The Tame Apple Press has pulled out all the stops to try and give the impression that the iPhone X is the future. Hacks who have not paid for the iPhone X get their chance to breathe enthusiastically in the hope that Apple will let them keep it.
So we are being treated to claims that it is the “phone of the future” despite being the same sort of phone that Android users have had for at least a year.
Otherwise sane technology journalists appear to have had a brain haemorrhage and forgetting what technology is available and what price you can expect to pay for it.
Going through a dozen or so reviews this morning they all pretty much say the same thing. The iPhone X is great because…. and then they seem to run out of ideas. But there is a rather a lot of fudging and PR spin going on in the reviews. Firstly the price is always given as $999, and yet the phones being tested are not the entry phones and the price does not include the $200 Apple insurance which is practicallly manditory
Next, all the reviewers mention that despite the iPhone X being the “phone of the future” it is “remarkably familiar” and “tried and tested.” In other words, there is nothing new I can comment on.
Most witter on about the face recognition software on the save grounds that is something different and will fill out a few paragraphs. But no one can say that facial recognition software is a “killer app”, and many would switch it off as it is a barrier to using the phone.
Oddly the mainstream press, like Metro have come out and been a bit more honest and pointed out that the iPhone X is not worth the £1,250 price tag.
“I’d struggle to justify a four-figure price tag for a smartphone in the best of circumstances. If it was packed with new technology that made a significant difference to my working life then I might consider it, but the iPhone X offers more of the same from Apple, just very slightly faster”, the reviewer wrote.
Adding that Apple’s ability to continue selling a slightly updated phone to the same audience every year is an impressive feat of marketing and what would be more impressive is to see Apple matching the growth of the rest of the smartphone market.
There is nothing new in all this and it is something I have been ranting about for years. Apple only exists because it managed to convince technology journalists to become unpaid shills for it. While you expect a company to do its best to push its products, the checks and balances on that have to be the informed press.
But reputable hacks and newspapers decided to switch off any semblance of creditability to claim that Apple was innovative (it wasn’t), was coming up with new products (it didn’t) was value for money (there is a huge markup). There were too few Inquirers or Fudzillas in the market who were prepared to say that the Emperor had no clothes and as a result, Apple convinced the world it was a technology company rather than a white box design company.
But things have not been going well for Apple for nearly two years. Its policy of charging more money for micro-incrementally improved versions of a five year old phone while depending on the Tame Apple press to make it cash is not improving the bottom line anymore. The most significant markets like China and India are not interested in just paying more money for the same product. Western markets too are starting to notice that they can pick up the same levels of tech for a much lower cost.
This is what makes the iPhone X coverage so unctuous. The Tame Apple Press is no longer just pushing a product it likes (for whatever dumb reason) it is taking part in a con trick on its readers. Apple is charging massive amounts of money for a product which is more or less the same as its cheaper, but already overpriced iPhone 8 and the Tame Apple Press is helping.