Dial tone: Predicting iPhone 8 problems


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What are you likely to get when you ask Apple questions about presumed problems with devices they haven’t announced yet? Let’s find out.

Writing for CNBC, Todd Haselton warns us that “The iPhone 8 may be outdated before it even launches.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Nick Sayer, The LeeBase and Crandall Crute.)

The Apple iPhone 8 may already lag behind Android rivals when it launches later this year.

No. You know why? Because phones aren’t judged on one and only one feature. That’s not how this works.

Haselton isn’t new to the pre-dooming-Apple-products-before-they-ship rodeo which is the kind of rodeo that uses teacup poodles. He also pre-doomed the Apple Watch. Pre-dooming, of course, cannot fail, it can only be failed so pundits have to pretend that the Apple Watch flopped even though it has sold way better than the hit Amazon Echo.

No, none of this makes any sense. It’s not you.

This iPhone 8 pre-doom isn’t really “news” so much as it is “olds”. This came up a month and a half ago and it’s no less much ado about very little now than it was then.

Bloomberg echoed a report from CNET earlier this spring which explains that Apple typically sources its chips from Intel and Qualcomm. While Qualcomm already offers Gigabit LTE support in its newest modems, Intel won't roll out support until next year.

So the iPhone 8 most likely won’t have Gigabit LTE. As the Macalope previously noted, the original iPhone only had EDGE and still managed to please at least a few people. Also, the top Android phones are already a few seconds behind the iPhone and they still seem to sell pretty well anyway. Why? Because speed isn’t the only virtue of a smartphone.

This is a big deal for consumers who buy the new iPhone 8 and realize it's outdated and running on slower networks than other phones that support Gigabit LTE, like the Galaxy S8.

Sure. People will drop the iPhone 8 in meaningful numbers and switch to the Galaxy S8 because they care about modem speed and only modem speed. That sounds like people the Macalope knows and not at all like a fabricated single-feature D&D character sheet Haselton just had to roll 10,000 times to create.

It might not matter much in 2017 as carriers are still working to activate next-generation networks, but it'll matter over the lifetime of the phone for folks who keep their iPhone for two years or more.

You know what else matters to folks who keep their phones for two years or more? Software updates. Good luck getting your Android phone updated after the carrier/manufacturer combination gets bored with your model and wanders off into the woods because they heard there was a dead body by the train tracks and they want to poke at it with a stick.

Apple’s adoption rate for iOS 10 is 86 percent and Android 7’s is 7 percent so let us not be lectured to about devices that are outdated.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.

“Hi, I was wondering, just how badly will the iPhone 8 suck? Hello? Hello? … I think they hung up.”

That’s what you get.

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