iPhone buying advice is hard because people have a wide variety of communication needs. And feelings about Apple. That’s why you’ll see so many opinions from so many different authors. We’ll need to psych up for that.
Let’s be realistic for a moment. An iPhone is a tool. Well, maybe a prestige toy for many, but mostly it’s the indispensable communications tool for our time. And so we buy the best tool that meets our needs and also meets our budget constraints.
That’s the boring side of the advice. There’s no money in telling readers to buy a new iPhone if they need one and can afford it. And so, I’ve been thinking about the more typical, sensational editorial angles you’ll see right after Apple announces its new iPones for 2018 on September 12. Here they are.
The New iPhone Gamut
1. They’re too expensive. This is an old saw that never fails to appeal to grouchy readers. The article will be laced with rhetoric about how greedy Apple is and how the company is abusing us. We’re advised to go buy a cheaper Android phone.
If reports are right about Apple having technical issues with the supposedly lower cost LCD iPhone, LCD 6.1-inch iPhone Could See Shipping Delay, then it will be even more tempting for the author to suggest that Apple is trying to drive initial sales to the more expensive OLED models. As always, cynically jumping to conclusions makes for fun and profit.
2. The technical advances aren’t worth it. Some writers will try to tell readers that the technical upgrades aren’t very significant. Wait till next year. What those authors elect to ignore is that there are millions of iPhone 6, 6S, and 7 owners who are ready for a new iPhone. For them, the technical advancements of the 2018 iPhones will be pleasing: Face ID, better cameras (and telephoto lens) OLED displays (in 2 of 3), thinner bezel, more durable glass, HDR, faster processor and graphics, excellent support for iOS 12, and so on.
3. Everything is simple. There’s a persistent failure to account for hand-me-downs. One user profile that’s easy to neglect is when one family member already has an iPhone X, but the spouse and/or children have older iPhones. The situation arises from having an optimum mix for the various levels of technical expertise in the family at the lowest cost.
For example, great success with and appreciation for Face ID will lead to the family technical leader to hand down an iPhone X to a spouse or child and then confidently buy a new 2018 iPhone. The advanced tech bleeds gracefully into the family. Of course, one exception to that is if those the other family members bought an iPhone 8 in 2017, they may not be ready. It’s already too complicated for universal buying advice.
It’s easier to make simplifying assumptions than to analyze modern techical decision making.
4. Pollyanna Syndrome. Finally, there will be some authors who feel it necessary to get overly effusive about Apple. Apple can do no wrong. Every new iPhone is a must-buy product. Because reasons. It’s a lovefest. Rush, rush! Don’t be left behind!
The fact is, Apple needs to keep selling a lot of iPhones every cycle. Wall Street watches closely for signs of weakness. Apple, and its minions, are highly motivated to influence you and bask in consequent success. Recognize that.
The Final Countdown
In reality, iPhones are just machines. Of course, they’re finely crafted machines, but they’re not perfect. If your mentality is the eternal, holly grail search for the ultimate toy, you’ll be eternally disappointed.
The value of the iPhone is how you use it to make your life and that of others better. To be creative and express yourself with grace. To communicate and learn and build. Even an iPhone with a mildly cracked display can still do that. The point is, don’t confuse the hardware with its intended purpose. Don’t let the urgent thoughts of hundreds dismay you.
So I’ll reiterate. Learn about the capabilities of the new iPhones. Analyze your real needs. Buy the most capable product, if you need a new one at all, that fits your budget. Find a good home or your old iPhone or recycle for cash. Ignore the pundits, the haters, the Pollyannas, the click-baiters.
You’ll be happier and more productive.