Another analyst, Rob Enderle, principal analyst of Enderle Group, said the new iPhone X was supposed to include a built-in fingerprint reader but it was left out due to space issues, and that will be a problem for buyers.
"To keep from false positives, facial recognition tends to perform poorly if the [available] light … varies too much," which is likely why it failed at Apple's launch event during a demonstration. "Since you often have to get into your phone a lot and want it to be quick, this could be really annoying after a short period of time to users who often use their phones at night or outside and those that aren't relatively consistent with how they hold them."
In addition, by positioning its new models as it has, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and the iPhone X "provide an ugly choice" for buyers, said Enderle, due to potential model envy. "The iPhone 8 will be the more reliable device, but people like status and the iPhone 8, against the massive technology jump of the iPhone X, looks crippled."
Production issues for the iPhone X could add to Apple's potential problems, he said. "They should be able to make a ton of iPhone 8 models, but iPhone X models, because of the supply constraints on some of the parts and the late timing, will be in short supply," said Enderle. "Apple could find itself with a ton of supply for the phone no one wants and short in supply with the phone folks are chasing. iPhones have historically largely been about status, and the iPhone X is where the status is, the iPhone 8 not so much."
The iPhone X, which Apple is officially pronouncing as the "iPhone 10," drops the physical home button of past iPhone models in exchange for an upward swipe from the bottom of the screen and is covered with glass on both sides. The handset will come in silver or space gray and will start at $999 with 64GB of onboard storage when preorders start on Oct. 27. It's expected to be in stores and available for purchase online on Nov. 3. A 256GB model will cost $1,149.
The iPhone X marks the first Apple smartphone to include an OLED display, which had been one of the main rumors in the news for months.
Featuring the same A11 processors as found in the new iPhone X, the upcoming iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models include new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina HD displays, a single 12-megapixel rear camera on the iPhone 8, dual 12-megapixel rear main cameras on the 8 Plus, front and rear glass panels, aluminum bezels along with water- and dust-resistant cases.
The iPhone 8 starts at $699 with 64GB of onboard storage, while the iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799 with 64GB of storage. Preorders for the phones will start Sept. 15, and they will be available in stores and online on Sept. 22. Both models will be available with space gray, silver or gold finishes.
Apple also has kept its older iPhone 7, 6S and SE models in its lineup, giving consumers additional choices for their next handsets.
New Apple Watches, Apple TV Debut
In addition, Apple unveiled new models of its Apple Watch and its Apple TV products at its launch event. The Apple Watch Series 3 models can now be purchased with built-in cellular capabilities and no longer must be used solely in conjunction with an iPhone.
The new Apple Watches come in two models—with GPS and cellular connectivity or with just GPS services. Both models include dual-core processors that are 70 percent faster than the previous generation and new wireless chips. The Apple Watch models will be available for preorder on Sept. 15 and in stores and online on Sept. 22. The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $399, and the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) model starts at $329.
The latest Apple TV 4K device gets 4K video for greatly improved video quality for viewing content from iTunes, Netflix and other video streaming services. In addition, the devices support HDR video. Also included with the Apple TV 4K models is a redesigned Siri Remote.
Apple TV 4K starts at $179 for a 32GB model or $199 for a 64GB model. The Apple TV 4th generation model with 32GB of storage will remain in the lineup for $149. The new models will be available for preorder Sept. 15 and for purchase in stores or online starting Sept. 22.