It's quite common for Apple's new iPhones to have a negligible impact on the rest of the smartphone market. The original iPhone-normalized multitouch displays; The iPhone 7 accelerated the early decline of the headphone jack.
Last year's iPhone X created Apple two big splashes, both dubious outcomes: First, popularized the dreaded camera "hack" on top of an otherwise edge-to-edge screen, a design choice that many Android manufacturers have since copied for their own devices .
Secondly, and far more uneasy to many, iPhone X's success has normalized $ 1000 for a smartphone – a pricing that Apple seems to have committed, given that the just-defined iPhone XS will start at exactly the same price, and the bigger iPhone XS Max will be pricier still, to $ 1
I agree that it's not great that smartphones are getting so expensive. Honestly, though, at the moment, I feel much better at paying $ 1000 for an advanced Apple iPhone than I do for the $ 1000 Apple MacBook – or honestly, any other laptop. (But especially Apple.)
As my former colleague Steve Kovach pointed out when iPhone X was announced, it's almost always sensible to buy the most powerful phone you can afford. Given how much time most of us use with smartphones, all day long, you are far more likely to regret going for a cheaper option.
And honestly, iPhone X (and the upcoming sequel, iPhone XS) make a good case to be worth the money. The camera is great, battery life is very good and it has a kickin 'OLED display with more screen real estate than any of its predecessors.
The PC Becomes Less Relevant Every Year
Meanwhile, I can not say I feel so good about Apple's MacBooks.
It's not necessarily a referendum on Apple's industrial design, software, or power of the hardware. It's just that, apologize for buying a precious laptop, unless you're a gamer, a creative professional or a highly driven user.
As smartphones get better and more powerful, with ever bigger screens, there are fewer things you can not do with them. A sufficiently dedicated student could (and probably) have printed a 10 page paper on an iPhone keyboard and games like "Fortnite" show that the smartphone is almost on par with dedicated game consoles and PCs.
And if you really need a bigger screen, tablets – which are often cheaper, and almost always offer superior portability and battery life – are also better. IPad Pro can not replace a laptop for the highly powered users yet, but each new version is closer to that dream. Microsoft's $ 400 Surface Go tablet / laptop hybrid is not as powerful as a more expensive device, but it runs the full range of Windows 10 software.
The more time we spend on our phones, the less attention we give to our computers – which is at least one main reason why PC sales are in a slow and steady decline. This trend is just set to accelerate, in the same way: When smartphones get better and better, there are fewer reasons every day to burst your laptop.
At the same time, Windows PCs have generally become quite good; even the cheaper ones. If you're not completely linked to the Apple brand or ecosystem, it's more affordable than ever to get a cheaper Windows 10 machine. Although the specs are lower, hello, you probably only use it sometimes in the week.
All that is to say, Apple has made a quite convincing case for why we should drop $ 1000 for a phone. It is the only thing we can not live without and for many it is both important and necessary to have one who is powerful and super competent. The problem is that it does not have, and can not, make a sufficiently strong case for why most people need the most powerful laptops as well.