I'm Going To Buy The iPhone X, And I Hate Myself For It

I already knew what was going to happen before the iPhone event started. Apple was going announce this new phone I'd reported on for months, and it was going to feature all the cool new stuff I'd read about for months. And for every time I said, "Oh wow that's cool," during the big reveal, Apple would gently extract a one hundred dollar note from my pocket. I said, "Oh wow that's cool," 10 times during the event, and do you know what that means? I'm buying the iPhone X next month.

All images: Apple

This fate will cost me over $1500. The iPhone X offers fun new things such as the edge-to-edge Super Retina display, the best camera system Apple's ever made, some facial recognition crap that sort of scares me, and the wonderfully named A11 Bionic chip. It also looks cool as hell.

If you want to know the truth, I want the iPhone X because I want that camera. I wanted the camera on the iPhone 7 Plus but don't like the giant size. The iPhone X is about the same size as my current iPhone 7, but thanks to the missing bezel, the screen is actually larger than the iPhone 7 Plus screen. The camera is also better. So I'm going to buy the iPhone X.

Still, the iPhone X is going to cost me more money than anything I've purchased since my last MacBook. When I sit back and consider the gravity of that price tag, images of reasonably priced pants, bags of groceries, plane tickets to holiday destinations, and other sensible things one might spend money on float through my mind. It's a fleeting vision, because as soon as I come to terms with the prospect of buying an overpriced smartphone I don't need, I remember how easy Apple makes it to buy a new iPhone these days. The Apple payment plan makes it deceptively simple, and here I am, willingly deceived.

Nearly a year ago, I retired a shattered iPhone 6 for a sparkling jet black iPhone 7. It wasn't an impulse decision. It took me two months of research and deliberation to decide that Apple's payment plan made sense for me. It meant that I'd spend an additional $US35 ($44) a month on a brand new device, but I'd also get AppleCare, so that when — and it's always when — I dropped the phone on the footpath again, I could trade it for a new one. For nearly a decade, as long as I'd owned an iPhone, the cycle of breaking a phone and then looking for a new one on eBay, paying for a screen repair, or hilariously trying to repair the screen myself had grown tired. This iPhone payment plan was convenient and cost as much as takeaway for two every month.

So I did it, and I never dropped my phone again. I never benefited from the AppleCare deal that talked me into this weird rent-to-own agreement. Still, the payment plan offered another benefit as well: A new phone every year. In the past, I'd cherrypicked the right moment in an upgrade cycle when I could get the biggest jump in functionality for the least amount of money. That was the smart thing to do, but it wasn't nearly as handy as it would be to walk into the Apple Store this spring and trade in my iPhone 7 for the new thing.

I could still do that. On Wednesday, Apple announced the iPhone 8 and that awfully expensive iPhone X. The iPhone 8 looks just like the phone that I have. If I wanted the iPhone 8, I could just turn in my iPhone, keep paying my $US35 ($44) a month, and get a new phone. The iPhone X will cost me.

For an extra $US15 ($19) a month, I can do the same deal but get an iPhone X. Just $US15 ($19) a month! If I want to justify that extra bread, I could just cancel my Netflix and drink one fewer beers at just one happy hour, and I'd break even. I could buy cheap yoghurt instead of that Greek crap I like at the grocery story for one week. And I will.

You think I'm an idiot. That's fine, I do too. These sorts of mind games are exactly how and why companies such as Apple design product launches. "Look here's the new thing!" these events scream. "It's more expensive and you don't need it but you want it and we're going to make it easy for you to get it!" But aside from the idiot stuff, I hate myself for buying into things like the iPhone payment plan. It's a scam in its own regard, and I know that I'm spending more on my phone than I need to. Now that I've signed up for it, though, the whole rigamarole of keeping the most functional phone in my pocket is just easier.

At the end of the day, I think, my iPhone is the gadget I use most. I depend on it, as much as I'd like to deny that fact. So if I'm going to spend a little extra money every month and enjoy that experience just a little bit more, that's worth it to me. Self-loathing be damned.

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Comments

    I suggest that you have a problem.

      Why does he have a problem? He wants to buy something he wants to buy and rationalises the decision - like most consumer decisions.

      Do you tell that to someone who buys a BMW, when they could buy a Toyota? Do you tell that to someone who buys name brand food, when home brand will do? Do you tell that to someone who buys Nikes when any cheaper brand is enough? No? Then where the hell do you get off saying that now?

    Relax. You don't have to hate yourself for it.
    Others will happily do it for you.

      Yes. If it's one thing that's guaranteed in these comments it's hate. Also, thanks for the article, I'm thinking heavily about this as well.

    If you're that wired to technology that the most important thing and most useful thing in your life is a iPhone, you may have an underlying mental health issue.

    You can verify this by leaving your mobile phone at a friends house and trying to go two days without it, making an excuse of "I need it for work, my job requires it, my wife is sick and needs to keep in contact with me" are an example of some of the excuses you will come up with to justify having to be constantly wired to tech.

    Have a nice day.

      My elderly father lives in a rest home ~100kms from me. But yeah I don't need a phone. I also suppose I should expect work prospects to contact me by email and arrange meetings for uni by fax?

      But yeah, I'm wired to tech. Okay.

        Gee who knes sub $100 phones that are more durable than an iphone could exist.

        I'm not even going to bother with the case for emails on phone. If you already *need* to have it on your phone at the uni stage of life, you're not managing your time.

        The new iphone is a shambles and it's typical gizmodo to push uncritical consumerist-driven "content" like this to drive uncritical apple fan traffic in.

        Keep lifting the standard of tech journalism!

          Gee who knes sub $100 phones that are more durable than an iphone could exist.

          I'm not even going to bother with the case for emails on phone. If you already *need* to have it on your phone at the uni stage of life, you're not managing your time.

          My phone is a $60 Alcatel btw, but don't let that interrupt you.

          Could someone make the connection on how I'm not managing my time?

      You don't suggest someone has a mental health issue and then close off by saying "have a nice day"; perhaps you are slightly insane.

    This real issue will be, can you afford smashed avocados and an iPhone X

    The real issue is, can you afford the next one after a year is up?
    Apple are arguing in court that their devices are only good for 1 year...
    So god forbid anything happens like touch disease, that's an expensive item to replace

      That's in the USA only, we've already gone to court for it and determined that our consumer rights by the ACCC supercede Apple policy obviously so we get minimum 2 years for ANY mobile phone device in Australia.

        Come on man, play along!
        What is it with all you reasonable people with your reasonable responses.
        I didn't come here looking for reason!

        Playing devils advocate - you only mention when on a contract
        what is the fall back if purchased outright?
        its only 12 months from apple in Australia too? Do we get the whole reasonable expected lifetime on devices?

        I know you can argue points with TV's, washing machines, fridges, etc - but did this extend to portable devices?

        Its a bit of a kick in the nuts though if you're American and they pull this on you though, very greedy

          Whether outright or on a plan your consumer rights, guarantees, and warranties do not change in Australian unless you purchase something extra, your rights can never be limited by a business only extended or enhanced. I have sent phones away 3+ years old and ACCC accepted them and replaced the devices for the consumer so you're always covered in Australia :)

          awww a downvote by @fem_shep because clearly the get hurt with common sense.

          Instead of downvoting for naught, how about you justify your position?

          Pathetic

        I'm pretty sure you're referring to the requirement for a mobile phone to last the length of the contract, which is a telco issue. While you could most likely ACCC an extended warranty on an outright phone anyway, it was only the telco contract guarantee that is an actual guaranteed requirement, otherwise you get back into the general vague wording of the ACCC that implies you're covered but gives you nothing solid.

          I do Tech Bar for Telstra and every mobile phone device we sell on plan or outright is protected by a 24-month warranty and presupposing the device is in good condition I have never had a phone go away after that 2 year period gets rejected by the ACCC when doing an ACL claim. I have sent literally 100's of phones and they accept them so long as the request is 'reasonable'.

          Their wording is vague more to protect the consumer than the business, it means it is open to interpretation by them and can force businesses to look after the customer needs. Though that isn't always obvious unless you deal with regularly.

      They’re just arguing the warranty is for a year. Consumers ‘expext’ Their devices not to have a problem for the length of their phone contract. That’s the telcos issue in my opinion. A year warranty is pretty standard.
      Besides, sell it after a year, pay your telco out, pocket about $400 and get the new phone on the same plan you were on!

    Consider this forfeiture of any expectation of anyone listening to complaints about cost of living/housing affordability. $63/m before you've even got a phone plan is possibly a good deal if you change phones every year & can't be assed with ebaying a phone annually. Reckon I'll stick to an every 2-3 year cycle & a salary sacrifice outright purchase though.

    Adam, perhaps wait for the hype to settle. You'll quickly realise that the camera sin't really that great compared to the competition - maybe the software is?
    (Insert bias)
    I've had an LG G4 and even back then that camera was better than anything on the market (at a reasonable price). I've got an Andriod that has all the "new & exciting" features announced today (face unlocking, wireless charging etc) at half the price.

    you need to look past the marketing and wait for the hype to settle...

      A face scanner is not the same thing as an iris scanner.

      Face scanner: It projects and analyzes more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a precise depth map of your face.

      Iris scanner: uses camera to scan your iris.

      Having what is practically like an X-Box kinect slapped into a phone is in nowhere near the same thing as a couple of cameras on the front of a phone. Not even close.

      Also pretty sure your phone doesn't have augmented reality features.

      Too lazy to compare further..

      This all coming from an android fan, stop talking waffle.

      Having said all that, I'll survive without being able to map an animated poop emoji, probably.
      I have no intention of buying an iphone and think that $1800 is absurd... and yet in the same breath I love galaxy note devices (also absurdly priced).

    Well at least you're honest about why you want it, how you're going to make changes in your life to purchase it, and how you feel about it.

    I do really like the design as well, and if it were $500 cheaper I'd probably get it too. Heck I'll most likely also research all the different payment options on it before I decide on my upgrade from the 6.

    But ultimately, the line of "can I live with myself knowing I just bought a $1800 phone" is one that I still cannot cross.

    I mean i get it, it looks shiny and nice and its different from others before it. But i think they ironically weren't courageous enough to change the look and feel of the iOS to go with it, to go with the new phone. It wasn't until some famous youtuber (MKBHD I think) critiqued it did i only then notice it, that the same set up of the look of the iOS stack of icons looks the same today as it did 10 years ago. Meanwhile Android offers up improvements with every major iteration, not to mention the thousands of customized looks 3rd parties can add. I'm a long time iPhone fan, but increasingly I'm spending more and more time with my old Note 4, with an eye on either the LG V30 or Note 8 as an upgrate androidwise. I'm sticking with my iphone 7 plus for another year or two. I think its as good as its going to get for now.

    I agree with Apple and I think Google will catch up faster on this, that Augmented Reality is the way to go with smartphone devices now.

      I agree with you but perhaps the popularity of the device comes from the fact they are consistent with the design language and the product over its existence. Perhaps the fact anyone can pick up the device and it is generally the same as 10 years ago is a big selling point across the generations.

      But really if you just step back from the whole situation and think what am i buying, you realise it is just a slab of material with a screen that can call and message people, take selfies, perform the odd computer function (apps) and sprout magical rainbows from the port. Frankly mobile phones and social media are two of the worst things to have been created in this decade.

    We used to spend $1000 on phones that had dot matrix displays and a phone book that held 24 numbers, and another $700 on a digital camera that took 5MP photos and $1500 on a handicam that had analogue recordings.

    I'd say the $1500 for a laptop powerful computer/phone/AR/camera/video camera is a bargain.

    Seriously you don't know how much it used to cost to buy all these 'state of the art' devices separately.

      Noone is comparing it to the past, they're comparing it to the present. There isn't much difference between the Samsung S8 and the X, apart from the $380 price difference.

    That financing option isn't available in Australia - is it?

    Love how they call it edge to edge display to hide the fact that their display isn't bezel-less... Edge to edge upto the 5mm bezel.
    And still not as high a resolution of other premium phones
    And still has a lightning slow port rather than USB-c 3.1/2 spec that's now standard

    State of the ark again

    I was an iPhone user for 7 years. Eventually, you grow up and get an Android.

    I'm sorry but people's insane devotion to Apple's products just blows me away - if this was announced at $2500 you'd still buy it wtf.
    There's nothing in this hardware (overall inferior) or ecosystem "that much better" than Samsung to justify a $1500 phone for anybody.
    So instead looser people will just laughably buy 4year old tech (iphone 6) to get an "affordable" phone rather than a vastly better say LGV30 or Galaxy.
    Knowing your going to hate yourself in 3 months time for buying something you knew now was stupid doesn't show any intelligence at all.
    I'm 100% happy with my a Note 4; does absolutely everything your $1500 phone will do (and more) and I get to go on a "life enjoyable" holiday with "real people" every year.

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