No bezels and wireless charging: Apple unveils the iPhone X

Apple has unveiled the iPhone X [Image: Apple]

In front of 1,000 people in an auditorium at Apple Park, Apple revealed its plans for the future with the launch of the iPhone X, which is being seen as the most innovative device in the company’s history.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, has said “it is the beginning of the next ten years for iPhone”.

The new device features technologies that are increasingly becoming the norm in new smartphones, including facial recognition, wireless charging and augmented reality capabilities. With Apple coming under fire by many experts for a lack of innovation in its smartphones, the iPhone X has made a statement.

Redesigned screen

The screen is the biggest redesigned element of the iPhone X. It stretches across the device, eliminating the bezels, leaving just a small cutout at the top for the front-facing camera. It is also an OLED screen, marking a departure from Apple’s traditionally preferred LCD displays.

The iPhone’s iconic home button has been dropped in favour of swiping gestures. Apple explained that “iOS 11 is redesigned to take full advantage of the Super Retina display and replaces the Home button with fast and fluid gestures, allowing customers to naturally and intuitively navigate iPhone X”. Users can “swipe up from the bottom to go home from anywhere”.

This technology has been seen in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 as well as LG’s G6 and V30, so it appears that this is how smartphones are going to be produced in the future.

‘Most important iPhone’

Apple chief executive Tim Cook called it “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”, while TechRadar.com has labelled  it the “most important iPhone ever launched”.

It marks the ten-year anniversary of the first iPhone, which has come to represent a watershed moment in communications. Apple made smartphones relevant to and attainable for the mass market. The company’s presence ignited competition in other manufacturers, leading to rivals pushing each other to produce ever more innovative technology.

Apple had long been criticised for its reluctance to changing the design of its phones, having stuck with the same look since the introduction of the iPhone 6. The iPhone X has changed all that, however. The new device has followed the example set by other manufacturers creating bezel-free phones and produced a beautiful device that is virtually all-screen.

The iPhone X may be the most innovative iPhone yet, but it is also the most expensive, at £999 for the most basic version and £1,149 for the higher capacity model. This may be off-putting for business users, but it remains to be seen how it will affect the device’s sales.

Bonus: iPhone 8

It wasn’t just the iPhone X that was revealed at the launch. Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which are both made of glass in order to facilitate wireless charging. They will be available in silver, space grey or gold. They come with A11 bionic chips, retina HD displays and new single and dual cameras with support for portrait lighting.

The iPhone 8 and 8Plus are similar in design to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and feature 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch screens. There have been questions raised about why Apple didn’t name the new phones the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, as, according to TechRadar.com, “there's not a lot of new technology on offer beyond the improved screen and faster innards”. As seen with the 5S and 6S, when Apple slightly upgrades performance without completely changing the design, this has tended to be the naming strategy.

Apple has priced the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus far more attractively than the iPhone X, at £699 for the 64GB version, while the 256GB version is £849.