Will the iPhone 8 Be Worth the Wait?


Grace Newby, Staff Writer

The design and release date of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were announced by Apple at their special event in Cupertino on September 12.

The release had been long-awaited and Apple buyers were surprised to see the 8 instead of a 7s. The new model was announced alongside the iPhone X, a phone with major differences from the original iPhone style including its screen size and the new addition of facial recognition identification. The surprising new iPhone X may have overshadowed the 8, and many have found the iPhone 8 upgrades to be underwhelming in comparison.

At Woodside, this sentiment seems to be true. Math teacher Mr. Gelb says, “The iPhone 8 seems like business as usual. Nothing really new or impressive, just an incremental upgrade.”

While, from the outside, the iPhone 8 seems fairly similar to the iPhone 7, sources say the biggest upgrades have been made behind the user interface The website Trusted Reviews released a chart showing a side-by-side comparison of the two models’ design additions in all the upgrades Apple has announced this year. The chart makes it evident that the primary upgrade present in the iPhone 8 is the use of an Apple A11 Bionic chip versus the A10 Fusion chip on the 7.

Apple has reported that this new chip is 25% faster than the Fusion, and it is also present in the iPhone X. Combined with the generous upgrades added to the X model, some people see this phone as a more worthwhile purchase. “For the price, my wife’s 8+ at 256 gigabytes is 950 [dollars], so it is not like 1000 [dollars] is a lot more money [to pay for the X],” Gelb adds.

The addition of wireless charging is the other main difference between the 7 and 8’s designs. “It’s kind of a bold move to remove the headphone jack and the start using wireless charging,” Henry MacArthur, an Android user and Woodside senior, comments.

Apple was able to engineer wireless charging by making the back of the iPhone 8 glass, allowing it to use the new Airpower wireless charging pad. Macworld reports that to charge the phone you simply place it onto the pad.

Macworld adds that, “AirPower uses induction, where an electromagnetic field is used to transfer power… When you place your device on the AirPower, it receives a signal from the pad to basically ‘handshake’ with the device (checks for compatibility, charge capacity, etc). If everything checks out, charging proceeds.”

Though these updates are inventive and seem promising to consumers, most of them are also on the iPhone X. These additions combined with the face scanning technology available on the X may make this phone a better upgrade from a previous iPhone model for Apple customers.  However, not every innovation on the iPhone X is being seen as a positive.

Gelb remains skeptical, saying, “I’m nervous about the phone not having a home button… Also, my kid, little Fritz, [may] be more likely to break the X.”  

This could make the iPhone 8 look like an easier undertaking than the new X model. Not every consumer will want a whole new device design, but the X still seems to be attracting more attention. The website 9to5Mac’s Greg Barbosa wrote an opinion piece describing why the iPhone X is “the obvious choice.”

The iPhone 8 has upgraded to a more efficient system overall, but will the small changes be enough to combat the hype of the tenth-anniversary iPhone X? Gelb is unsure: “I’ll have to hold one to really tell.”