USA TODAY’s Personal Tech Columnist Ed Baig has the lowdown on whether the iPhone8 is worth the buy or if you should wait for iPhone 10’s release.
The new iPhone 8 Plus is displayed in the showroom after the new product announcement at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, Calif. The iPhone X might make your friends envious, but the iPhone 8 is the model for the masses…similar to flying coach rather than first class. (Photo: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez,)
LOS ANGELES — Apple fans eager to get their hands on the latest, hottest new iPhone probably won’t be camping in hordes on sidewalks this week.
Two new iPhones, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, will be released Friday. But it appears the early adopters are waiting for November, when the top-of-the-line $999 iPhone X comes to stores.
“There will be some lines,” says Gene Munster, an investor and analyst with Loup Ventures in Minneapolis. “But the fanatics will wait.”
The shipping delays for the new phones are 1-2 weeks, compared to 2-3 weeks the week prior to the release of the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016, and 3-4 weeks for the iPhone 6 in 2014, says Munster, who has tracked Apple’s shipping delays on its website for the past few years.
Early reviews are in sync. USA TODAY‘s Edward C. Baig said he would skip the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus ($699-$949) and hold out for iPhone X. The Wall Street Journal‘s Geoffrey Fowler said the “best thing about iPhone 8 is that it’s entirely avoidable.”
Over the years, Apple’s iPhone launches were met with long lines of people camped out in front of stores, hoping to be first on the block with the new devices. Additionally, buyers from foreign countries came here to nab the iPhone, because the new model wasn’t yet available in their country, take it home and re-sell it.
Apple has trained customers to skip the line and pre-order instead, with most arriving on or about launch day, and the opening day crowds have gotten smaller.
Munster says that despite the lower expected sales for the new iPhones, he still expects Apple to see a 10% bump in overall iPhone sales this quarter. He says more of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (25%) will sell, compared to 20% sales contributed by the iPhone X. The rest will be older iPhones, which now have lower prices. The SE starts at $349.
More: iPhone 8 review: An excellent phone forced to the shadows by iPhone X
More: 5 new features worth checking out on iOS11
More: Is iPhone X too good? iPhone 8, 8 Plus may soon find out
Apple CEO Tim Cook defended his pricing of the iPhone X on ABC’s Good Morning, America Tuesday. The most expensive iPhone ever, starting at $999, is actually a “value price,” Cook said, because of the new technologies added to it.
Additionally, he said many consumers trade in their old phones, and pay for them on a monthly basis, instead of one lump sum, so the price tag shouldn’t sting as much.
Also Tuesday, Apple updated its mobile operating software, iOS 11, with many new features and a new look to familiar options like e-mail, the App Store and making screen shots. Unlike in past iOS releases, the software went out to many users without Twitter blowing up with complaints.
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