At Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) long-awaited unveiling event, the company finally released info about its new iPhone models.
In this Industry Focus: Tech podcast segment, host Dylan Lewis and senior tech specialist Evan Niu look at the iPhone 8, which is closer in form factor to the previous models, and explain what consumers are getting. Find out some of the most exciting and strange new features on the 8, how Apple is changing its price-to-storage model with this generation of phones, how much the 8 will cost and when it will be available for order, and more.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Sept. 15, 2017.
Dylan Lewis: We can finally get to the iPhone stuff. We will save the iPhone X, though, for last. Why don't we start talking out with the iPhone 8 and what they showed off. What really stood out to you?
Evan Niu: Really, if anything, I felt like it was pretty unimpressive, the 8. Interestingly, I actually thought the same thing about the 7 last year. Last year's 7 didn't seem like a big upgrade from the 6s, and that's why I personally didn't even upgrade, which was weird for me to not buy the newest iPhone. Even the 8, I don't see a huge appeal there, either. Coming from either a 6s or a 7, the 8 doesn't bring a whole lot new to the table. The big news here on the iPhone 8 is wireless charging. They tweaked the design, the overall design looks almost the same as it's been, which is kind of crazy, because this will be the fourth year in a row where they've used the same overall design, with the main exception being that now there's a clasp back that is required to enable this wireless charging feature. But, if the big feature of the 8 and 8 Plus is wireless charging, the flip side is they didn't really give a lot of detail on the technical specs of the wireless charging, and reportedly Apple might be using a slower, older version of Qi charging, which charges at a slower rate. Ironically, another feature these things have is, they support fast charging. So, if you plug it into supported fast charging, the phone actually charges extremely fast, whereas if you use wireless charging, there's a possibility that it's going to be kind of slow, which kind of undermines the feature itself if you're better off just plugging it in and getting a superfast charge anyways.
Lewis: And something I always worry about with the wireless nature of things in general is, if I'm out, I'm probably going to be using my cord anyway. The idea of being able to charge at home wirelessly is nice. But, I think for most people, I mean, I have to charge my phone at work every now and then, I'm just going to do that with the USB that plugs into my laptop to get some extra juice. So, while it's a nice add-on feature, I don't know how many people are going to absolutely love it. Although, look at what they do here with wireless charging in one of the updates they made to the iPhone 7 line, moving away from the headphone jack, and it's pretty clear that they think the future is wireless.
Niu: Oh, absolutely. When you're out and about, I will say that one other added convenience is, we're seeing an increased number of companies and locations adding these little wireless charging mats integrated into their locations. Think about hotels, airports, restaurants, coffee shops or whatever. And it's not really everywhere right now, but if you fast forward and imagine the future where lots more of these retailers and businesses want to have wireless charging mats built into the tables for convenience, that's kind of nice, because then you just put your phone on the table and it starts to charge. But, yeah, most of the time, I don't think it's going to be some game changer, and that's a future that's not here yet.
Lewis: Well, one other thing that I noticed with the line that they decided to switch up with this issue is, the base storage level for the iPhone 8 is going to be 64 gigs, and there's also going to be a 256 gig option. I think there's a lot of people out there who have been sitting with 16 gig iPhones for quite some time and are thrilled to see this change.
Niu: That's interesting, because I think that's also partially how they're justifying the price increase. They're jacking up the prices of these iPhones, which is kind of nuts. The base iPhone 8 now costs $700 as opposed to the $650 it used to cost before. That $650 used to be for the 32 gig. So, they're kind of forcing this on consumers, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. They're making you pay more, but you're getting a little bit more storage. Apple used to have three storage tiers. Add $100 for double storage or quadruple storage, and another tier. Now they're simplifying it to just two tiers, 64 and 256. But now, instead of a $100 bump between those tiers, it's a $150 bump. So, they're changing the way that they price their storage configurations. But ultimately, they're increasing the prices, and now the 8 Plus starts at $800, versus $770 last year. I think they're moving on up on the pricing scale.
Lewis: And I've long thought that was a lever they had to pull if they wanted to do something with average selling prices. For a lot of people 16 gigs isn't enough. While we do live in a cloud storage world, there are so many things that you actually want on your phone, whether it's music, podcasts, videos, and photos that you take. And with all the applications that you also have on your phone, very often you end up bumping up pretty close to that 16 gig total. So, forcing people into this is something that I think really makes sense. It's responding to what consumers want, and it should bear out pretty well in their financials. Looking at when these will be available, pre-orders are available on Sept. 15th, and like the other lines, they will start arriving on Sept. 22nd. There's also an update to iOS coming Sept. 19th.