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Why I am not buying a new iPhone for the first time 11 years ago

Apple unveiled new devices last Wednesday amid enormous media and public interest. Under the motto "Gather Round", the group then showed three new smartphone models and a new Apple Watch.

Also we could not resist completely and published before the Keynote a summary of the rumors . The rumor mill was not really wrong. So the group showed the iPhone Xs , the iPhone Xs Max and the iPhone Xr , this came the Apple Watch Series 4 . We have already thought about the names elsewhere - nicely worded -.

The backgrounds
So much for the framework - but this article should be a personal comment, so I have to represent something of my personal situation. I have been relying on Apple products for thirteen years . That concerns - since the presentation of the iPhone - beside the Mac also the Smartphone range. Nevertheless, I do not like the term Fanboy, I am rather lazy. Back in 2007, when the first iPhone was introduced, there was nothing like it. Android was still a wet dream from Google and it took a long time to take the operating system seriously. Since I was basically satisfied with Apple, I never thought about a change. The situation is similar for me on the side of the hardware. Windows could be quite problematic then andIntel supplied Apple from 2006 like preferred with the strongest hardware. Times have changed - Android and Windows have caught up significantly. That's why I also run Android and Windows hardware alongside my Apple products. I'm a switcher - more confessed. Because, after all, whoever rested, rusted.

Year after year I buy good the new iPhone, since the introduction of the first device and its laborious import from the US. This year will be the first in which this is not the case - at least if I manage to "stay in control" and prove to myself that I'm not a fanboy.

The technical reasons
Apple has shown three new models. As I have already shown, I always got the latest device. So my starting point is an iPhone X.

The iPhone Xs is the direct successor of the same size, the iPhone Xs Max the slightly larger version. Actually, I was always a fan of the previous Plus devices, before the iPhone X packed the big screen in the small case. Out of interest, I would get the Max version, if I would be satisfied with it, but I do not know.

If we refrain from these points - which are no innovation at all - there are absolutely no justifiable reasons for an update this year. The new models come with an improved processor. The A12 Bionic is supposed to create fantastic millions of calculations - a multiple of what the predecessor can afford. The aim is to improve performance, especially in the AR and photography sectors. Did we wait for this? For me, I can answer the question clearly with no, and in my opinion, I can answer the question for everyone else.

AR and VR need - so - nobody
The topics VR and AR are exclusively industry-driven - so manufacturers want to secure the next multi-million market after the end of Smartphone & Co. I own an Occulus Rift, an Occulus One, a Gear VR (for Samsung devices) and a Playstation VR. The main purpose of the devices: they are dust collectors.

The situation is similar with the topic AR. Yes, I also played Pokémon Go, supposedly the most successful AR Game ever. Why supposedly? Because I've done what every player in my environment has done: I've completely turned off the AR effects after a few fun minutes. Apple pushes the topic, with its own development environment ARKit, especially for two years - and now apparently synonymous to sell expensive hardware with strong processors. The group shot itself during the presentation but immediately own goal. So developers of an AR game for a tech demo were brought to the stage and were allowed to prove how nasty people look, play the VR games and how completely outdated the concept itself.

On the one hand I have absolutely no interest in keeping my device permanently in my hands - in the meantime, such smartphones are also damn big and heavy - and on the other hand, I do not feel like making a monkey like that. Apart from that I'm the classic smartphone player: on public transport, when I'm bored somewhere waiting or - let's face it - in the bathroom. All places, where I can not imagine, with my smartphone, or even tablet , pedaling in front of my face.

AI makes my photos better or not
The processor should improve my photos thanks to AI. Many manufacturers offer this function, Apple is not one of the first, but rather to the last. Without question - all flagship phones shoot really great photos. On the other hand, I've long been wondering how they can get even better.

The answer is clear to me - and the solution is not AI. The solution lies in better lenses with more space, something that we will not get on these devices as the slimming craze of smart phones is limitless. The alternative: classic cameras. If you want really good photos, you just have to take a camera. Of course I have one too. How often do I use these? Let's think, ... not yet this year ... And I've taken over 5,000 photos on my smartphone and keep them.

On the other hand, AI is a sensitive topic, even or especially in photos. Taking pictures is a damn diversified, multifaceted problem that still has to be solved "quickly". What looks great on Apple - and everyone else - on stage, I do not get it. Many manufacturers trick and actually show photos of DSLR cameras. Apple could not prove this so far, but of course that is not said: The photos are from professionals. By all means improved by AI, but by professionals. I am not one. No AI helps me there either.

In addition, I suffer more under the AI. Often, Apple delivers a verschlimmbesserung. So if I need really good photos, then I always go the same step: Towards an application where I can control more and no AI makes my job more difficult. And where I end up with a RAW file that I can develop myself. A new processor that makes my life even more difficult? Sounds like no good idea.

The durability
Of course, the entire industry currently suffers from one problem: the durability of the devices. And that's actually meant positively. The big revolution has not existed for a long time. The steps are felt smaller every year. It may be that the hardware in itself makes big leaps - the need for it is not there and it does not matter much to the user. While every year a strong increase was noticeable, today it is no longer.

Last year's flagship smartphone still performs very well. Even devices that are two or three years old are far from old. At Apple there is another advantage: there are long software updates. Since most Android manufacturers can not keep up.

Just this year, Apple takes a step especially in the aftermarket: iOS 12, which is released as part of the new devices, even accelerates older devices. Great as selfless Apple is, right? Nonsense - it's not the love of the customer that drives Apple here. In my opinion, the group tried with this apparently effective method to compensate for the legitimate throttle allegations from last winter. What the Note 7 is the exploding battery is the software throttling for the iPhone: Marketing damage is expensive and quite cost.

And there is the price
And in the end - let's be honest: the prices are absolutely crazy. They are well above the formerly magical 1,000 euros sound barrier. My realistic desire model - so an iPhone Xs Max with 256 GB of memory (64 GB, not expandable, are really really too few!) Comes on no end 1,419 euros. What used to be a joke is now full of seriousness: vacation or smartphone?

Although the somewhat cheaper iPhone Xr would irritate me, for owners of an iPhone X, it is ultimately a clear step backwards in terms of technology (especially with the camera).

Lots of money for a comparatively small update and a bit more display. Since I would get much more display for significantly less money with an additional tablet, ...

The damn hard competition
But all flagship devices suffer from the phenomenon of being too long and damnably expensive on the other. Thus, the manufacturers are threatened by the much cheaper competition. Apple still has a slight luxury here: they are the only providers of iOS devices. In the same breath, the group also cut off the iPhone SE, the cheapest entry into the Apple smartphone world so far.

Still, there are some manufacturers who sell really useful devices for very little money. OnePlus, Xiaomi, Honor, Huawei, Motorola, Umidigi, Oppo - yes, even some Samsung models are well below 500 euros and now offer really very competitive hardware. Even the biggest fans of expensive flagship smartphones are increasingly being forced to ask themselves: "Is it still worth the price difference?".

My smartphone is my most used computer - so I sell my decision for years myself. How long this thin argument still holds, I do not know. Likewise, I too, as a lazy Apple fan, I will sooner or later have to ask the question of whether iOS is really worth many hundreds of euros. And in front of the, realistic, answer I'm already afraid, ...

The air is getting thin
The higher you go, the thinner the air gets. This is true for smartphones, and especially for Apple, in two ways. On the one hand, the prices are rising more and more, but on the other hand, the profit in terms of performance and new features is very low. This makes it difficult to justify such investments. The industry - manufacturers and providers - still rely on technology-crazy geeks like me, who "need" the latest device every year. I'm a geek, it's my hobbie - and there are much more expensive hobbies - but eventually the limit is reached. For me it is so far this year and it is admittedly a strange feeling. I'll get used to it and many others, as I've heard in the last few days, too.

But the air is getting thin all over the market. The growth phase of smartphones is over. The devices are now very long and really provide performance for years, in addition to come to serious, cheaper devices. Although this may not reduce the numbers yet - the sales will be. And that will ultimately be the leader in terms of sales or profit affected: Apple. Record levels, stock market values ​​forth, no one has to focus more on the future, as Apple currently.


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