When the iPhone X was announced, there were quite a few folks in the tech space who were somewhat shocked by the $999 asking price for the base model. This marked the first time that an Apple smartphone started at that price point, clearly showing that the X was the premium Apple smartphone to own.
With Apple preparing to reveal its earnings results this Thursday, this gives us some time to reflect on some of the other reports that have recently surfaced. By far, the one report that is making waves is that Apple is planning to cancel the current iPhone X as the company will unveil two new iPhone X options with a standard size and a “plus” model.
More control is good
These same reports have suggested that Apple has slashed its production levels on the current model, as an indication that the device may have flat-lined and may not be as popular as initially expected. However, while the Cupertino-based company prepares to share its financial results, we’re taking the opportunity to share why we’re still keeping the faith in what Apple is doing.
Before getting into specifics about the iPhone X, let’s take a look at the software side of things, as Apple has been taking a beating regarding its plans to limit performance on older devices. With the release of iOS 11.2, Apple confirmed that older iPhones will be automatically slowed down to help ensure that the battery won’t be put under too much stress and cause an issue similar to what happened with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
This has forced Apple to surprisingly give users more control over their devices and a toggle is now found in iOS 11.3 which will allow you to decide whether you want your device throttled or not. Considering how infrequently Apple has listened to its consumers in some regards, this shows a new commitment to keep its users happy and from switching to the other side of the fence.
Regardless of this, iOS has still seen a slight rise in adoption over in China and other countries, with iOS now being installed on 28.6% of devices in the country. Compared to Android market share, Google’s operating system saw a drop of almost 10% in China, with an almost direct correlation to the rise of iOS.
Without jumping into a full-fledged Apple v. Android argument, let’s take a look at some of the factors that may have contributed to the loss of market share by Android. First and foremost, Android devices have recently been subjected to a couple of rather large vulnerabilities with Meltdown and Spectre.
The issue here is that the software fixes for Android devices is dependent upon the manufacturer releasing a quick and timely update to fix the vulnerabilities. This is much easier said than done, and the fragmentation of Android makes the task a tall one to complete.
This is further compounded when you look at the Android distribution numbers for the month of January. Despite being released for Pixel devices back in August, Android Oreo is only running on less 1% of total Android devices with the majority of devices running on Android Marshmallow which launched in 2015.
For the sake of comparisons, iOS 11 is already available on more than 75% of Apple devices, and less than 20% of devices are “stuck” on iOS 10. Fragmentation has been an issue for quite some time on the Android side of things, and this especially causes issues when major vulnerabilities are found and need to immediately be patched.
I’m going to put it into terms that are more simple than they actually are, but Apple only needs to release a new version of iOS which will work with all iPhones. Google will release the latest version of Android or the monthly Android security patch, and some manufacturer’s take at least a month to catch up to the security update. Updating from one major version of Android to the next is a much larger and more annoying issue, as some devices are completely abandoned, or are updated after another version is announced.
It’s all about the ecosystem
Moving past the Android element of the competition and looking at more specific reasons, the biggest reason why I’m still a believer in what Apple is doing comes down to one word – ecosystem. Despite its faults in design and software iterations, Apple has created the most unified ecosystem found in the mobile world. The transition between your iPhone to your iPad and then to your Mac is one that is unparalleled, and one that other manufacturers have yet to perfect.
Apple has not even perfected the entire system, but everything for the most part “just works”. In fact, I have heard from many others in the industry who use multiple devices, and continue to use iPhone’s because of how easy it is to keep in communications with friends and family. Who wants to attempt to get their grandmother to install and learn how to use a new app, when iMessage already works so well across your iOS and MacOS devices? The answer is simple – no one.
iPhone helps keep you healthy
Finally, Apple is pushing the envelope in the world of keeping track of your health, and has further improved these functionalities with the release of iOS 11.3. The built-in Health application found on iPhones help you keep track of what’s going on with your body, even if you didn’t sprint for an Apple Watch or other fitness trackers.
In the case that you did get a new Fitbit or Apple Watch for Christmas, you may be surprised to learn that the data is also synced with the Health application. This makes for an awesome experience and one that is far less convoluted than other platforms, making your life much easier and giving you some peace of mind.
Plus, with Apple’s various collaborations with ResearchKit, the company is continuing to find ways to ensure its users are as healthy as they want to be. Providing the right tools is half the battle, and making these tools as easy to use are just about as important as having the tools to begin with.
These collaborations include providing hospitals easier access to your health records as to keep everything consolidated. This also gives you access to all of your health information and records in the case that you need to look something up or provide more information.
So Apple will release its latest earnings report this week, and I’ll still be firmly planted in Apple’s camp regardless of the results. I’m sure many of you will follow suit, but 2018 will definitely be an exciting year for those of us who are hoping to see Apple further its reaches on the innovation front.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.