.

    @AC, not sure I agree with that dichotomy. I would agree that Apple can't really go #1 without cannibalizing their #2s (what a fortunate pun). We see this in other product categories too, where a carmaker uses different marques to sell something made from the same parts bin at substantially different prices.

    But I see it as a scale rather than two camps. You just need profit per unit * units sold > $X

    In the #2 world, profit per unit is just absurd. When I last replaced my phone (firmly from one of the vendors of #1s), it wasn't because I wanted the cheapest possible thing. I wanted a Nexus price/feature compromise, not a Pixel price/feature compromise. If the midrange isn't selling it's because they're not wanting to take any bullet points off their flagships feature list, so the midrange then can't pull from the Chinese. You can't ask for another 200 quid if all you get for it is an extra 2MP on the camera.

  19. Mark 78

    Re: It's not just Apple

    "I wonder how a smoker on a 5ish a day habit feels about burning a £1000 a year for nothing compared to someone buying an X, using it for a year and getting £500 selling it used."

    More relaxed?

  20. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Trollface

    It depends how addicted you are.

    In both examples.

  21. Ropewash

    Re: It's not just Apple

    >>I wonder how a smoker on a 5ish a day habit<<

    Speaking as one with an 8ish/day habit I'd think the iPhone owner was a self-regarding ponce and go have a smoke.

    Apples and orang...err duMauriers.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not just the upfront cost...

    It's not just the upfront cost, it's the repair costs, replacing the back cover and the screen, if they were nearer a reasonable price for repair, I think most could accept the upfront cost, but the repair costs of the iPhone X are just ridiculous, all designed so you take out Apple Care.

    So much of that 3d depth camera tech is just not required at the moment for biz, most just want a fingerprint reader under/within the screen.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: It's not just the upfront cost...

    all designed so you take out Apple Care

    Don't give NRA members any ideas.

  24. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Coat

    Well, that answers that question ..

    Where the money/sense line can be drawn.

  25. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Boffin

    They should have asked me ...

    Smartphones - like everything else invented in the 1980s - are now a mature market.

    That means those that need already have.

    Those that want can get an entry level model (either a noname, or a pre-owned one, if "second hand" is too declasse).

    So any new devices are either replacements due to failure/damage, or a network-pushed upgrade (at no upfront cost).

    All else is unicorn droppings.

    Also, objectively, there's nothing you can do with a new smartphone that you can't do with a two year old one. Or (to put it another way) there's nothing in the last two years that requires an upgrade.

    That's £100,000 of top-level research for you there.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: They should have asked me ...

    "Smartphones - like everything else invented in the 1980s - are now a mature market."

    Which smartphone existed in the 80s? Even in the mid-90s, at best you had a PDA with an irda link to a GPS mobile phone at 9600bps

  27. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Re: They should have asked me ...

    Don't confuse retail products with technology.

    The building blocks for a smartphone were laid in the *early* 80s (if not 70s). GSM radio handsets, programmable calculators. Incredibly rudimentary, but jam them together and - voila - a proto "smartphone". Makes calls, runs "apps" and can be ported fairly easily.

    Maybe Apples problem is they are now run by a bunch of hipsters who think everything was invented in the 21st century >>>>

  28. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Re: They should have asked me ...

    That's £100,000 of top-level research for you there.

    Oh not it isn't. If I were forking out serious money, I wouldn't need to know WHY I COULDN'T MAKE MONEY IN THIS MARKET, I'd specifically want to know HOW I COULD. And that's about brand, about loyalty, about perceptions, about small differences. The rich are those who see opportunities, not obstacles. Which is why most of us round here are not rich.

    Consider watches. A ten quid Casio will tell the time more accurately than a five grand mechanical Swiss meisterwerk. The people laughing all the way to the bank are heading a short distance from their workplace, and that short distance will be to a Swiss bank.

  29. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Re: They should have asked me ...

    Casio made £211m in profits last year. meanwhile the top-end Swiss watchmakers are all in trouble with falling sales.

  30. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    WTF?

    Re: They should have asked me ...

    The building blocks for a smartphone were laid in the *early* 80s (if not 70s). GSM radio handsets, programmable calculators.

    Complete bollocks. The software wasn't even around. Nothing was around.

    But that kind of reckoning, the building blocks for a smartphone were laid when Leibniz invented the Stepped reckoner.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: They should have asked me ...

    "The software wasn't even around."

    iOS is based on Unix, which has been around since 1971 and IIRC 1977 with network/TCP sockets support.

  32. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Re: They should have asked me ...

    ARM chips and Li-ion batteries are late eighties ish developments.

    The concept for a smartphone lies somewhere between science fiction and engineering. A black reference device holding billions of pages with an integrated Uber service (electronic thumb) is the Hitchhiker's Guide.

  33. Jason Hindle Bronze badge

    Re: The first smart phone was called Simon

    And Simon was very much a child of the 90s.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FaceID

    FaceID with Apple Pay is just a non-starter. Right now, on my iPhone 8, all I have to do is hold it to the reader with my finger in the right place - the RFID scanner wakes the phone, and the fingerprint reader does it's thing. With FaceID, you double click the side button, hold the phone up to your face, wait for it to register, then hold it to the reader. Much easier would have been a fingerprint reader on the side button.

    And then there's the notch. The insane thing is, if Apple had just made it a continuous black bar along the top (effectively filling in the gaps either side of the notch, giving less screen area), no-one would have given a hoot.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two words for you

    Ugly notch.

    Uptake will also be diminished even if a cheaper, budget-friendly phone is released but with the same notch.

  36. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Re: Cheapo Androids

    with the 'Notch' are on their way if the reports coming Mobile 'Jolly' in Barcelona are anything to go by.

    Sad really. This is one feature that Android did not need to copy especially with these bad implemtations.

  37. el kabong

    Apple copied the notch from Essential

    Apple copied Andy Rubin's poor design and claimed it as their own, that's all.

  38. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Re: Apple copied the notch from essential

    Not really. The Rubin notch is a tiny cutout that has almost no effect on usability - how many times do your notifications reach the middle of the screen? I suspect if Apple had managed to get underscreen fingerprint reader going, their notch would be Rubinesque rather than the present rather Rubenesque one they finally went with.

    The problems of the Essential phone lie elsewhere - basically that it's inessential.

    The funny thing is that some of the Chinese clone copies of the Apply notch are actually a nicer shape, I think, because they don't have to deal with FaceID.

  39. Ledswinger Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Re: Apple copied the notch from essential

    rather than the present rather Rubenesque one they finally went with.

    Rubensesque, if you don't mind.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Cheapo Androids

    Android 'Notchies' are mainly from the (less reputable) Chinese phones; some of them had actually taken the effort to modify their version of Android into looking like iOS (the iPhone home screen).

    Because the Apple iPhone is perceived to be the 'market leader', synonymous with premium and posh, pirates want their stuff to emulate that, by any means necessary.

  41. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Re: Apple copied the notch from essential

    Normally I'm fairly relaxed about this sort of thing but

    You're wrong

    You're still wrong

    Three times wrong

    Collins too

    OED prefers my spelling but does allow yours as a variant

    So yes, I do mind. Remember, it's better to check before posting than post and make a fool of yourself.

  42. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Re: Apple copied the notch from essential

    but does allow yours as a variant

    So in fact according to the OED I'm not wrong? I shall ignore urbandictionary.com and wikipedia as authoritative sources. And your claim that Collins doesn't allow it shows you haven't done sufficient research, check it out.

    Remember, it's better to check before posting than post and make a fool of yourself.

    I think your claim to absolutism is clearly as invalid as mine. Maybe you'd like to check before posting in santimonious twat mode?

  43. Jove Bronze badge

    Occupants of Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B

    These people paid GBP 1,000 for a phone; can you trust them to have a coherent opinion?

  44. el kabong

    Poor decisions

    Funny how many people will pay around a grand for a mobile phone, but then will feel quite happy flying cattle class in the cheapest crappiest airline that Orbitz, Kayak or Google can find them.

  45. werdsmith Silver badge

    Re: Poor decisions

    But you cattle class seat is with you for a few hours at most. The phone is with you for a year or two.

  46. Number6

    Re: Poor decisions

    My cattle class seats tend to take about a week to wear off, especially if it's long-haul.

  47. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Re: Occupants of Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B

    At least their phones will be properly sanitised.

  48. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Rolex

    Apple could buy the Rolex brand/company with some of their cash pile. Then rebrand the surplus phones as Rolex and sell them at a 3 or 4 times markup.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Rolex

    Why bother buying Rolex? They could just copy them and not give a toss.

  50. Sven Coenye

    Re: Rolex

    Sure, but the Swiss did give a toss. IIRC, that set Apple back ~35,000 iPhone X's (assuming a $600 margin)

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