What business leaders need to know about the Apple iPhone X

The iPhone X is expected to be a hot item in the office. The question is if the new features are worth the high price.

What business leaders need to know about the Apple iPhone X
Apple

It will change your life, but will it change your business? That’s a good question to ask come November when Apple releases the brand-new iPhone X, a phone that is packed with high-end features for augmented reality (AR), facial recognition to authenticate and log in to the phone, and a screen that stretches all the way to the edges.

There’s no question this is a consumer-oriented phone, one that emphasizes things such as animated emojis and watching movies on the bright and colorful OLED screen.

It will definitely become a hot item in the office, as well, mostly because the iPhone in general is a good business phone for those who want a device that actually works, makes clear phone calls, support gestures, and swipes in a way that doesn’t interrupt your workflow or cause problems.

I’ve said it before — Android phones are powerful, easier to customize, and often run apps that are a bit more on the fringes, but some makes and models can be finicky. I’ve had Android phones in to test that reboot themselves for no reason or crash a few times in one day.

Living on the edge is great for some of us, and I’m a fan of what Google has done with the Android OS, but if you want stability and a more predictable ecosystem, an iPhone fits better. (Again, that closed ecosystem is also a drawback for many users — just try purchasing a movie on an iPhone from a store that is not called iTunes and see how that all works out.)

iPhone X security features

For security, the iPhone X offers some advantages, and most are related to speed. You can look at the phone to unlock it, and this might actually work for business workflow. (Note: This security feature failed in the first attempt during the Apple event this week.) Since the iPhone X doesn’t have a physical home button, it also doesn’t have a place to touch to unlock your phone or approve app purchases. In business, it’s a little awkward having to hold up your phone and look at it, but the security is helpful. We’ll have to wait and see once people start testing this to find out if it is actually reliable.

iPhone X camera and display

In terms of AR, the camera provides a valuable platform for business folks using these AR functions. I can imagine using one for virtual video meetings, maybe showing a new product on a table in another country in a virtual representation.

The display will be a perk for business folks who travel frequently, and it’s clear that apps will all look better. You can use the iPhone X on a plane and watch a movie with more fidelity, and business apps that extend to the edges of the screen will give us a bit more screen real estate to manage a social media platform or a CRM tool. It’s hard to see the extra screen size as a bad thing, and Apple claims the battery life will still beat the iPhone 7 by two hours.

The iPhone X's hefty price

The security, the AR features, the longevity, and the bigger screen for apps are all perks, but the $999 price is also a big detriment for companies that provide smartphones to employees. It’s $300 more than many competing models that work just fine for business, including the new iPhone 8 that was also announced this week.

My advice

Start planning for how this new phone fits within your specific organization. Do you need to wait and see if the facial recognition for security is reliable? Do you use apps that will benefit from the larger display? Is AR important to your business? How much do you need to use video apps on a long plane ride? If you find that all of these extra features are not worth an extra $300, it’s a pretty easy decision to make.

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