We are two weeks away from iPhone 8 day. True, we’re not likely to see iPhone 8’s in the Apple Store, and we don’t even know for sure that’s the name. I’m thinking iPhone, iPhone Plus, iPhone Pro, but that’s an educated guess.
What will all the newfangled features cost? More than $1,000. Is that a shock? After all, a new fully loaded iPhone 7 Plus touches $969 already, and iPhone 8 is expected to have an OLED display, the best screen-to-case ratio thanks to a micro-bezel design, wireless charging, 3D Face ID to replace Touch ID, and more features than Apple has ever crammed into a device.
Two questions: 1) will it blend? And, 2) can iPhone 8 replace my Mac?
Blend, It Will
That a new iPhone will blend if dropped into a heavy duty blender is already without question. Drop, click, and goodbye iPhone 8, but with far more glass shards than previous iPhones thanks to the expected glass back and front (necessary for
wireless inductive charging).
Can an iPhone replace a Mac? Yes. No. And, it depends. I’m thinking the old truck vs. car argument still reigns. The new iPhone may have a much larger selection of applications and more capability built-in, but for what many of us use Macs for these days, there isn’t a comparison.
Three words: Screen real estate.
The Macs have superb display which also can be large and made larger with multiple connected displays. The iPhone, however, fits in your pocket and goes wherever you go; even to the shower, I suppose. Many professional grade Mac apps beyond the basics Apple provides do not have iPhone counterparts. I’m thinking Photoshop and Lightroom, Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro. Even the Garageband and Office suite on iOS are neither comparable nor have feature parity with their Mac and Windows versions.
Here’s what has happened in the past 10 years.
What we once used the Mac to perform for us has changed. The Mac is a truck that does heavy lifting; applications that do not have a similar counterpart on iOS for iPad and iPhone, and screens large enough to make multitasking an objective. The iPhone is the car that now performs many of the tasks once reserved for the Mac. iPhones are more mobile, more convenient, and perform far more tasks than ever performed on a Mac– but different tasks.
$1,000 for an iPhone comes very close to the price tag of a new MacBook at $1,299, or a fully loaded, comparably equipped 10.5-inch iPad Pro at $1,079. Can you see any one of these iPhones replacing your Mac?
A famous Mac website listed all the details expected in the upcoming iPhones, but I had trouble finding any features that would make me use the iPhone as my only devices, sans Mac.
The image above shows what are expected to be iPhone 7s, iPhone 8, and iPhone 7s Plus. Notice that iPhone 8’s size is parked between iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but the screen actually is larger than iPhone 7s Plus. How is that possible? Smaller bezels on top, sides, and bottom.
Note that the Mac’s screen bezels have dropped in size in recent years, and so have the iPad’s bezel dropped from the original from 2010. Everything these days is smaller, lighter, faster, and new iPhones simply carry on that tradition. Even iPhone 7’s CPU is as fast and as powerful as an entry-level MacBook or MacBook Pro. Only iOS remains less capable than macOS Sierra, but the gap has narrowed.
I predict Apple’s efforts in CPU design will push the A-series CPUs used in iPhone and iPad to become more powerful than most Mac notebooks in a few years, and maybe someday the iPhone will be the only device we need, easily connected to an external display and keyboard, and become the only device you need*
*caveat– Apple is a hardware company.