iPhone X vs iPhone 8 – The challenge of a Unicorn3 min read

If you’re unaware, today Apple have announced the upcoming release of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8.

Each are beautiful devices, each provide the expected first-class experience from an Apple device, but where they differ doesn’t stop at front-facing facial tracking cameras and bezel-less glass screens.

At a hardware level, there really isn’t much in it. Both devices have the same processor / memory / storage load outs, both have an updated look and feel (though I’ve never been a fan of glass backed devices) and surrounded by the same mystery and fanfare. Of course the iPhone X has a slightly different form factor being a few millimetres larger, the bezel-less screen and a lack of a home button in lieu of facial tracking based security.

But that is where the hardware differences end. Both devices has 4K 60 fps support, both are available in a 64gb and 256gb variant, both in the coveted ‘space grey’ colour scheme. But there is one hidden difference that you won’t find printed on any box or in any brochure.

The iPhone X is a unicorn.

In the history of most personal technology, consistency and reliability are the cornerstones of the success of a device released into the consumer market. Where unique devices have become available, often the experience of the consumer (beyond the boasting factor) diminishes shortly after purchase as the new-bling factor rapidly fades into despair at the lack of device-specific updates.

Apple has been kind to the consumer market by remaining conscientious of their responsibility to existing users. A trait often not found in other companies with device alternatives, which I hope they continue to do as its one of the primary reasons I have surrounded myself with their technology.

But still, the iPhone X remains a unicorn. A special edition to celebrate the 10th year of iPhone.

I’d like to think that Apple are being smart about this release and are using the experience of the iPhone X as a physical pseudo A/B test where the success of the device features will be rolled into the next logical device release. But given that this device is out-of-cycle, and that it has unique components and features (at this stage), I expect the iPhone X to be more novelty than usability.

This said, I personally won’t be purchasing the iPhone X as I don’t expect the iPhone X to age well at all. The iPhone 8 however is in cycle, and until the features of the iPhone X are rolled into the in cycle device, I’m not really interested.

I love my iPhone 6, it has been a trusty device throughout the years I’ve had it, and still it’s battery life and performance stand out strong against newer offerings. I’ve waited through the iPhone 7 and 7s as there wasn’t enough compelling need for me to upgrade, yet I’m also conscious that the without an upgrade to the new iPhone 8 then I’ll be missing out on a strong set of features.

Ultimately it’s up to the individual, but for me the choice is clear…

iPhone 8 it is.


Have a different opinion? Hit the comments and give me your thoughts!


Also published on Medium.

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