I’m going to briefly start by saying Apple’s decision to dedicate the theatre after Steve and in his name was appropriate. No one should argue this and their opening remarks and remarks from one of the company’s founder is also incredibly proper. As a long-time fan of the company, I do feel like everyone is white-washing the Steve’s failures in his personal and professional life but that’s just how this works. You don’t remember that a famed inventor was a drunk and and adulterer, you remember them for their products invented and shared with the world. Steve was not a terrible person by any measure but I can see when I’m 70-80 years old, no one is going to remember anything but Steve’s brilliance and maybe that’s okay?

The tenth anniversary of me siting in the audience while Steve announced the iPhone came and went this January. I remember the moment well. We’ve come a long way since then. Let’s get the easy stuff out the way first.

The Apple TV with 4K and HDR 10 and Dolby Vision

Finally? Not truly a finally but it is good to have this option. We have two last generation AppleTVs int he house. One will remain in duty attached to a 1080P display and the other wihich acts as the HomeKit Hub attached to a 4K 65” Display will be replaced by the new model but only when the 4K AppleTV Appears on Apple’s Refurbished site. We have an NVIDIA Shield 4K that runs the Plex Server via the Synology File NAS and it does double duty as a 4K streaming hub for Youtube, Amazon and Netflix. 4K is the future and we’ll comply but I’m in no rush to spend $199 on day-one.

The Series 3 Apple Watch with Cellular

I was a Series 0 early adopter purchasing the $1100 Stainless Steel Black with Link Bracelet. I sold it at a huge loss ($350) and spent $550 to upgrade to the Series 2 Stainless Steel Apple Watch re-using my existing link bracelet. Now, a year later I’m being asked to do this again except now the only way to get Stainless Steel is to also get the Cellular capability which is a feature that, even if I was interested, wouldn’t work for me since I live in an area without cell phone service and when I travel, the same thing applies. I can’t stream Apple Music in my car or bike without first downloading all of the songs or syncing with iTunes and I’m not anywhere without my iPhone in my bag. It would have been nice for Apple to provide us with a non cellular Stainless Steel option at the old price but as it stands, the new Apple Watch that perfectly matches my now 3 year old Link Bracelet ($499 if I were to buy it new) would cost $649 or $799 if I wanted to finally splurge and replace my silver Milanese Loop with a black one. 

A year over year cost of $649 to get an S3 chip Series 3 Apple Watch that has a flagship feature I will never use will keep me from upgrading. I never planned on being one of those bi-annual upgraders that everyone says Apple specifically targets but the Series 2 will remain my watch for at least another year. I love it. I wear it daily but a downgrade to aluminum with this Stainless Steel DLC coated Link bracelet will look funny and I love the weight of the steel. In all honesty, if I bought an Apple Watch today, it’d be the new black Ceramic but this is $1349 and assuredly a new one is coming in a year. In total, I’ve spent $1800 in 2 years of Apple Watch. I never thought I’d ever spend that much money on a wearable in my life. Spending an additional $1349 feels as if my priorities in life are way out of whack and they would be. Maybe next year I’ll switch to the Edition. I’m sure it’s an amazing material but the Apple Watch is moving forward so quickly and at prices that are impossible to realistically keep up with on an annual basis. Besides, having never held the Ceramic, I imagine it’s lighter than stainless steel anyway which would honestly be a downgrade.

A final word and mentioned last year when I upgraded to the Series 2, it’s important to mention that if you’re spending the extra money over a sport for fashion in hopes to get compliments. Day to day, no one gives s crap about my Apple Watch and that it’s the $1200 model. They just see Apple Watch. I see women looking at it sometimes when we’re having a meeting and it is flashier than the aluminum model but unless they know to look for a red-dot on the jog-wheel, I’m not earning any status points but dropping $649 on a new watch this year

The iPhone 8 and 10

For someone who has owned nearly every iPhone every released (I keep forgetting which single model I skipped), I started Wednesday severely conflicted on where to spend my money. Why? It’s a no-brainer. iPhone 10 all of the way!

Not so quick. First, why is the 10 a no-brainer?

  • Larger screen in a smaller body
  • Less bezel (not zero bezel. There’s still a lot of bezel there)
  • FaceID
  • Animoji
  • f/2.4 Telephoto Lens (over 2.8 in iPhone 8)
  • OLED Screen
  • New UI and how I interact with it
  • That Bezel
  • Larger side buttons
  • A stainless Steel Bezel

In all honesty, the only feature that that excites me other than the iPhone Plus Screen in an iPhone 7 sized body is the Stainless Steel band. My favorite iPhone design remains to be the iPhone 4’s glass front and rear with a stainless steel band which plagued all of us in dropped calls depending on how we held it. A return to this is great news and I’m looking forward to holding one in my hand if I go to an Apple Store in the next 12 months.

The iPhone 8 is a huge upgrade over the iPhone 7 in many ways. I love that the glass back has returned. I’m bummed I missed the Jet Black as it’s now gone forever but the tactile nature of that finish will be available on all 3 colors with the glass and the speed and many other improvements in the X are available on the 8. The price difference? 

  • $200 from iPhone 8 Plus to iPhone X
  • $300 from iPhone 8 to iPhone X

These are both 256GB Capacities all around.

I see iPhone Ten as the future of iPhone. It’s where the puck is going and the UI experience for the end user and the app developers will take time to figure out.

  • Apple will perfect this and over the next 6 months, applications will make huge changes to have their apps interact perfectly with the new screen and gestures. 
  • In the same time frame, Apple will prepare and release their charging mat that works with next year’s Apple Watch and AirPods
  • FaceID and all of the 3D Sensing functionalities will be improved in software 
  • and over the next 6 months, millions will spend a lot of time and stress trying to buy an iPhone Ten that is rumored to have a yield of 10,000 examples per day (600,000 available at launch)

——

I should take a step back.I’m a Verizon Wireless customer on an annual (12 Calendar Months) upgrade cycle. Every 12 months, I can return my old phone and get a new one after paying off 50% of the 24-installment interest free loan I have on my current phone. I’m eligible to upgrade right now. I’ll be 14 months into the 24 month loan when the iPhone Ten is released. By the time I get one (since I value my sleep), it will very likely be January. The millions of iPhone Upgrade Program members get first dibs from Apple then Apple Stores and then carriers. I think a January deliverable on me personally getting a Ten in middle-of-nowhere New Hampshire is a generous estimate. What do I do then?

Well, if I lock in a ship date of January for an iPhone Ten on launch day, I’m then 8 months away from the iPhone XS being released, right? At that point, September of 2018, I’ll have to spend $200 to get out of that program early with Verizon or not upgrade to the iPhone XS until January and I’ll be in this shitty cycle of being 3-4 months late to every iPhone release going forward unless I pay up.

——

I think when you look at the calendar and how it’s working against me in my current situation and you compare iPhone 8 Plus with iPhone Ten and you consider the fact I use my iPhone for:

  • Browsing Alien Blue (Reddit) in bed
  • Taking photos of beer (Untappd)
  • Reviewing Emails in the morning and triaging them (Apple Mail)
  • Sending local music to my motorcycle helmet or via CarPlay to my VW Golf (Bluetooth / CarPlay)
  • Checking into places on FourSquare (Swarm)
  • Reviewing my calendar (Default Calendar App)
  • (not even text messaging or any other social networking…seriously, none) (I Keep Google Voice installed but I don’t use it)

…one would argue that I don’t even need to upgrade beyond an iPhone 6 but I’m a fanboy and I like having the latest and greatest and while the Ten aligns with that fever I’ve had since I was a kid when it comes to Apple products, I simply can’t screw up my 12-month upgrade cycle for a phone with features that are too new for me and too cutting edge that on paper is 1:1 in performance of the phone that’s $200-$300 cheaper.

…and about that stainless steel band, I keep my iPhones in cases so it’s not like I’d ever see it and the same goes for the glass back. I’ll never see it so the tactfulness of it will never benefit me.

In 12 months from now, the iPhone XS is announced and it’ll ship in October and I’ll be able to walk into Verizon and upgrade my iPhone 8 Plus to the XS without any penalties and download all of the applications that are now optimized for this screen (bezel and all) and it’ll be great! 

Hopefully by then, my area will have full 3G (no not 4G..i still have 1X in 50% of the area where I live) and I’ll finally be able to benefit from having a cellular signal on my watch.

Post-Script:

At 3AM tonight, I’ll try for the 4th year in a row to get an iPhone Plus. I’ve tried every year and every time I login when order starts, iPhone Plus is already back-ordered 4-12 weeks and I always hang up my hat and say “fine, I’ll go to the Verizon Wireless store next Friday and buy the iPhone Plus in person” and each year, since the iPhone 6 Plus came out, I’ve walked in and hear “we have none available”

I’ve walked out with a regular iPhone ever year. I think the stars are going to align for me when I can actually order an iPhone Plus for the first time ever and you will say this is obvious because no one wants that shitty old design and is waiting for the Ten. That’s fine for them. I’d like to use an iPhone Plus to see what all of the fuss is about. I keep my iPhone plugged in at home, car, bike and work all day long (It’s plugged in now over at the iMac) and I only take photos of beer and use my Lumix LX-10 for 4K and my Canon 5D for stills but maybe the dual cameras are better? We’ll see?

..and iPhone Plus is already back-ordered, I have no issue with getting a regular size again. It’ll fit my Motorcycle and car mounts perfectly without any spending which is nice.

Thanks so much for reading and good luck to all of you waiting 2-5 months for the same A11 Bionic Chip I’ll have in my iPhone 8 in 7 days. :)