The latest range of iPhones - the iPhone 11 series - was announced early this morning (11/9), and pre-orders will open at 10pm this Friday (13/9) - for those who are super-keen to jump on board! The new phones will be available from 20/9.
Read on for more details on Apple's announcement, and for pricing and some advice for those looking to purchase a new iPhone some time soon.
What was announced?
The new iPhone 11 series will have a strong focus on camera enhancements and 'under-the-hood' improvements to speed and battery life.
The Pro versions of these iPhones will have a hefty price tag ($1749-$2499) based on the capacity you choose (64GB-512GB). The 'non-pro' iPhone 11 is also pretty pricey ($1199-$1449) - for 64GB to 256GB.
It will be interesting to see the early reviews of these iPhones, especially how the new camera features stack up. One thing that really disappointed me was the lack of support for the Apple Pencil. I was really looking forward to that rumour being true!
The release of iOS 13 is due on Sept 20 (AU time), to coincide with the availability of the new phones.
For the Mac users out there, macOS Catalina will be available on a yet-to-be-announced date in October.
Here's an article that outlines all the announcements - including (yet another) new iPad and Apple Watch.
Pricing of previous model iPhones
I know many of you have asked me recently for purchasing advice about iPhones, and my advice has been to hold off until this week to see what is announced.
The good news is that your patience has been rewarded if you are looking to purchase one of the previous model iPhones, with immediate price drops that range between about $150 and $180 through Apple. Stay tuned for pricing from other sellers of iPhones.
You will still be able to purchase the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in either the 64GB or 128GB capacity, and the iPhone XR will also still be available in these sizes. Apple will no longer supply the 256GB capacity version of these older iPhones (although you should be able to buy one from other resellers - for at least a little while)
Which iPhone should I buy?
This is another question I have been asked innumerable times lately - whether to get the latest/greatest, or purchase one of the older model iPhones. And, out of all the models available, which one to get.
My answer is 'it depends'.
Is photography important to you?
If your iPhone is your camera - and you love taking photos - I would consider the new iPhone 11 series, or one of the Plus models of the older iPhones. If photography is not so important to you, then the iPhone 8 or iPhone XR would be great choices (and they DO take really good photos as well).
The reviews of the new iPhone 11 series indicate that the camera is one of the best you will get on a mobile phone. The night mode is, apparently, especially good. The cheaper iPhone 11's camera is great and will be enough for most people. The key additional feature of the iPhone 11 Pro series is the telephoto lens (plus a 'better' display, although the iPhone 11 has a great display as well).
Here's an article that might help with your decision on 'which iPhone 11'.
Do you like a bigger or smaller phone
Another consideration is whether you want one of the bigger size phones.
They make take a bit of getting used to at first, but most people I speak to LOVE the larger size - even if they were hesitant to start with (as was I when I got my first Plus phone). I have found the larger size provided by my two year old iPhone X has meant that I rarely look at my iPad - it allows me to do so much that I would not have previously done on a smaller device.
I strongly suggest taking a look at the range - picking up and and handling each size device. But don't be put off when you first pick up one of the bigger phones. You will get used to it, and come to love it for so many reasons. However if a 'pocket sized' iPhone is more to your taste, you may prefer the iPhone 8 or iPhone 11 Pro. If you are happy with a larger iPhone, go for the iPhone 8 Plus, XR, or 11 Pro Max.
If you want to stick with the smaller size you have had in the iPhone 6, 6S or 7, consider the iPhone X or XS (if you can get one at an Apple reseller), or the new iPhone 11 Pro - as these phones are a very similar size, but offer a far bigger display that uses up the entire screen. I have loved my iPhone X for that reason. It gave me a screen size that was similar to my iPhone 7 Plus, but fitted better in the palm of my hand - similar to the smaller size 6, 7 or 8.
Do you need a Home button
Many people who ask me about new iPhones tell me that they love the fingerprint sensor and want to stick with a Home Button.
If this is you, then certainly stick with the 2-year-old iPhone 8, which still has a Home Button.
But I would recommend considering one of the new models that does not have a Home Button, as Face ID is fantastic - and you quickly find that you no longer miss the Home Button.
Yes, the gestures that you use when you don't have a Home button take a little getting used to - but most people find that they pick up the new gestures very quickly and find them much easier than the Home button.
Added to that is the beautiful edge-to-edge screen that provides a bigger display than can be provided on a phone with a Home Button.
I do figure that the 'no Home Button' devices are the way of the future for Apple, so it might be time to 'get on board' with this when you buy your next phone.
How much storage do you need?
Once again, if you love your photos, make sure you purchase a phone that has sufficient capacity to store your photos/videos. While it is possible these days to store your photos in iCloud and minimise the space used by these photos on your device, my preference is to always have access to these photos on my device as well, so that I don't need the internet to access my photos.
This means having enough space to store them all. If you feel the same way, then you will need to assess the size of your photo library, then add to that enough storage allowance for everything else that your iPhone will hold.
I would rarely recommend a 32GB device, as most people struggle to manage their storage on such a device - unless they are just using the device for phone, text, email, web browsing and the occasional photo.
Even 64GB can be too low for many people. If you love your photos, and you can afford it, go for the 128GB or 256GB capacity. There is even a 512GB capacity for the iPhone 11 Pro series.
Should you buy an older model phone - eg. iPhone 7?
I was asked at the weekend "why shouldn't I just buy the iPhone 7" - the 2016 version of the iPhone that you can get for a much cheaper price than the latest iPhones.
While these phones are still excellent options, you will generally find that they are only available in the 32GB capacity and are not all that much cheaper than the iPhone 8. A quick check just now showed that a 32GB iPhone 7 at $649 at one of the popular Australian retailers; the iPhone 8 64GB now has a RRP or $779. In saying that, retailers may drop to prices of older phones over the next few days.
iPhone 7 is also now three years old, which means that the 'forced obsolescence' date is sooner than that of a newer iPhone. The iPhone 6 was released in 2014, and is unable to be upgraded to iOS 13. This could mean that, in two year's time, the iPhone 7 may be at the end of its upgrade life - meaning may eventually be incompatible with your favourite apps and won't have any of the features of the latest operating system.
So you need to weigh up the discounted cost of the iPhone against the 'how long will it last me' question.
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