Apple had a good day. The company unveiled some genuinely good updates in the form of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, while ushering in new health features for the Apple Watch. It also introduced the iPhone X, a device that’s been ten years in the making.
With an edge-to-edge display, wireless charging, and Face ID, Apple’s latest (and most expansive) flagship is poised to become the smartphone to beat this holiday season. But has Apple done enough to topple Samsung’s growing worldwide dominance?
Been there, done that
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Samsung already built the iPhone we want. Which makes the arrival of the iPhone X a little underwhelming, particularly if you’ve been following the rumors over the past several months. Apple’s flagship is everything we expected, from the design right down to the Animoji.
The problem is Apple is playing catchup in several categories. The Galaxy S8 (and Note 8) already features a bezel-less display, advanced biometrics, and wireless charging. These headlining features have been part of Samsung’s lineup in some capacity for several months now (and in some cases several years).
If you’ve been on the fence about jumping into bed with Samsung or Apple, Apple is no longer the default winner, and in most cases it’s easy to argue in Samsung’s favor. Over the past few years, Samsung has done a lot to innovate in the mobile space, while Apple is struggling to close the disparity gap.
There’s a lot of polish to the iPhone X, sure, and much of the iPhone X’s allure has to do with its A11 Bionic chip and TrueDepth technology. But in a spec-for-spec comparison, the iPhone X may have a difficult time pushing the Galaxy S8 aside, especially due to the fact that Apple’s flagship is $999.
If the iPhone X would have featured a fingerprint sensor below the display, our tune might be different. As it stands, Apple’s device can be interpreted as a necessary but uninspired answer to Samsung’s growing dominance.
The fight isn’t over
Apple’s new lineup of iPhones is going to sell like crazy. And the fact that the iPhone X features an edge-to-edge display will no doubt get a lot of people salivating. With its new phones, 4K Apple TV, and Apple Watch Series 3, the company is going to have the strongest holiday lineup of any company on the market.
But it’s telling that Samsung can release a device, with Apple barely able to match it several months later. This may be a case of the market simply reaching peak smartphone where consumers no longer get huge, market-changing upgrades.
With ARKit, TrueDepth technology, Face ID, and a Super Retina display, the iPhone X has plenty to offer, even without a proper home button. But in a lot of ways it’s scarily similar to the Galaxy S8, save for the fact that one has a headphone jack and the other one doesn’t.