It’s no secret that iPhones and Apple products in general are expensive. But you often get what you pay for. The higher prices, the durability, the stability etc were many of those selling points I had that made me switch over to iOS and the Apple ecosystem in 2018. I have not regretted it since. Like I written in my last post, the obsession of getting more Apple products instead keeps getting bigger and bigger. It won’t stop sometimes until I have every last product available to me with the logo on it, or at least it’s starting to feel like that. But what’s keeping me from buying more stuff from Apple? Well, money and the general idea that I actually (and really) already have whatever it is that I need from them. I have a pretty big collection today of Apple products and I love them and the feeling of having them.
If I could decide 100% about everything we own in this household, basically all technological stuff would be an Apple product wherever possible. The reason? Well, stability, durability and longevity. But those prices… The only thing I’d consider cheap in the Apple product line is the Apple TV. The reason for that is because our crappy collection of Android TV’s (Nvidia Shield) are really crappy and more expensive than an Apple TV. We have three of them, and one just died and we had to swop it out for a new one. Another one, has started to lag, glitch, it keeps restarting and crashing and it has always – from the beginning crashed whenever we watch a movie on it. At least 9 of 10 times that happens. It’s considered a miracle when it does not happen, or something. The third one we barely use, but the few times I’ve tried it’s been basically unusable, so I am not impressed and I’m pretty tired of bad products. I only want stuff that works, reliably, and Apple has a bigger tendency (from rumors and experience) to build stuff that lasts without issues and that’s one of the main reasons I switched from Android and Windows to the Apple ecosystem.
Then there’s the epic story of me always wanting a new phone. Or at least a phone that does what it should that I can rely on no matter what. A phone that lasts and keeps me satisfied for years. Since the Google Nexus line vanished, that’s been a true obsession, because I haven’t really had it. For the past years, that’s been hard, and my reasons for “hating” on the iPhone SE are so tiny, that it’s almost hilarious. I stand by loving my phone, but like I mentioned in the last post, it’s just to tiny in every way, but the iPhone prices are a huge deal for me as of now, and that’s the main thing keeping me from getting a new one. Also I do not want to get one on contract, even though it is “oh, so tempting” these days. But no. The reason for that is that I’ve made my financial mistakes in the past and whenever I stopped making them, I have money. Go figure?! If you don’t spend it on unnecessary shit, you have money… Who could’ve thought? If you don’t spend it on crap, you can actually pay rent. You can have food on the table and live a good life. Just don’t spend it on shit you don’t need. So I’ve stopped. Also I’ve had many phones on contract, and sooner rather than later, I’d like to get a new phone and then I’m still locked in with no way to pay it off without losing my left arm or something. Surely, it’s not that bad today. That’s why it’s sort of tempting to buy on contract because I can pay it off whenever I want. Like I wrote in my last post, I’m just extremely cautious with my money these days and I don’t like having anxiety over what I’ve spent it on. I do spend money, mostly on food, but that’s more important to me today than just getting a new phone every year or something. And now on to the actual post topic. The iPhone prices…
If you’ve hidden under a rock since this blog started, or just don’t read my stuff very well or perhaps you’re here for the first time – you might have missed that I am a Swedish person living in Sweden. My home country is a huge fan of iPhones. Almost 60% or so of all the smartphones sold here are iPhones. Still, we as many other countries such as Canada pay the so called “Apple tax” so the Apple products here are more expensive than in the U.S and some other countries that do not pay this specific tax. In the U.S, many of the Apple products in my book are considered cheap, or at least cheap enough to not break the bank. The iPhone X that came out in 2017 was priced in Sweden about $1300 with today’s money value (jan 2019). That was really expensive, but this year, it’s even worse. Now the cheapest option for getting an iPhone Xs 64 GB is priced at $1400 in the Apple store. If you’re lucky you can save about $100 at other places, but let’s go with the Apple Store prices for now. The “cheaper” iPhone Xr costs about $1070 at the Apple store, and for that phone it’s really expensive as well. These prices are ridiculous, but I personally do not blame Apple for these huge prices. I know it’s because our Swedish crown is worse against the dollar today. Adding to the U.S and those tariffs or whatever, also hikes the prices a whole lot for many countries. But it still sucks.
In a more “normal” world, the correct prices should be at least $150 less. As Swedes buying a lot of Apple products, we’re happy to pay the price for those amazing phones. If the iPhone Xs cost around $1100 that would be a whole lot better. Even $1200 with today’s money would be an ok price, even though it’s “holy-shit-that’s-expensive” price, it would be better. If the iPhone Xr actually cost what what it should, about $899, it would sell out faster than I don’t know what. It’s this year’s price hikes that have failed customers a lot. There are still many people at the Apple Store, and many are buying iPhones still, but I have yet to see an iPhone Xr on the train. All I see are mainly older iPhones or iPhone X’s from 2017. Those sold a lot!
If I should mentioned, like I said before – it is possible to save about $100 if you buy the latest phones from other stores than the Apple Store, and that’s good. The cheapest available for the Xr is just above $1000, but for me, it’s still a bit too steep for a phone of that kind. I at least thought so before I played around with it and realized that the phone is awesome, so now I’m not so sure. The real differences are minuscule, really so if you’re not as obsessive about black backgrounds as I am, you’d be stupid almost not to get the Xr and save a few in the process.
Also I do not know for how much longer I’ll be able to keep my iPhone SE, but I shall try and try and try until I go blue in the face to not buy a new one because of everything and more that I wrote about in my last post. It is driving me nuts, but I should also point out that everything in my head goes in like Speedy Gonzales speed or something, so I can make up my mind fast, and if I generally “take some time to think about it” it mostly means that I’ve made a decision in like 2 hours where many think about it for days or months. The biggest enemy I’m fighting is time, really because everything goes so slowly outside my stupid brain. I feel like I do think about stuff for a long time, but all I do after I’ve come to a conclusion is repeat myself until the problem is solved, and that’s my current situation with all Apple products, but mainly iPhones. And that can go on for years!
It’s like a current loop. I’ve come to the conclusion a while back that I want a new phone, for stupid reasons. Still, I want one. The things I’m contemplating until I’ve actually bought one are:
- Is the iPhone Xr camera enough? It sure is in every other way…
- Is the Xr too big? I want a bigger screen, yes, but I hesitate with the phablet aspect.
- Will the Xs battery life be too small, even though it has all the camera features? No matter what it’s almost guaranteed to be better than the iPhone SE… Anything would be better than the SE’s battery life!
- Can the Xr take cat selfies with Portrait Lighting using the TrueDepth camera? If so, it’s a given winner – but nothing online says so 🤔
- How fast can I get myself a custom case made after I’ve actually bought the new device?
- Will I hate myself if I buy a new phone too early? (probably not, I’d most likely be relieved.)
- Will the $340 price difference (in Sweden) between the Xr and Xs matter if I really can keep my next phone for like 3 years? Probably not…
After I played around with the Xr and the Xs at the Apple Store the other day, I thought of the amazing idea that I could actually put my cat, Maja (pronounced [Mah-ya]) against an even background, put the Xr on a stand on the floor, set a timer for portrait photos and just go to town with burst mode. Hopefully that way I’ll get a couple of nice photos of her when I need too, and for rear portrait mode photos, there’s an app called Halide or something, and I’d easily get that one if possible. If this plan works, aka that the iPhone Xr actually can take selfies with pets using those portrait lighting and studio effects, my biggest problem is solved. I tried the camera in the store, photographing my hand and another phone and I’ve got some great results, and there is an easy way to get bokeh effects with a normal camera as well, just get the subject close enough and you’re done or something. Below you can se what I mean, all photos are taken with my iPhone SE.
The only thing I’d really think I’d want for those rear camera photos are portrait lightning of my cat Maja and perhaps other people in my life, because they can be so full of expressions, with that amazing background. But I don’t know if I’m being too greedy or something with the choice between the Xr and the Xs. The battery life of the Xs and the bigger price tag is what will decide it for sure, but I’m pretty sure I’d be more than satisfied with the Xr after the last post and experience at the Apple Store. I just wanna make sure that I’m 100% satisfied with the purchase of my next phone – no matter what. That way I won’t be that easily persuaded to upgrade yet again when the new iPhones come out next year etc. No, the next one must absolutely be the phone of choice. The phone to master them all. The phone that is the best of the bunch in all different ways that could easily have or get enough camera features that I would not care that much about newer models. Like I felt when I bought the latest Nexus phones. I’d love to have that feeling again. A phone I’m so extremely satisfied with that I won’t budge, even if I’m a little bit curious… I wonder. Is that the iPhone Xr, the Xs or some other phone?
I can say right now that with the rumors of the iPhone X1 getting 3 cameras on the back seems a lot like overkill, so that’s why I sort of feel like upgrading now. I am not interested in a phone with 3 cameras on the back, no matter what that extra lens could do…