Consumer Electronics

This Is Why Buying an iPhone X Now Is a Terrible Idea

Douglas A. McIntyre

People who don’t care about the launch of the iPhone 11 may believe that they can buy an iPhone X ahead of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) announcement about its latest smartphone. They reason that Apple will drop the price on the iPhone X, the current model, to clean out inventory. That would be wrong. Apple’s history is that it drops prices on its older phones only after the new one has been released. Hang on a few weeks, and iPhone X prices almost certainly will come down.

Apple fan site 9to5 Mac says about the decision to buy an iPhone right away, “Every August, 9to5Mac gets inundated by people asking whether or not they should buy the previous year’s iPhone model, or wait to see what Apple has in store for September. Even if you don’t care about the new tech coming in that year’s new iPhone, the answer is always clear: wait.” The site has tracked generation after generation of iPhone releases, so its observations likely are accurate. But how long to wait? Generally, just a few weeks.

Among the other reasons to wait, industry experts say, is that the iPhone 11 may not be much of an upgrade over the iPhone X. The extremely good cameras of recent iPhone products yield excellent results. Very few people will notice or care about what is likely to be small incremental improvements. While Apple is known for being innovative, it is not always making huge advancements with its smartphones. These are the world’s most innovative companies.

The iPhone 11 probably will have a more powerful chip, yet most apps run well on the current one. This is almost certainly true with the apps most people use now. Apple will launch a new operating system (iOS) with the new phone as well. Upgrades in Apple operation systems are never quantum leaps over earlier ones. Finally, rumors are that the iPhone 11 will not run on superfast 5G networks. Apple management must reason that the wide distribution of those networks is over a year away.

The Wall Street Journal expects Apple to release three versions of the new iPhone that basically mirror versions of the iPhone X: “In the fall, Apple plans to offer two models with the OLED display and one model with LCD, people familiar with the matter said. In 2018, Apple introduced two OLED-screen models, the iPhone XS Max and XS, and the LCD-display XR, which was priced at least 25% less than the other two models.” In other words, don’t look for an iPhone 11 lineup much different from the current one.

For people who do not want minor upgrades in bells and whistles, price discounts on the iPhone X are coming soon, probably before the end of September. It will be a while before the iPhone X becomes obsolete like some other smartphones. These are the cellphones and smartphones that no longer exist.