iPhone X sightings on the rise in San Francisco

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2017
iPhone X is increasingly making early appearances as Apple employees routinely carry around the new device and use it openly in public. If it had a less distinctive design, perhaps nobody would have noticed.

iPhone X

A notch above the rest

iPhone X stands out even in the dark, thanks to its polished stainless steel band (using materials research borrowed from Apple Watch) and its full-screen display that's about 20 percent taller than a standard iPhone 8. At the bottom end, it has no Home button, shifting all of its navigation buttons into gestures. At the top, the display wraps around the TrueDepth sensor array, creating a distinctive "notch" that is immediately identifying.

As AppleInsider reader Omarcast wrote, "if it wasn't for the notch no one will notice. The notch will be the new white headphones and home button. It will separate the iPhones from the rest."

That comment was on our Instagram of another iPhone X spotted in the wild this weekend in San Francisco (below top). Our first public spotting (below bottom) was just a week after the event, before iPhone 8 had even gone on sale. That means Apple has been getting in every minute of internal testing-- in real-world circumstances-- before it begins shipping the new phone to buyers.

Lots of iPhone X being openly carried around by Apple employees.

A post shared by AppleInsider (@appleinsider_official) on Oct 8, 2017 at 4:26pm PDT



First iPhone X spotted in the wild #essential #arthurfist

A post shared by AppleInsider (@appleinsider_official) on Sep 21, 2017 at 1:36am PDT



Another spotting of iPhone X was recently posted to Reddit, depicting the new phone's Dynamic Wallpaper, an exclusive feature that presents animated backdrops (as opposed to Live Wallpapers, which present a Live Photo that depicts movement when deep pressed, introduced alongside Live Photo on iPhone 6s).



Apple unveiled iPhone X at its launch event for the LTE-equipped Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K and iPhone 8, introducing the new model as a sort of halo concept for the future, but already in production.

While iPhone 8 and 8 Plus models were made available a couple weeks after the launch (as is typical for new iPhones), iPhone X is slated to begin taking orders the last week of October, with units shipping to buyers in early November.

That timing gave Apple a period of exclusivity to launch iPhone 8 on its own alongside the new Watch. The less expensive iPhone 8 line introduces some of the same technologies iPhone X will have, including its pearlescent glass back supporting Qi wireless charging, support for fast charging, Portrait Lighting and third-party Depth API, radically enhanced Slow Sync flash and the A11 Bionic processor that powers those features.

Critics complained that there were only around 100 people in line at Apple's largest flagship retail locations, a marked decrease from the late Aughts when lines for early iPhones circled around blocks and hundreds of buyers commonly spent most of their day standing in line to get the newest phone technology Apple was releasing.

iPhone X kicks off a new decade of iOS

Of course, a lot has changed over the past decade. Originally a massive jump over everything in the marketplace but priced at a hefty premium over basic phones, the first iPhone only appealed to a couple million early adopters. For years, Apple's phone couldn't even work on most U.S. carriers and wasn't officially sold in China. The game shifted from Apple being the upstart competitor that was seen as an underdog that "couldn't just walk in" to being the dominant player that kept inventing things that the rest of the industry scrambled to catch up with

A series of rivals launched plausible competitors: Microsoft rebranded as Windows Phone, Palm rebranded as webOS, Nokia took a stab at open sourcing Symbian and Google patched up the worst elements of JavaME on Linux to introduce Android.

Old phone makers like Sony and Samsung scrambled to license all of these platforms to deliver products that could stand up to the new iPhone, which kept siphoning off the top profits at the high-end of smartphones.

Despite lots of competition, iPhones kept selling as other platforms crashed and burned. Apple's iPhones emerged as "the real smartphone" that other phone makers could only copy as best as they could. The game shifted from Apple being the upstart competitor that was seen as an underdog that "couldn't just walk in" to being the dominant player that kept inventing things that the rest of the industry scrambled to catch up with, from 64-bit processors and Touch ID to today's Face ID, Portrait Lighting and Augmented Reality.

After every rival platform apart from Android died on the vine, it appeared that the entire collective manufacturing industry might be able to keep up a pace of innovation ahead of Apple under the Android umbrella. This began with exclusive introductions of LTE, Google's NFC-based Wallet for tap payments, 3D displays, curved screens and other features ranging from desirable to frivolous novelty.

However, Apple's incremental drive to deliver better iPhones matched the best features of its rivals while introducing original, superior work in silicon hardware, operating system design, developer frameworks, high-quality apps, integrated cloud services and industrial design.

Today, Apple sells well over 200 million iPhones per year compared to the 2 million sold in its first year. That's not reflected in retail store line length because those phones are now sold much more efficiently, online and through resellers. Apple's town hall locations are still important in showing off the company's products, but are not the primary way to get new releases to buyers.

iPhone raised the bar

A lot has changed since a prototype iPhone 4 was left behind in a bar, stolen and then sold to a rumor site. For starters, Apple is no longer competing against Microsoft (which is now recommending that mobile users buy whatever platform works for them, and builds a suite of its apps for iPhone and iPad, many exclusive to iOS).

Google is now actively courting iPhone users with its best apps rather than trying to hold them exclusive to Android. It knows most of the world's valuable mobile customers aren't going to switch away from iOS, so it must hold its position on iPhones in Search, Assistant, Maps and other services, even as it increasingly competes against Apple's first-party services.



Blackberry paid a premium to get into mobile device management for iPhones as its own hardware business went down in flames. Samsung has shifted from its failed goal to copy Apple in finished consumer hardware to one centered on its original relationship with Apple as a parts supplier, building the displays and memory for iPhones and striving to get Apple's fab business in competition with TSMC. There's no more question of whether iOS will remain viable as a platform, or whether developers will move exclusive titles to Android as Google once claimed would happen

Further, the market has also shifted. There's no more question of whether iOS will remain viable as a platform, or whether developers will move exclusive titles to Android as Google once claimed would happen. Instead, exclusive development is firmly rooted in iOS and its App Store, where titles actually sell for real money, rather than just downloading with an objective to show ads.

People who like to shop around and thoroughly experience products have already had years to try out iOS and Android. There is very little movement from iOS to Android, but significant switching still occurring from Android to iOS as users buy into the premium experience or abandon Android as a frustrating experiment in trying something new.

Last year's hype cycles for Android and Windows surrounding Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence haven't resulted in killer products that shifted the industry. VR ended up being a low traction niche play that required a big investment in goggles and processing power.

Yet in one release, iOS 11 introduced high performance Machine Learning and Vision frameworks, and launched Augmented Reality as a platform, not just for the newest iPhones but for all A9-powered iOS devices sold over the last couple years, instantly giving Apple the largest installed base of powerful AR-capable devices.

We don't have to wonder whether developers will target the existing installed base of iOS users who are known to pay for apps, or whether they'll gamble all in on the potential market that may someday develop if enough users can be coaxed into dropping a couple thousand dollars on a VR experience.



At the same time, the highest end iPhone X can now do things with AR and 3D face detection that are exclusive, attractive and distinctive in ways that basic Android AR running on a few different flagship devices with unique hardware differences can't match and won't catch up to for years.

Just under one month from now, the general public will gain access to buying the future technology in iPhone X that's now being tested in the real world by Apple employees.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 863member
    Is the space gray actually black or is it the traditional space gray?
  • Reply 2 of 42
    I bought an  iPhone 8. It looks like an iPhone and not an android phone. 
    RacerhomieXjbdragonClarityToSeewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 42
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    Beautiful. Pretty soon Android clowns will copy the Notch ,and claim its the best.
    magman1979patchythepiratecornchiprepressthisjroywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 42
    mubailimubaili Posts: 389member
    The notch certainly grows on me; it is changing from a ugly duckling to a delight white swan; it is daring, it is to make things difficult and different and surprise; it is not settling; it is challenging; it stirs up the placid app community; it let the best developers shine through. Less than 3 weeks to go. Can’t wait.
    jbdragonsully54ClarityToSeepscooter63Rayz2016repressthiswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 42
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,120member
    mubaili said:
    The notch certainly grows on me; it is changing from a ugly duckling to a delight white swan; it is daring, it is to make things difficult and different and surprise; it is not settling; it is challenging; it stirs up the placid app community; it let the best developers shine through. Less than 3 weeks to go. Can’t wait.
    I like the ears! It makes it look like Apple was trying to give people what they want. As much screen as possible. So much so as to giving people that little bit extra with the ears!!! I also like that all 4 corners of the screen match. Are uniform. That's also so Apple. I also think after you use it for a little bit, you won't even notice or care one bit. It does also make the iPhone stand out from all the other Android phones out there!!! Hell, just look at how much it's been talked about from everyone. If anything, that makes it worth it. The one complaint I have is Apple should just make the phone thicker, put in a larger battery because who doesn't want a larger battery? No one other then Apple it seems, and have no ugly Camera Bump!!! They make the phones so thin and slippery, I have to put it in a big bulky case.
    alanhcornchip
  • Reply 6 of 42
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,036member
    mubaili said:
    The notch certainly grows on me; it is changing from a ugly duckling to a delight white swan; it is daring, it is to make things difficult and different and surprise; it is not settling; it is challenging; it stirs up the placid app community; it let the best developers shine through. Less than 3 weeks to go. Can’t wait.
    The notch is unique on its own way. Apple could easily went Samsung route by making the bezel thicker on the top to accomodate all those sensors, but they didn't. Instead they choose a more difficult and challenging shape. The original idea was not why, but why not.
    d_2ClarityToSeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 42
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,570member
    they are doing that to make everyone jealous
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 42
    ClarityToSeeClarityToSee Posts: 34unconfirmed, member
    I don’t know what to feel about the notch as I watch a decent amount of Netflix and YouTube on the go, however, I’m sure it will grow on me as I understand there has to be a compromise made with practicality.  Can’t wait to get my hands on it as it has everything I ever wanted in an iPhone, especially the 4K HDR OLED display, which you have to see it, to believe in it’s beauty. Not to mention the true depth camera for AR, face ID and better selfies, which I use with my spouse and kid when there is no body else around to snap us!
    edited October 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 42
    Absolutely gorgeous specially in light silver .
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 42
    On side note, China started to sell the notch sticker right after the introduction event.

    Anyway, I think the notch is butt ugly and impractical, eg video and page with text full justified.
    ZooMigo
  • Reply 11 of 42
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,096member
    ...
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 12 of 42
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    viclauyyc said:
    On side note, China started to sell the notch sticker right after the introduction event.

    Anyway, I think the notch is butt ugly and impractical, eg video and page with text full justified.

    Beautiful. Pretty soon Android clowns will copy the Notch ,and claim its the best.
    They will. Blackening the screen areas on both sides if the notch is the bad idea. I think Apple nailed the design there. 
    cornchiprepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 42
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    viclauyyc said:
    Anyway, I think the notch is butt ugly and impractical, eg video and page with text full justified.
    Impractical? Lol. You got extra spaces for network provider information on 1 side while the battery, bluetooth, gps or other status on the other side without talking the main screen estate. That’s a brilliant design. That 2 ears will not have video display during playing if app developers care. The screen has 21.5:1 aspect ratio so, you will get black bands on both ends with 16:9 format anyway.
    patchythepiratecornchippscooter63repressthiswatto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,617member
    Beautiful. Pretty soon Android clowns will copy the Notch ,and claim its the best.
    LOL. Only a few iPhone wannebe-but-didn't-buy fans will load an app to copy "the notch" in my opinion. Certainly no OEM's.

    I don't think anyone here would have wanted to see it on the iPhone X. Remember this thread?
    https://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/201509/apple-reportedly-choosing-not-to-hide-sensor-notch-on-iphone-8s-oled-display/p1
    With that said "embrace the notch" gets out in front of the trolls since it IS there, in-your-face and for this year at least a necessary element. 

    TBH design choices made by phone manufacturers are not nearly as important as function anyway. "The notch" has a functional use.  
    edited October 2017 repressthis
  • Reply 15 of 42
    Beautiful. Pretty soon Android clowns will copy the Notch ,and claim its the best.
    I’ll take that bet.
  • Reply 16 of 42

    Absolutely gorgeous specially in light silver .
    Bummer about the camera bump though. I like how they designed it into the chassis with iPhone 7 so it doesn’t stand out quite as much. 
    repressthis
  • Reply 17 of 42
    mubaili said:
    The notch certainly grows on me; it is changing from a ugly duckling to a delight white swan; it is daring, it is to make things difficult and different and surprise; it is not settling; it is challenging; it stirs up the placid app community; it let the best developers shine through. Less than 3 weeks to go. Can’t wait.
    Well, I'm not willing to go quite that far, but I figure I have a 14-day return period in which to check out the X and make a fair judgement.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    I don’t know I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to buy the iPhone X So many apple products I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, I just loved them. But with this phone I’m trying to convince myself that I feel the same way but that notch and the camera bump, also the price I think I might just pass. Two out of three maybe but three strikes you’re out!
  • Reply 19 of 42
    sennensennen Posts: 1,465member
    Love the notch as well. I'm looking forward to next year and my upgrade - I'll probably be ready to let go of Touch ID by then!
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 42
    A pretty telling anecdote about where Apple sits in the collective consciousness-
    just landed moments ago, and the last instruction from the flight attendant was "be sure to check the pouch in front of you for small personal items, such as wallets, iPads, and iPhones".
    tshapimagman1979radarthekatmike54anton zuykovwatto_cobrafastasleepjony0
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