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The war of the twins 2: In the other corner

Will Tim Cook make the annual battle of the smartphones an i for an i?

brunch Updated: Aug 18, 2018 22:53 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
Apple,Samsung,Tim Cook
There will be three new add-ons to the iPhone X series

In my last column I spoke about the upcoming annual war between the new Apple iPhones and the Samsung Note 9. I also made a few predictions about what the new Note 9 phone would be all about. Well, I’m happy to say that my career as a soothsayer is secure for a while. I got almost everything right. No change in design, bigger storage and RAM, much bigger battery, new colours and some major specs upgrades. That was the Note 9. Time for me to put my predictions skills to work again, this time on the new iPhones.

How many

The rumour mill is strong that there will be five new iPhones announced in early September. Yes, Five! Three new add-ons to the iPhone X series, a new iPhone 9 and a new iPhone 9 Plus. Utter nonsense. Apple would never kill their market by creating so much chaos and confusion. Five new models would be the death knell for Apple and its phone series. My prediction: there will be three new phones. Let me take you through them.

The Samsung Note 9 has bigger storage and RAM, much bigger battery, new colours and some major specs upgrades

Next gen X

The first one will be an upgrade to the current iPhone X. Same screen size, ditto on the screen resolution, same build and dimensions, better internal specs, more storage than ever before, much better cameras, a new next generation face unlock, still no fingerprint scanner at the back or anywhere else. Four colours – black, white, gold and a red in a few months. The notch will remain. Yes, as heartbreaking and eye-breaking as that sounds – this will not be the year that Apple shocks the world with a no-notch phone. Prices will remain exactly the same as the previous year’s models. The main guessing game that has everyone on fire is, what will this new phone be called? Will it be the iPhone XI? (Thus finally getting people to stop calling it an iPhone Ex. After all no one will take the name XI and call it an iPhone Ex Eye). Or will it be the iPhone XS? That would be even worse though, as then people will call it the iPhone Excess or iPhone Extra Small). I’m going to risk it all and go with it being called just the iPhone X because I’m also predicting that the current iPhone X will be retired immediately as part of a consummate strategy.

The big X

The second one will be a phone with the biggest screen on an iPhone ever. I’m going to go with 6.5 inches even though there are multiple rumours and some case and cover manufacturers who are claiming that it’s a 6.7 inch and that they have cases ready for it. At 6.7 inches, even with a zero bezel, the phone will be way too big and unwieldy. So, 6.5-inch screen, better resolution, even better specs, much bigger battery, same storage as the new iPhone, some new camera tricks, way better video stuff, next gen face unlock, a notch that looks smaller only because the screen is so much bigger and the same four colours as above. Prices are going to go into the stratosphere with this one. Expect the Rs1,20,000 barrier to be easily broken. The name is again confounding most people. No, it won’t be called iPhone Big Boy for sure and the iPhone Thanos is also a pipe dream. I’m going to go with the iPhone X Plus.

The second new iPhone will be a phone with the biggest screen on an iPhone ever

The mystery X

There will be a third iPhone in the X series. Lots of reasons why I’m making this prediction. Think of this as the iPhone X Lite, though I don’t think they would call it that. This will be the same design as the other two, but with a LCD screen instead of an OLED, a single camera at the back instead of dual, a notch, slightly lower specs, less storage, smaller battery, first generation face unlock and nice bright colours including a blue. This phone is part of a strategy to break markets like India. An iPhone Xish kind, not as premium but with a much lower price tag. Think of it as the Apple version of an economy phone. It’ll still cost about 50K, but then for Apple to play in that market – what else can we call it but Apple’s version of a budget phone?

Now comes the part that I may get horrendously flamed for. What will they call this phone? Well, I’m going to go with iPhone 9. Yes, this will be the phone that will take forward the legacy of the classic iPhone and there will be no others with the conventional screen and looks. Think about it. Much cheaper, bigger screen than even the iPhone 8 Plus in a much smaller frame and a price that will break the stigma of Apple premium prices.

That’s it then. The gauntlet has been thrown down. It’s now a matter of days before we can all analyse whether my thought process and Tim Cook’s are in sync.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

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From HT Brunch, August 19, 2018

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First Published: Aug 18, 2018 20:37 IST