In which I try to seem like I’m not a grumpy old man…

By | September 17, 2018
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I don’t know if you’ve heard but there’s been all sorts of hoopla in the tech world over the last week as Apple have just announced their new versions of the iPhone.

They’ve done some clever technical things and as a bit of a techie, I can’t help but be interested in the clever way they’ve used a LED based screen for the top level phones and a slightly cheaper LCD one for the cheaper ones but still made them look similar.

Not to mention the clever work that’s gone into some of the new chips powering it all. (Though I still think “Bionic” is a bit of a silly name for the chips.)

But the thing that had me dropping my jaw and saying “No, I must have mis-read that” wasn’t the clever technical things they’ve done, or the slightly odd names they’ve used.

It was the price.

I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old man (you might say I am one, of course, but I don’t want to seem like one) but I just found it staggering.

The main new iPhone, the iPhone XS, is £999. Yes, that’s just one pound shy of a grand.

That’s a lot of money for a phone! But it’s OK, because they have a budget model as well, which is much cheaper.  Let me just check how much that one is…

Aha – the budget model (called the iPhone XR) is £749. What?  Still hardly pocket change, is it?

That’s not all – if you get the top model (The XS Max) it starts at £1099 – I say starts at because if you want the one with the bigger storage space it’s a whopping £1449.

To be fair, very few people will buy their phones like this. Most people take out a contract with a phone company that includes the phone, so you pay a monthly amount. The cost of it is still included, though, it’s just you don’t pay it in one go.

Now, I’m very much a believer in live and let live. If Apple want to charge that much for their phones, that’s up to them. After all, they can’t force you to buy them. And if people want to buy them, that’s up to them – it’s their money, so it’s their choice.

But it does seem utterly bizarre when you can get a smartphone that works perfectly well for far far less. Or even an iPad or other tablet AND a decent smartphone for the same price or less. In fact you could just about get a decent smartphone, a good tablet and a decent laptop and still have enough left to get a very decent bottle of single malt or two.

Anyway, why am I bothering to tell you about this? Is it just so I can get it off my chest and we can all shake our heads in amazement?

Well, there’s that of course. But I also wanted to make sure everyone knows you really don’t have to spend this kind of money to have a smartphone. It’s not like the ones that are cheaper aren’t any good or won’t last or anything.

If/when you’re after a new smartphone, don’t feel you need to spend that kind of money and don’t worry that you’re wasting your money if you buy a cheaper one… and if you already have a cheaper one, don’t worry that maybe the one you’ve got isn’t any good or will let you down.

Unless you’re the kind of techie who can’t resist the very latest thing (and I’m not criticising that – it’s just not most people) then you don’t need to worry about these announcements of the top end phones.

I know most techies don’t like me saying this, but I’ve been saying it for years: you don’t always need the latest, most fancy technology as long as what you have does what you want.

Oh, and incidentally if you’re speaking you’re not supposed to call these phones “iPhone ex S” and “iPhone ex R”. The X is a roman numeral and Apple want you to say “iPhone Ten S” and “iPhone Ten R”. Fair enough – except it does make them sound like “iPhone Tennis” and “iPhone Tenner”.

Which did make me chuckle – calling a phone that costs £749 a tenner.

One thought on “In which I try to seem like I’m not a grumpy old man…

  1. Desmond Barker

    Anyone who spends that amount of money on a phone has got more money than sense.


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