Every year, Apple big wigs gather the world’s media in California to reveal their latest
plans for world domination series of iPhones, and appease the waiting masses’ collective angst as to exactly what they’ll pull out of their hat next. When they released the iPhone X last year, their first bold product redesign in a couple of years, people HAD to have it, and it helped put the forward-thinking tech giants back into favour with the public. The company was happy to announce the iPhone XR, Apple’s attempt at a “budget” iPhone X, but in terms of their flagship, changes and additions are subtle.
As can be expected, the newest models enjoy more of a general update (some faster, slicker guts inside the case) than they do a complete design overhaul, but the folks at Apple have been busy, and there’s still a fair bit to unpack.
Firstly, the biggest announcement here is the introduction of the iPhone Xs Max, an unsurprisingly larger version of the iPhone Xs. The iPhone X’s release last year changed peoples’ perception of phone size, as it packed a larger screen into a smaller phone, giving users the best of both worlds. Here, Apple has clearly decided that there’s still a demand for huge phones, and designed the iPhone Xs Max to fill this gap. The iPhone Xs Max comes in at a gargantuan 157.5 mm mm x 77.4 mm, against the iPhone Xs’ 143.6 mm x 70.9 mm. Both phones are 7.7 mm thick, and weigh in at 177 grams.
The iPhone XS gets a 5.8 inch Super Retina HD OLED display, while the iPhone Xs Max’s screen is a whopping 6.5 inches. Dual cameras still adorn the front and back of both models, as was the case with the iPhone X, and the new iOS 12 operating system paired with the A12 Bionic chip CPU looks to be a much faster system than the prior model, an important factor when considering how much power the advanced apps and features will draw.
Shy of this though, there isn’t a whole lot more to report on these new devices, other than the features already included in the past model (Face ID, 4k video recording and Portrait Mode on the highly celebrated camera). Both come with 4GB of RAM, and are each available in Gold, Space Grey and Silver colours. While Apple is claiming that the iPhone Xs’ battery lasts 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X, and that the iPhone Xs Max will give an extra 90 minutes of juice, this is little consolation to many current users, a number of whom have expressed their deepest desires on social media: a simple headphone jack and home button, just like the iPhones of old.
Perhaps most eye-poppingly blatant, however, is the price tag. The iPhone Xs is available with either 64, 256 or 512 GB of internal storage, for AUD $1,629, $1,879 and $2,199 respectively, catapulting the device beyond the AUD $2,000 mark for the first time. It’s worse news for anybody who wants the iPhone Xs Max; the same format of storage offerings starts at AUD $1,799 for the 64GB, and moves up to $2,049 for a 256GB handset, finally ending at an absolutely enormous $2,369 for 512GB.
To put that into perspective, an entry-level 13″ Macbook Pro, still one of Apple’s most powerful computers, and a celebrated workhorse amongst creatives and office-types alike, retails for AUD $1,899, a cool 470 De Niros cheaper than this: a mobile phone. Filled with features though it may be, whether or not consumers see this as a prime opportunity to have a giant, powerful phone in their pocket, or a bit of a gouge from the beloved Silicon Valley behemoth, is yet to be seen.
The iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max will both be available for pre-order in Australia from September 14 and will ship on October 21.