Making Sense of New Devices
3 Premium iPhones for 2018 – Understanding the Distinctions
I wrote my 9/12 update to you within 30 minutes of watching Apple’s live event last week. I realize it was a lot of information, but I wanted to cover it like a true techno journalist as if I were there. I also tried to include only the deals that were relevant to my client base — typically the age 60+ crowd.
The first thing I want to make clear is that the less expensive XR (10 R) iPhone is by no means a “bastard child” of the 2018 iPhone offerings. It is a premium phone being offered at $749 with 64 gigabytes of storage. The XR is the phone that Apple expects to sell the most of this year. To meet that demand, ordering has been delayed until October 19 so supply can be ramped up. The two premium priced models — the Xs and Xs Max are being sold starting $999 and $1099 respectively. They are available now. The major differences between the XR line and the Xs line are that the Xs models have two cameras which aid in portrait photography and a higher quality screen. For my typical client, I don’t think these features are tipping point to justify the higher price. However, as you will read below, other factors come into play. For most American iPhone users, my clients included, the iPhone is purchased on a 24 month, interest free installment plan with the cell phone carrier. The cost of the phone is simply added to the bill. In some cases, the cost of the actual service is slightly less than it was 5+ years ago. Typical pricing on the 64 GB models would be about $31 / mo on the XR, $41 / mo on the Xs, and $45 / mo on the Xs Max. These devices are truly computers in your pocket and priced like them, for sure.
Real Life Ordering Decision – Size Matters
I was with a client yesterday who upgraded his 2016 iPhone 7. The cameras and screen quality were not deciding factors in his choice of the Xs over the XR. The price difference, though $10 a month, was not seen as unbearable. Size was the key issue. The Xs with the screen stretched to the edges is closest in size to his iPhone 7 (6, 6s, and 8 as well). The iPhone XR would be slightly larger. The iPhone Xs Max is very close in size to the previous Plus iPhones (6 – 8 Plus). My client told me — I don’t want to go bigger. So, the Xs was ordered on a carrier financing plan and should be arriving by the weekend.
If you are of an Android persuasion, keep in mind that Google’s own phone, the Pixel will be getting a refresh in early October. I certainly think it is the best Android in terms of promised regular updates to the software. Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9 phones are also terrific. Motorola G6 Plus is superb for a budget phone that can be purchased for around $230. The One Plus 6 is a solid choice, competing with the best of Samsung at a lower price (but does not work on Verizon).
iOS 12 was released on 9/17. It is a brand new version of Apple’s mobile device software. Should you have an iPhone 5s or later or an iPad Air or later, you should be installing it within the next few weeks. Please make sure you have a full backup of your device before installing version 12. I’m still exploring its features, but so far I think the Measure app is very useful for around the house projects. If you would like professional help with installing iOS 12, please let me know.
The latest version of mac OS — version 10.14 is coming out next Monday – Sept 24th. From that point forward, I will be taking upgrade appointments. Some of my clients choose to upgrade themselves, while others have me do it for them. I make sure you have a full backup of your system in place and a copy of the install media should the software ever need to be reinstalled. I also take great care to update your apps if necessary. These appointments usually last about 2 hours.