Apple's nearly bezel-less, OLED display-sporting behemoth iPhone X is causing a lot of arguments. Some say its astronomically high price — starting from $999 — isn't justifiable, while some say it's the best, most radical iPhone yet, and that they're willing to drop a thousand bucks for it, easy.
But here's an interesting perspective:
The iPhone X, love it or hate it, is an essential presence in the smartphone landscape. Why? Because it keeps competitors on alert, keenly observing where the device excels and where it fails. They'll scrutinize the phone in all aspects, and they'll look at people's response. From there, they'll attempt to make a comparable, if not better phone. Voilà — competition ensues.
Why The iPhone X Needs To Exist
It goes both ways: Android is also essential to Apple, chiefly for that reason. This is what The Verge's Vlad Savov argues. He says, "A radical iPhone redesign is a good thing for everyone, no matter what it looks like or who buys it."
Apple boasts one of the most famous phone brands in the world. It has also collected an army of loyal fans thanks to a deft combo of clever marketing and truly great products. Apple's strength lies in its ability to see where the value is — customers. Loyal, unfaltering stalwarts who want to be wowed, who want something new each year.
Even so, by now there shouldn't be any conspiracy. Apple makes great phones, and perhaps even one of the best ones. It rattles the competition, and its decisions, however small, cause ripples in the grander tech landscape.
Because it's such a huge company, it becomes imperative for competitors to watch its every step. Whether one considers Apple a true innovator or not, it's simply stupid to deny its level of influence. When Apple does something, everyone will copy it — that's just the way it works. Either that or companies make something better out of things that can be copied.
What Would Happen If Apple Fails To Excite
So what if Apple suddenly becomes lazy? What if its products become stagnant, boring, and uninspired? Savov offers a great analogy:
"When the United States put people on the moon in the 1960s, those efforts were spurred by the threat of the Soviet Union making it there first," he said. Eventually, the United States landed on the moon. But since then, space exploration has largely waned. No man or woman has ventured farther, and the universe remains as much of a mystery as it was before.
Who stands to rival the iPhone X? Well, Google is now teasing its Pixel follow-ups, and other companies are surely looking for ways to implement facial recognition technology, now that it's going to become more popular thanks to Face ID and Animoji.
"Having a strong rival is essential to keeping up the pace of innovation," Savov says. Both Apple and Android are essential to each other. Without either of them, companies might become complacent, afraid to push the envelope.
So, in the end, whether the iPhone X has a justifiable price, looks ugly or beautiful, and is criticized to hell, its presence is not just welcome — it's needed.
So, does the iPhone X push the envelope? It's hard to say. But at least, it makes sure there's an envelope to push.