iPhone 7 etc

Critique
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Another year, another new iPhone, and as always it has a different(ish) design, better camera, screen and so on. But what interests me more than that is that Apple are offering two payment plans for buying the phone from them besides paying the full fee, which is IMO quite an interesting development.

The first is the iPhone Upgrade programme, which is where you sign into a 20 month contract to buy the phone (which includes AppleCare+ for accidental damage and so on), with the option to start a new contract to get the next iPhone after a year. If I'm correct, you don't need to pay the remaining 10 months of the contract if you decide to do this, you just give back the old phone, agree to a new 20 month contract, and the cycle starts again. You don't have to upgrade though, and can just see out the 20 months and keep the phone at the end of it.

The second option is iPhone payments. This is another 20 month contract, but only includes the phone and not AppleCare+ or the option to upgrade after a year. As a result this is not too expensive, working out at £27.50 a month for the base 32GB (the new lowest tier) iPhone 7, although obviously this doesn't include a call/texts/data plan. Both options are interest-free (like a normal contract), and the phones are unlocked, so you could theoretically bounce between whichever carrier is cheapest.

I think it's interesting because it shows Apple trying to shift people to separate phone/carrier contracts, rather than the combined contracts that most people use at present. It's financed by Barclays, but you can also only do it in Apple Stores, where they're also happy to sell you a SIM-only contract, which cuts out the mobile networks of the buying process entirely.

My iPhone contract expires at the end of this year/beginning of next, and this is something I think I might consider - there is a £49 upfront cost but I think it could still work out cheaper than a combined phone/carrier contract in quite a lot of instances. Here's an example based on a quick web search: Apple is doing the contracts for 20 months, but the same cost over 24 months would be £24.96ish - if you combined this with the lowest twelve month Three SIM-only deal (paltry 500MB, unlimited texts, 200 minutes) for £6, that's only £36.96 a month + the £49 charge, whereas (albeit with 100 extra minutes) if you got the same deal from Three with the phone as part of the contract, it'd be £36 a month with a £149 upfront payment. For easy comparison, if we split both options over 24 months the cost would be £1013 if you got a combined phone/SIM contract from Three, or £792 (£33.5 a month for 20 months and £6 for the other four, a saving of just over £200) if you did the phone and SIM separately. It's a bit more of a hassle, but a significant amount saved!

Will be interested to see if these new options are appealing to anyone else, or if they change anything!
Alexia
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This is the jump the shark iPhone. To get the top end model with the top end features and accessories costs over a grand. I don't know who they're marketing that to, but it lends no mitigation to the accusation of their core buyer base as being blinkered sheep with more money than sense.

Also, what are the features of this phone that one supposedly cannot live without, Mr Cook?
woah
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You could buy a OnePlus Three, with flagship specs and performance, for less than half the cost. The cost of the iPhone is increasingly ridiculous, but they know people will continue to buy it. Much like they know only they can get away with removing the 3.5mm port, not because of "courage" but because they can make some excellent money from licensing the Lightning connector.
Philip
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Surely there are few people who buy the latest model at full cost? iPhones are so good now that you can easily get a model from a few years ago and it will do you good for the next several years of use. There's also the new iPhone SE at a more reasonable cost: http://www.johnlewis.com/apple-iphone-s ... olour=Gold

I love the look of jet black (despite the warnings of scratches). That would definitely be my choice of colour if I were getting a new one.

I'm not sure who will buy the AirPods. If they were included with the new phone then I'd be more willing to accept Apple's proposition that wireless is the future, but £159 separately? Don't see that being much of a success.
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cwathen
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Alexia wrote:This is the jump the shark iPhone. To get the top end model with the top end features and accessories costs over a grand. I don't know who they're marketing that to, but it lends no mitigation to the accusation of their core buyer base as being blinkered sheep with more money than sense.

Also, what are the features of this phone that one supposedly cannot live without, Mr Cook?
Putting aside the headphone jack debacle (for a minute) I note that it still doesn't have an AMOLED screen, not that the iPhone's screen is bad, but again you've got Apple's class-leading products not having class leading (well, current) technology in them.

The 'quad core' processor seems a bit of a cludge too...the architecture seems to be two fast high power drain cores and two slow low power drain cores and tasks are shunted between them depending on how much horsepower they need. It doesn't seem to actually be able to run a single process on 4 cores at the same time and as such is not a true quad core processor. Again, probably not a huge issue in terms of actual real world performance, but why do Apple need to have a cludged 2x2 core architecture and rely on marketing speak to call it quad core when even lower end handsets have true quad core chips in them now?

Perhaps more significantly, still no fast charging or wireless charging support. Fast charging in particular has been a life saver for me on many occasions, I can't imagine going back to a phone that takes hours and hours to charge. But again, this is increasingly becoming basic technology which lower end phones have, still not with Apple.

Back to the headphone jack...their arguments make little sense. On the one hand they talk about the port being redundant because everything will be wireless, but then the pack-in headphones are wired earbuds that connect to the lightning connector. Then on the other they talk about the age of the 3.5mm connector as if that's a reason in itself of obsolescence, but then they supply you as standard with an adaptor cable so you can use standard 3.5mm headphones out the box too, pretty much acknowledging the continued necessity of the connector. And unless I'm being particularly stupid, if the charger and the headphones share a single connector, then you can't charge and use the headphones at the same time?

Far be it from me to accuse Apple of doing this so they can flood the market with Beats Audio lightning connectored stuff to capitalise on their acquisition of Beats Audio, but personally I think they've done this so they can flood the market with Beats Audio lightning connectored stuff to capitalise on their acquisition of Beat Audio. Whether that will actually work remains to be seen.

Will this go the way of Samsung's removal of the SD card slot and be swiftly reversed next year?
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WillPS
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cwathen wrote:Back to the headphone jack...their arguments make little sense. On the one hand they talk about the port being redundant because everything will be wireless, but then the pack-in headphones are wired earbuds that connect to the lightning connector. Then on the other they talk about the age of the 3.5mm connector as if that's a reason in itself of obsolescence, but then they supply you as standard with an adaptor cable so you can use standard 3.5mm headphones out the box too, pretty much acknowledging the continued necessity of the connector. And unless I'm being particularly stupid, if the charger and the headphones share a single connector, then you can't charge and use the headphones at the same time?
Generally I don't think packing in a "backwards" compatible adapter isn't a terrible thing and doesn't undermine the notion that it's time for a new standard. I use inverted commas because I don't believe that this is a step forwards; for starters - how does one charge their phone and use wired headphones at the same time?
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jonathan
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WillPS wrote:
cwathen wrote:Back to the headphone jack...their arguments make little sense. On the one hand they talk about the port being redundant because everything will be wireless, but then the pack-in headphones are wired earbuds that connect to the lightning connector. Then on the other they talk about the age of the 3.5mm connector as if that's a reason in itself of obsolescence, but then they supply you as standard with an adaptor cable so you can use standard 3.5mm headphones out the box too, pretty much acknowledging the continued necessity of the connector. And unless I'm being particularly stupid, if the charger and the headphones share a single connector, then you can't charge and use the headphones at the same time?
Generally I don't think packing in a "backwards" compatible adapter isn't a terrible thing and doesn't undermine the notion that it's time for a new standard. I use inverted commas because I don't believe that this is a step forwards; for starters - how does one charge their phone and use wired headphones at the same time?
They have to use an adapter.

The iPhone upgrade programme is an interesting idea and will appeal to plenty of people but from a resale point of view (when you upgrade) you are better buying outright if you can afford it.

A lot of the price increase is down to the weakened pound.
robschneider
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I've never gotten the hype about new iPhones. The tech that they "debut" has inevitably been in Android handsets for 2 years.
Philip
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I do enjoy how relentlessly negative the new iPhone thread on Metropol is every year (or so). I think I and Critique are the only two people who actually like Apple…

2014:
Yawn...
2012:
This phone is the most pathetic iPhone launch by Apple yet. All the comments I've read on the BBC News article up to now are negative (including my own), and I think this could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
2008:
i just can't get excited over phones any more, i just love the people who keep the plastic bit on the screen in case they scratch it. sad fucks. haven't they got anything better to worry about?
I would get very bored of the multi-touch within an hour or so, I'm sure.
2007:
…i'm not convinced it's going to be a revolution in the phone world…
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Critique
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Haha, i was thinking that when I made the thread that it's usually either me or you making the initial mention of the new phone! I do think I've became more skeptical of Apple though in the last few years - the design and features of the new iPhone isn't that much of a change/step forward, I saw someone somewhere say that it would have been good if this is what the 6S had been, but it's not very impressive as the next generation.
Philip
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Oh I'm definitely not as much of an evangelical Apple fanboy as I was, say, five or ten years ago. I still love their products/ecosystem overall but I tend to more critical or skeptical of claims they make, and I don't know what happened but their keynotes are now downright embarrassing to watch at times.

There are people I come across on Twitter as well who seem to defend Apple to the hilt against any accusations or problems that might arise. Like they're some sort of charity and not a profit making corporation which has more money in the bank than the US government. The truth is that there are some things that Apple was stubborn about that they were actually wrong about, like having bigger phone screens or streaming music services taking over downloads.
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