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Iphone Apple Technology

Apple Limits Lengthy iPhone X Testing for Most Reviewers (wsj.com) 140

Tripp Mickle, reporting for the Wall Street Journal: Apple departed from its traditional preview strategy for what it bills as its most important new iPhone in years, prioritizing early access to the iPhone X for YouTube personalities and celebrities over most technology columnists who traditionally review its new products. Apple provided the iPhone X to a small number of traditional testers for about a week, while limiting most others, The Wall Street Journal included, to a single day with the device before reviews could be published (alternative source). About a half-dozen personalities on Alphabet's YouTube video service were granted time with the device before its release. The change in strategy meant the iPhone X, which hits stores Friday, got less testing than most of its predecessors before reviews could be published. Crash reviewers largely echoed those sentiments, adding the caveat that they could discover issues after they spend more time with the device. Most pledged full reviews for later in the week. The review strategy is "unusual," said Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research. "It's possible Apple wanted some reviews out early and those would be the more enthusiastic ones." He said YouTube reviewers tend to be more positive when given early access to devices, and that most reviews aren't overly negative. "Unless Apple felt like there would be some bad elements in the reviews, why would you hold back?" Mr. Dawson asked. "Why would you be selective about who gets it first?"
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Apple Limits Lengthy iPhone X Testing for Most Reviewers

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  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @02:29PM (#55465379)

    A quality review should be based on a period of real-world use of the product.
    Basically sounds like they're using their position to limit the scope of reviews that might otherwise have been more detailed.

    My suggestion would be that honest journalists would withhold their review until they got a decent amount of mileage out of the product;
    Only problem is sometimes the public listens to the FIRST source to write an article to make their decision rather than the better-researched,
    and a lot of people quite frankly don't even bother with reviews because it's Apple, they'll be in line the first day it's available....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A quality review should be based on a period of real-world use of the product.
      Basically sounds like they're using their position to limit the scope of reviews that might otherwise have been more detailed.

      Yep. Early reviews are confirming that Face ID is AWFUL, taking several seconds to unlock the phone, and that the loss of the Home button is even more infuriating than you might expect, as accidentally triggering the home screen is now common.

      You know how movies that know they're going to bomb pull the same review shenanigans? Same thing.

      The iPhone X is a turd and Apple knows it.

    • That's basically saying you're compromising a sieve's ability to hold water by drilling an additional hole in it.

      There are very few quality product reviews left that don't go out and hand the product back to Apple all sticky while breathing heavily and saying "it was amazing". iFixit's reviews are good but those are limited to a specific aspect of the product.

      Consumer reports... well they set their reputation on fire ages ago and poured gasoline over it this year just to make sure.

      By far the most reviews of

  • by nwaack ( 3482871 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @02:32PM (#55465403)
    What's that you say? Spend $1000 on a phone based purely on a name with basically no real reviews to go on? Sure!!! -SMH
    • Spend $1000 on a phone based purely on a name with basically no real reviews to go on?

      I am married to one of these people. She wants an iPhone X for Christmas, despite knowing nothing about it, other than that it is the "new thing from Apple", and that she wants it before any of her friends have it. I already pre-ordered.

      • That's your fault for not telling her it would be financially irresponsible.

      • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @02:55PM (#55465587) Homepage Journal

        The sex had better be worth it to keep feeding that narcissism.

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          To be honest, it's really only average, but knowing that her husband just bought her a new iPhone makes it better in a schadenfreude kind of way.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Sounds like she's got you by the balls. Good luck man! She will clean you out of half your net worth soon enough

        • She will clean you out of half your net worth soon enough

          Perhaps. But she is a well-paid Silicon Valley engineer, and she makes more than I do. So if she only gets half I will still be ahead. She makes enough to pay for the iPhone X with two days' salary.

          I would rather buy her a new phone than have a non-nerd wife who wanted something even more pretentious, like jewelry. Her favorite earrings are made from the silicon die of her first IC design. I had the earrings made for less than $100.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Spend $1000 on a phone based purely on a name with basically no real reviews to go on?

        I am married to one of these people. She wants an iPhone X for Christmas, despite knowing nothing about it, other than that it is the "new thing from Apple", and that she wants it before any of her friends have it. I already pre-ordered.

        It's not the blind worship of shiny new Apple thing that's hard to grasp here. That's actually very common. It's the fact that Apple marketing triggered a 12-year old mentality with that "wants it before any of her friends have it" shit.

      • It's probably no more of a loss than going to a jewelry store and buying her a diamond at full retail. If you've got it and it makes her happy, spend it.

      • You should buy her a Macbook Wheel! She is the perfect consumer for it.

      • Is it me or are the majority of people who need to have the latest iPhone now! women?
        They don't care whether it has any improvements or if it's actually better than anything from other companies they just want the cool thing from the cool company
    • Generally the majority of reviews come out the Thursday before the release. This has been the case in past reviews and releases. This was simply a little light demo for some YouTube folks. It's no different than when they allowed media members a quick hands-on after the Keynote.
    • At this point, why not? Their track record seems incredible. Unlike the pixel brand, whoops. New name next year?
    • BestBuy was snagging $1100 and got busted on it.

  • "Unless Apple felt like there would be some bad elements in the reviews, why would you hold back?" Mr. Dawson asked. "Why would you be selective about who gets it first?"

    Because, they would be reviewing the device "incorrectly" or "wrong."

    Remember when some late Senior Apple executive stated that some iPhone users were holding those devices wrong?

  • I'm too busy watching Star Wars speeders in NYC [youtube.com] to bother watching tech reviews. I've only seen it 30+ times so far today.
  • by nuckfuts ( 690967 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @02:49PM (#55465539)
    Maybe because they're not idiots and want to control their image / marketing.
    • Maybe because they're not idiots and want to control their image / marketing.

      What's to control when you're selling product to rabid sheep who flock to stores by the millions, demanding to get fleeced by a $1000 toy?

      As if a mere shitty review is gonna change their fucking mind...

      • If their customers are sheep, who do you think does the herding?
      • I love how you said "mind", like it meant something.
      • You sound angry. Have you noticed the same feelings about other people that are smarter than you?
        • You sound angry. Have you noticed the same feelings about other people that are smarter than you?

          This is rather comical when discussing an electronic device that manufacturers were forced to idiot-proof in order to simply meet demand.

          The void of intelligence and common sense in society today is now large enough to warrant awards of Darwinian magnitude. I suppose this inexplicable devolution is often found to be frustrating to people smarter than you.

          • More angry gibberish, you aren't 'discussing' anything. You could have just said 'yes'
            • More angry gibberish, you aren't 'discussing' anything. You could have just said 'yes'

              Thank you for clarifying your value-add here, as well as confirming the void.

              Have a nice day.

        • You sound angry.

          Have you looked through your own post history..?

  • If you're stupid enough to fork out a grand on a phone that's only been reviewed by ass-kissers because you just can't stand to wait a little while, you have zero right to complain if the phone isn't everything you wanted.

    How long would it take reviewers with a track record you trust to give the device a good workout? That is the minimum time you should wait, unless you're a rich fanboi developing spending habits that will probably turn you into a poor fanboi sooner or later.

  • Dick Trickle's cousin?
  • said Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research. "It's possible Apple wanted some reviews out early and those would be the more enthusiastic ones."

    No shit? I can't believe what people get paid for sometimes.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @03:22PM (#55465745)

    The illusion of them being innovative and having the best product. In actual reality, that has stopped a while ago or was never true in the first place, depending on the specific aspects. So they now lean heavily on the "cult" aspect of their marketing. It seems to work, this time again, because people are irrational and there are enough that will fall for the illusion. Of course, if Apple continues to not deliver anything but the illusion, eventually the whole house of cards will come crashing down.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I have absolutely no problem with people that buy an iPhone in order to feel better about themselves. It is their money and if they do feel better about themselves as a result of how they spent that money, then that is money well spent. The problem I have is that the current strategy makes Apple less and less viable as an alternative and may even kill Apple as a company in the longer term. An Android mono-culture would be very bad for everybody though and that is why I think that Apple urgently needs to get back to making good technology and actually being innovative, instead of just doing excellent marketing.

    • Just FYI, you actually wrote all that in a public forum. On the internet. Forever. Good job.
      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        And only pseudonymously in addition. Your point?

        • That was my point. The argument you posit was so devoid of anything factual or original it could have been knocked out by a team of poorly trained monkeys. Yet you attached your actual name to it. Embarrassingly i'd guess it more likely a human who hasn't yet reached intellectual adolescence but counter intuitively somehow mastered the ability to document his or her 'opinions' with reasonable clarity.
    • The illusion of them being innovative and having the best product. In actual reality, that has stopped a while ago or was never true in the first place, depending on the specific aspects. So they now lean heavily on the "cult" aspect of their marketing. It seems to work, this time again, because people are irrational and there are enough that will fall for the illusion. Of course, if Apple continues to not deliver anything but the illusion, eventually the whole house of cards will come crashing down.

      Check mate.

    • Some people say Apple is successful only because of their fashionable marketing. You know what's fashionable marketing -- what never gets old? Loudly declaring that Apple is finally on the decline, or has been for years despite absolutely sky-high profits. And letting the ad impressions and the comments roll in, because hey, maybe THIS time, maybe we'll be right. And maybe THIS time congress will repeal Obamacare. And maybe THIS time, when we toss the poodle out the window, it'll fly.

  • by Cochonou ( 576531 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @04:32PM (#55466127) Homepage
    The iPhone X, will it blend ?
    • I can only have it for one day? Not a problem!

      "iPhone X dust. Don't breathe this!"
    • They made so much money from people cracking the screen that they could not resist cladding the back in glass as well. I went without a case on my S8+ for a week and smashed the glass back. Previous Samsung models hit the concrete many many times without even a scratch--no case.

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @08:02PM (#55466985)

    1) I have root access and can remove all the bloat / spyware that comes pre-installed from the carrier
    2) I can move between carriers
    3) It has a removable battery
    4) The camera / microphone have dedicated hardware switches that enable / disable them
    5) It is somewhat waterproof ( Don't need to dive with it, but some rain protection is nice )
    6) It has a standardized connector ( USB-C ) and a GD headphone jack
    7) The call quality / reliability is on par with a landline
    8) It isn't so damn big that it comes with optional leather straps so you can use it as a shield
    9) A fast and unthrottled data plan, similar to my standard home internet plan
    10) Moving music, photos, video ( or any files ) does not require I-Tunes. Just plug in with USB cable and go.

    *Extra bonus if it doesn't come saddled with a contract and / or ludicrous costs for their overpriced phone / data plans.

    Meet this fairy tale list of requirements and I might consider one of your shiny gadgets.

    Maybe

    • Many smart phones and mobile plans meet quite a few of your frankly odd criteria. Apples phones certainly would, Including number 10, which has not been an issue for quite a few years now... Unfortunately for you there are no decent smartphones out there that will meet all of them. Number 4 would be nice but won't happen. I'm pretty sure there would be cases out there that could achieve this.
    • 1) I have root access

      I got to number 1 on the list and straight away you demonstrated to every marketing person that you are an odd case, not at all even remotely representative of their customer base and that your desires will be completely ignored going forward.

    • by Jaegs ( 645749 )

      If those are your requirements, boy do I have a car for you:

      https://vignette.wikia.nocooki... [nocookie.net]

      Seriously, though, some of these things are seemingly mutually exclusive:

      3) It has a removable battery
      4) The camera / microphone have dedicated hardware switches that enable / disable them
      6) It has a standardized connector ( USB-C ) and a GD headphone jack

      vs.

      5) It is somewhat waterproof ( Don't need to dive with it, but some rain protection is nice )

      These things are really hard to do and keep to this requirement:

      8) It isn't so damn big that it comes with optional leather straps so you can use it as a shield

      Regarding #1, that's the nice thing about an iPhone: I've never had any crapware installed by my carrier. It's one of the reasons that my primary phone is an iPhone, as Verizon loves to bloat it's Android phones. As for #2, just buy an unlocked phone, of any variety, and you

    • by garote ( 682822 )

      You want a removable battery because ... why?

      Battery-pack cases, and spare waterproof battery-pack chargers, are rampant. You're afraid the battery will "wear out" before your phone does?

      Well, a USB-C port was first placed on a smartphone only two years ago. Your desired connector standard is so new that any phone you bought supporting it has not had a proper chance to "wear out" its battery, and half of those phones are still under warranty.

      And yet, this port standard is a deal breaker for you now that i

  • Very few people buy a new iThing based on thought and analtysis of information. (That can be said of Android devices to some extent too.)

    Getting advice from other uninformed Apple enthusiasts has always accounted for a high proportiion of iPhone sales. The problem is that Apples market % is dropping. For years now, they have been protected by the fact that the market is growing so their sales numbers go up.

    They know that this cannot continue for ever so they may be looking to reinvigorate the advertising

  • ... because the phone is nothing special.
    ofcourse it is well designed and shiny and very bling and it will probably 'wow' you for a day, after which you realise it's just a phone like any other, might just have well bought the normal iphone instead.

    by limiting the time reviewers have with the phone, they stay within the 'wow' phase, giving positives reviews.

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