I believe it’s easy to agree with the claim that iPhone X was and is the most important phone release since the original iPhone, so of course, this is a story of homage to one of the most important phones ever made, and I’ll do my best to point out what made the iPhone X as important as it was.
The catch here is that there’s a slight chance iOS 16 might not be the last update iPhone X will get. We’ll also discuss if iPhone X users should be looking to upgrade now or in a few months. But before that, perhaps the most straightforward way of gauging the iPhone X’s significance for Apple and the phone market as a whole is by the level of interest and engagement it attracted from “the normal folk” (not us, tech nerds).To that point, I was just scrolling through YouTube when I saw a video by one of the great current-gen storytellers of our day, Casey Neistat. It was November 3, and Casey was buzzing around New York (as he does), talking to people on the street (as he does), but this time there were hundreds of them, and they were waiting in line… to buy the brand new iPhone X.
We’re talking long lines of 200-300 people (as per the video), some of whom had been waiting since 4AM. Tents, blow-up mattresses, and a whole lot of patience and enthusiasm – all for an iPhone.
But not just any iPhone. The iPhone X (at this point, everyone thought the “X” was pronounced like the letter, which somehow made it more epic)…
Having changed Apple and Android forever, iPhone X is the most important phone since the original iPhone
It’s important to note that a fair amount of the people who happen to wait in line for a new iPhone would simply flip it on eBay. But still, the interest in the iPhone X was much higher than for any iPhone that came after it (people used to wait in line for older iPhones, but that’s because… different times).The YouTube videos with millions of views and even TV coverage of the iPhone X (Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and news channels across the US – all talked about Apple’s new phone) were a clear indicator of Apple’s mighty marketing machine. But the iPhone X wasn’t the most important phone since the original iPhone just because it generated hype (looking at you, Nothing Phone).
Even back in 2017, it was very rare to see a phone that fundamentally changed the way we interact with it, and the iPhone X did that. Here’s a reminder of how it did it…
The Notch and Face ID forever changed the way we look at iPhone (literally)
The iPhone X wasn’t the very first phone with a “notch”, but it certainly was the device that made it widespread and “cool”. The appearance of the notch wasn’t exactly inevitable since Cupertino could’ve just moved Touch ID to the side of the iPhone and still had an edge-to-edge iPhone. However, Tim Cook & Co had something else in mind, which required almost all the space on the top of the “X” – Face ID.Again, face unlocking existed on Android phones for ages, but Apple went all the way and did it right. Face ID wasn’t an afterthought of a feature you could use alongside your fingerprint reader but a sophisticated 3D scanning system that was now the one and only method of unlocking iPhone.
Of course, it took Apple some time to perfect the software side of things, but today Face ID works like magic (except when it doesn’t, which is when I’m trying to unlock my phone in bed, for example). Still, Face ID managed to convert even me, the hardest of Touch ID advocates, into a Face ID fan. It’s a seamless experience, and as Apple likes to say… It just works.
The iPhone X’s new gesture navigation system meant Apple’s home button and Android’s capacitive touch buttons weren’t missed
Before iPhone X, navigating through iPhone was done via the home button and navigating through Android via capacitive/virtual buttons. Oh, ancient times!
But Apple absolutely nailed the execution of the new era of UI navigation with simple gestures that we’ve all come to like. Swipe up to go home, hold for multitasking, and swipe from the side to go back – it was always meant to be that way.
And, of course, this is the one iPhone X feature that literally all Android phones adopted later on, which is a great reason Android fans (like myself) might want to thank Cupertino… for once!
iPhone X was the first $1,000 iPhone, opening the floodgates for a plethora of super-premium, super-expensive future iPhones and Android phones
Sure, the notch, Face ID, and the brand new gesture navigation system are the most obvious game-changing features iPhone X brought to the table. In fact, iPhone X arrived with a lot of other firsts for Apple in particular – it was the first iPhone with an OLED display as well as the first iPhone that had a big screen but stayed compact in size.
- iPhone X was the first iPhone (or just phone) to break through the $1,000 price barrier, which had an absolutely massive influence on Apple’s future iPhone releases and price segmentation but also on Android’s.
- The 2017 iPhone X began the trend of $1000+ phones, practically becoming the reason why Samsung thought it was OK to launch the $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2022…
iOS 16 is the last major software update for iPhone X or… is it? Apple might be preparing a surprise!
So, yes… iPhone X was and is the most important smartphone after the original iPhone. As you can see, it changed both Apple and Android forever and in many ways. But what’s on the horizon for those who still own an iPhone X?
Well, for starters, amazing news! iOS 16 might not be the last update for your five-year-old iPhone. Sure, the chances aren’t massive, but if you think about it, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X launched at the same time and are running on the same A11 Bionic chip, meaning their software support should also end simultaneously, right?
That could be what will happen, but it could also be that Apple decides to keep the much more modern-looking iPhone X updated for an extra year! The first reason is exactly that the iPhone X has a more modern design compared to the ancient-looking iPhone 8, but the other reason is that the iPhone X actually comes with 3GB of RAM, while the smaller iPhone 8 has only 2GB of RAM.
Unlike Android, in Apple’s world, 1GB of RAM can make a massive difference, and I won’t be surprised at all if Cupertino manages and decides to update iPhone X to iOS 17. In the end, iPhone 6S also wasn’t supposed to receive iOS 15, but it did, which means it got six years of major iOS updates!
Samsung wants iPhone X owners to jump the fence and buy a Galaxy S22, but what if you want to “wait”?
I guess this is the time to give Apple its flowers for the long software support it provides for iPhone. The iPhone X works remarkably well for a five-year-old phone, as does my iPhone 8, which I was using until just a few months ago before upgrading to iPhone 13 mini.The truth of the matter, though, is that the iPhone X and iPhone 8 aren’t the fastest phones around. Not to mention, the battery and cameras in those phones are pretty bad by today’s standards.
So, what are the upgrade options for iPhone X owners owners?
Of course, you can go for one of the new iPhone 14 models or even the iPhone 14 Pro, but the big reason to skip them is that the iPhone 15 series is expected to bring some major changes – iPhone 15 is expected to adopt the iPhone 14’s Dynamic Island, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra might bring periscope zoom cameras
But for the fans of the iPhone X’s design, you’d be lucky to find out that it’s not going anywhere just yet. According to multiple sources, the upcoming iPhone SE Gen 4 is expected to (finally) adopt the design of the iPhone X or, rather, the iPhone XR in particular. That’s brilliant for those who prefer the curvy iPhone X design (like me)
Or you know – you can buy a Galaxy or a Pixel. If you ask Samsung, you should definitely “jump the fence”, so… grab a ladder. Or you know – wait.