Apple’s future depends on a $1,000 iPhone 8+ smartphone

Touch me

Apple, iPhone, iPhone 8, smartphone, wireless
Credit: Apple

Admit it. You’re addicted. You touch your smartphone around 2,600 times each day. An April 2016 Apple study shows you unlock your smartphone 80 times each day. Over half of us keep our smartphones beside the bed with the ringer on when we sleep.

Got to admit it

You are addicted to smartphone love. It doesn’t matter which platform you use, the impact remains the same – but all the latest data confirms that more people quit other platforms to go to iOS than travel in the reverse direction.

I’ve mentioned before how the customer satisfaction levels Apple enjoys are the envy of the industry. This means that in almost every case, once someone opts for iOS, they stay with iOS.

That’s important.

Apple can’t be complacent.

After all, around a third of the planet’s total population of any age already owns a smartphone. (One third run a ‘dumb’ phone, and the others have no phone at all). The challenge (for Apple) is that around four in five smartphones in use worldwide today are Android devices.

How can Apple maintain its position against the onslaught of cheap, low power, Android phones?

We already know

Think about it and we already know the answer to that question: Apple maintains its position by defining itself as the best available high-end smartphone, supported by a trove of effectively curated services people enjoy using.

This approach rejects the ‘race-to-the-bottom’ ideological nihilism that so pervades the zeitgeist – and Apple’s success so far in carving a highly profitable position in this way reflects how strongly tech consumers are motivated by using the best possible products, rather than enduring low-end compromise.

Consumers aren’t stupid, and they want to be using the best available solutions for their need. Apple has the popular vote.

We all want the best

When friends come to visit, I want to give them the best of what I have.

That’s how most people behave, and this aspiration informs the rest of our lives. We want to live the best we can.

This extends to the smartphone – we’re already addicted to them, so of course we want the mobiles that mean so much to us to be the very best we can afford.

If we are going to touch something over a thousand times a day, we’re going to want the experience of touching that thing to make us feel happy and not compromised.

That’s what Apple understands as its customer satisfaction figures show. It is also why plans for an $1,000+ iPhone 8 Pro makes complete sense.

Unfettered by cost, Apple’s design teams will be able to pour all their latest technologies into the new high end smartphone. It will be a poster child for the next-generation of smartphones, as Apple seeks to redefine the market to protect its future growth.

(I’ve written before about how this will also help widen Apple’s addressable market, particularly in emerging economies where people are about to upgrade from dumb- to smartphones.)

As Apple defines its highest end smartphone as the best on the planet, all the other models in its range will also be seen in a better light. They will also be best, but the high-end edition will be better.

So what can we expect in iPhone 8 Pro?

(Or iPhone X, or whatever it is the company chooses to call its device):

There are dozens of rumors making sometimes contrasting claims about Apple’s next-gen device. Here are a few I like the best

  • Wireless charging: This will not be full room charging, and charging kits will be made available for other devices in the new iPhone range.
  • OLED display: Accompanied by Apple’s OS and processor-focused graphics technologies, this will be the best smartphone display in the industry. True.
  • All glass: Well, pretty much – a solid piece of glass that’s as strong as metal? Stainless steel edges, though.
  • Lack of Home button: A fully solid-state device, potentially without a single port. All the existing buttons may use touch.
  • Waterproof: See above
  • Fast: Running a souped-up version of the same processor as you’ll find in the next edition iPad Pro next month.
  • VR: Coupled with Apple management’s constant chatter on this, VR/AR seems even more likely given Apple just removed the first iPhone-compatible VR headset from sale. One report claims the device will use 3D-sensing tech in some way – might this be for iris scanning?

Hit or miss

Individually, each one of these improvements is interesting.

Together, Apple hopes they will be enough to create a product everybody aspires to own, and competitors aspire to emulate I imagine the design team have been charged to develop a device competitors cannot hope to match for years.

This is why Apple’s $1,000+ iPhone will be such a big deal, as the company’s future success, or failure, will be defined by the product.

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