Apple Releases iPhone 11 to Mixed Reviews

Fans of the company excited about new features, but describe tri-camera layout as ‘unappealing’

Cedrik von Briel, Health/Lifestyle/Technology Editor

Apple’s new iPhone 11 models were released last Friday, September 20, after weeks of speculation about how the phone would differ from the previous iPhone X released last year. One of the new features in particular has left Apple fans at Woodside and around the world scratching their heads. 

The Cupertino-based company first teased the updated smartphone at an event two weeks prior, where they also released new editions of the iPad and Apple watch. However, by far the most talked-about unveiling was the highly-anticipated release of the 11th generation of Apple’s flagship smartphone. 

Cedrik von Briel
A closeup of an iPhone Pro Max details the slightly controversial camera design, which consists of the wide-angle lens on the top left, the Ultra-wide angle lens on the right, and the Telephoto lens on the bottom left.

“[The camera design on the iPhone 11 Pro] looks like the aliens from Toy Story,” Woodside senior Hali Newman joked.

The iPhone 11’s new camera design features wide-angle and new ultra-wide-angle camera lenses. The Pro and Pro Max models, however, have garnered the most controversy based on their outlandish design. They feature both of the previously mentioned lenses, plus the standard telephoto lens gracing past models. 

“When you have to [add those features onto the phone], I can really understand that,” sophomore Brynn Adasiewicz commented. “But three? Do we really need three?”

These Pro models’ tri-camera designs have spawned a number of memes, with Twitter users comparing it to a hot stove, a coconut, and even the face of animated Youtube star Lucas the spider. Another user also likened the design to the face made when seeing the phones’ price tags, which are $699, $999, and $1099 for the iPhone 11, the 11 Pro, and the 11 Pro Max, respectively. 

Even with jokes flying at the expense of the camera layout, many positive reviews are also being spread about the company, especially among Woodside students.

“You know, Apple’s pretty good,” Adasiewicz reputed. “I don’t like Samsung because the quality is pretty bad–you’ve seen the memes.”

Apple’s main competitor, Korean smartphone giant Samsung, has famously also been subject to many memes. This is in part due to its smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7 (at the time a direct competitor to Apple’s then newest model iPhone 7), being recalled because of its tendency to burst into flames due to battery failure. 

Cedrik von Briel
Customers explore the new features of the iPhone 11 on September 21st, 2019 at the Stanford Mall Apple Store in Palo Alto. Its release the day before had caused long lines at multiple stores around the Bay Area.

However, Newman mentioned that Apple products have also often failed her in the past.

“My phone battery doesn’t last, and I always have to have my charger with me,” Newman explained. “I think they should have more durable products that teenagers like myself aren’t going to break. I’m also very clumsy, and I feel that I have to invest so much money into a really good case and a screen protector to keep my phone from completely obliterating.”

Apple stock has been falling behind Samsung stock lately due to proposed tariffs and a lack of new iPhone sales. Freshman Nathan Usher predicts that even the new releases won’t help the company raise its market value.

“It’s a new design, but I don’t think it’s going to really get them anywhere,” Usher declared. “I haven’t seen the quality on it, but I’m assuming it’s better. Until I can see what has actually improved, I can’t really say if it helped.”

Apple is optimistic about the technology of the new phones, claiming that the products will, in fact, take them back to the top.

“Our A-series chips have kept Apple ahead of the industry for years now,” Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller told reporters at the unveiling event. “And the A13 bionic [iPhone chip] is going to extend that lead.”