UT students weigh in on iPhone X ahead of release

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This year marks over a decade when the iPhone came into existence.

On Jan. 9, 2007, Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone. This September, Apple announced the iPhone X. The new iPhone will include facial recognition, an all-touch display, built-in wireless charging and a new TrueDepth front-facing camera with features including an infrared camera, flood illuminator and a dot projector.

UT School of Information graduate student Tim Salau said he was excited for Apple’s new full-screen, edge-to-edge display and its improvements in internal hardware to support augmented reality applications.

“The iPhone X’s biggest advantage are two things: its camera features and domestic brand perception,” Salau said. “The bigger screen will now allow for more engaged and immersive entertainment use.”

However, Salau said the removal of the physical home button, an iPhone fixture since its introduction nearly a decade ago, will be an adjustment for many people.

“IPhone users have developed a strong mental model for using the home button as the primary navigation method,” Salau said. “Changing the interaction model to a more gesture-based model will affect the learnability and usability of the device.”

Chemical engineering junior Veda Shenoy said she was looking forward to getting the iPhone X. However, she didn’t like the removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone’s previous release, saying if she couldn’t listen to music and charge her phone at the same time. Apple has maintained this change in the iPhone X as well.

The new iPhone also comes with a hefty price tag, retailing at $1,000. However, Salau said that he still expects people to come and buy the phone in droves because of subsidized phone plans offered by companies.

“I’m not looking forward to the price,” Salau said. “(One thousand dollars) is a high price to pay for a phone that doesn’t boast any groundbreaking improvements and is playing catch-up to the Samsung Note 8. I’ll be observing consumer feedback to gauge if the device is truly worth the cost.”

Salau said that Samsung, which runs Android — Apple’s main competition in the smartphone industry — has a stronger following in international emerging markets like India and Nigeria.

Public health senior Paige Milson said she prefers Android phones because of their versatile features and customizability.

“I enjoy being able to format my home screen and organize it as I want,” Milson said. “I also think my Android has already had many of the features that Apple is just now adding, such as facial recognition to unlock your phone.”

Apple’s next move for the iPhone will be to market it as a hub to connect with Apple’s other product lines, including Apple Airpods, Apple Watch and, as rumor has it, the potential augmented reality glasses Apple is developing, according to Salau.

“Since Apple has placed an emphasis on augmented reality and artificial intelligence, I see a future where the iPhone camera will allow users to learn more about our surroundings beyond just saving a photo,” Salau said.

Pre-orders for the iPhone X will begin Oct. 27 and the product will be available on Nov. 3.