During the over-the-top announcement of the iPhone X, which took place at Apple’s new over-the-top headquarters building, the new phone was repeatedly described as the future of smartphones. In some ways, this might be the case, but if it is, that future is shared with Samsung and its new Galaxy Note 8.
That’s not to suggest that the new iPhone X (pronounced iPhone Ten) isn’t an important step for Apple, because it is. While other smartphones have had the same features that Apple is just bringing to the market, Apple’s share in the enterprise will bring to business what Samsung and others have mainly provided to gamers and others for some time. Good examples are facial recognition and face tracking.
But included in the new technology are advances in security and augmented reality that may become important to the enterprise over time. Still, the price of an iPhone X is getting most of the attention and not all of it is positive. Can business smartphone buyers justify spending $999 for a phone? Can they justify spending $1149 for the one with more memory?
Depending on your needs, maybe not. This is why Apple also introduced the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which are the next step up from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The iPhone X won’t be available until Nov. 3, so users champing at the bit for a new handset may not want to wait. But the other new iPhones will begin shipping on Sept. 22, so they can be satisfied then.
What the iPhone X brings to the table, other than the future that Apple promises, are better cameras, a screen that covers the entire face of the phone, facial recognition and wireless charging capability. It’s worth noting that the wireless charging pads from Apple won’t be available until 2018, so you either have to use the Lightening connector or buy a charging pad from another vendor.
The 5.8-inch screen on the iPhone X is its most obvious new feature. It covers the entire front of the phone, with no home button. There’s a small notch at the top for the cameras and sensors and there’s a very thin bezel around the screen.
The new 2436 x 1125 screen resolution should provide very clear images with the 458 pixels per inch density. This is Apple’s first OLED screen and it helps the new phone achieve a battery life two hours longer than the iPhone 7.
The facial recognition is an important security feature because it’s much harder to fool Apple’s approach than some others. That’s because Apple uses an infrared projector on the phone to scan more than 30,000 dots on to the user’s face, which are then read by an infrared camera on the phone. The resulting image is compared with one stored on the phone and if it matches, the phone is unlocked.
Apple’s Face ID, as the feature is called, replaces Touch ID on previous iPhones and iPads. According to Apple, Face ID can theoretically be fooled one time in a million, versus one in 50,000 times for Touch ID.