Innovation

Apple’s £1,000 ‘Animoji’ superphone is here, but it hasn’t proven its worth

By Oliver Smith 13 September 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
Summary

Spoiler: Animated poo emojis aren't enough.

It’s big, beautiful and blooming expensive.

Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone X (pronounced ‘ten’), comes with a stunning edge-to-edge screen, advanced facial recognition and some very very cute ‘Animoji‘.

The drawback, it starts at a whopping £999.

Yes, that’s the same price as a MacBook Air laptop, a second-hand Ford Focus, or the price of a round the world plane ticket.

It’s apparently worth it because, in the words of marketing boss Phil Schiller, “it is packed with incredible new technologies”.

All-change

The iPhone X has the biggest screen Apple’s ever put in a smartphone, 5.8 inches of it, despite being nearly the same size as the current iPhone 7.

Its new selfie camera unlocks Animoji, emoji that copy your expressions, whether that’s a smiling pony or an unhappy poo.

And with Face ID you can unlock the new iPhone X just by looking at it – although Apple’s demo of this failed in cringe-worthy fashion last night.

But all this leads to the crucial question, is it worth nearly £1,000?

Prove it

Undoubtedly we use our smartphones more than ever before, around five hours a day for adults and nearer eight or nine hours for teenagers.

By time spent, this new iPhone is remarkable value for money, compared to that £1,000 4K widescreen TV that you might just about watch for an hour a day.

Our smartphones are also about so much more than entertainment, they’re workhorses of productivity, communication and commerce.

And if Apple’s iPhone X brings a significant improvement in all these areas of our lives, then it’ll undoubtedly be worth the 40% premium over Apple’s regular iPhones.

But Apple has yet to prove that it is. Even retailers are worried.

Carphone Warehouse CEO Seb James warned earlier this year that “handsets have become more expensive whilst technical innovation has been more incremental” leading to people simply not upgrading.

Read more: Carphone Warehouse warns ‘no one wants to pay $1,000 for a smartphone’

The high cost of progress

A far more affordable iPhone was also unveiled last night, the iPhone 8 is just as fast as the iPhone X and has a camera that’s almost as good.

For £699, today it’ll likely do everything you need it to at a price that won’t break the bank.

It’s the smartphone that most iPhone-buyers should be looking at.

The best smartphone in the world might be the iPhone X, but today Apple still needs to prove that.