Why some customers are buying iPhone 8 instead of iPhone X

In my iPhone 8 review I point out that Apple just might be offering two new iPhone because the company realizes it just might have two kinds of customers: Those who want a familiar iPhone experience, only better; and those who an all-new iPhone experience. iPhone X will appeal to the latter. iPhone 8, the former.

I've gotten a lot of feedback on that premise now, and I think it's held up. Here are some examples.

See iPhone 8 at Apple (opens in new tab)

The horns

Apple is all-in on the horns. The industrial design team could have extended the forehead all the way across. The software team could have hidden the horns in deep, OLED black. Instead, Apple's engineers did the much more difficult job of sculpting those horns and filling them with pixels. They owned them.

But that doesn't mean you have to. Not if you go with iPhone 8 instead.

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The Home button

Every iPhone has had a Home button since launch. Even iPhone 7 had a virtual Home button all but indistinguishable from a physical Home button. It's the escape hatch that, no matter how confused you get in an app, you can always click and be taken swiftly, safe to the Home screen.

iPhone X deletes the Home button and replaces it with a swipe up, and shifts Control Center to the top right to compensate. If that's not for you, you might want to stick with the still-buttoned iPhone 8.

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Face ID phobia

As goes the Home button, so goes Touch ID, Apple's biometric fingerprint identity sensor. In its place, iPhone X offers Face ID, Apple's biometric face identity sensor. But, unlike Touch ID, which works with up to 5 fingers, Face ID currently only works with one face. It also doesn't work from as many extended angles, and it doesn't work for people who simply don't want their faces scanned.

iPhone 8 has Touch ID.

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Gold finish

iPhone X will only be available in silver/white and space gray. iPhone 8 has silver and space gray options as well, but it also comes in gold. The gold is a single hue this year, somewhere between champagne, rose, and copper, but it still looks great.

If you want a gold iPhone, you'll have to get a gold iPhone 8.

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Saving C-notes

Why would you buy iPhone 8 now instead of iPhone X later? Here's what some customers are saying.

iPhone 8 has almost all the same features as iPhone X. The telephoto camera isn't quite as big or as stabilized, its selfie camera isn't True Depth, and its display isn't OLED. But, when it comes to chipsets, True Tone, and dozens of other features, iPhone 8 matches iPhone X step for step. And for $200 less ($300 if you go for the non-Plus).

That's an extra $200 (or $300) in your pocket if you go with iPhone 8.

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Supply vs. demand

iPhone 8 is available now and in relatively plentiful supply. iPhone X is coming on November 3 and many analysts believe it'll be constrained until early- or mid-2018. That means, if you don't manage to snag one immediately at pre-order, you might be left waiting for days if not weeks.

If you'd rather be using your iPhone than waiting for your iPhone, get an iPhone 8 now.

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Two iPhones, some waiting

Offering iPhone 8 is a smart move by Apple for many reasons. It helps mitigate against the higher price point and expected lower availability of iPhone X. And it also gives customers who aren't ready for that much change a year's safety to get more comfortable with it, even as Apple readies it's 2018 lineup.

There will absolutely be some customers who are ready (and waiting) for something new — iPhone X. But there are other customers who still want something trusted and familiar. And iPhone 8 is here for them now.

See iPhone 8 at Apple (opens in new tab)

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • You forgot to mention that some, like me, prefer the wider screen on the 8Plus over the taller and narrower screen on the X.
  • My 8 plus arrives tomorrow. I prefer fingerprint scanning rather than trying face id. The 8+ may not have all the bells and whistles promised by the 10 but it has enough for me. Can’t wait to get it!
  • I am in the wider screen camp too. I also like the feeling of having a big phone and I think the X would feel too small for me. If they had a 8 plus size version of the X with an even bigger screen I would be all in. I upgraded to the 8 plus and so far so good. The camera is excellent, the speed is great and finally... fast charging!
  • I plan to buy the 8+ after the holidays. I'd rather see the new form factor of the X mature a year or two. The 8+ looks like a seriously powerful phone. I'm using a 6+ and it's still does everything I need it to do, plus I can still manage using one hand on the 6+. Not sure how I could do that on the X.
  • The X should be even more easy for you then as it’s smaller.
  • I have a 6s plus which is still great for another year or two. Many "younger" analysts thinks *bling* *bling* always sells. Im in my 50s and love technology. But I want my phone to be a great phone that I don't have to probe and tweak. I hope the X matures next year into a proven option but I'd like to see an 8s plus with a button too. Per this writing thats what I'll be targeting as my next year replacement. As a camera lover, my wife just got the 8 plus (from the 6) and LOVES it.
  • “ have a 6s plus which is still great for another year or two. Many "younger" analysts thinks *bling* *bling* always sells.“ As someone who is considered a “millennial” I couldn’t agree with you more. I find it so stupid that every YouTuber under 30 rips the iPhone 8 and say stupid s*** like “why did Apple make this?” “Who would buy this phone?” and “This design is going to be obsolete in a few months” little do they know that the iPhone X isn’t even the phone Apple wanted to release and that internally speaking, both the 8 and X are going to be obsolete by 2022.
  • "the iPhone X isn’t even the phone Apple wanted to release and that internally speaking, both the 8 and X are going to be obsolete by 2022" What does that even mean? Most iPhones have a 4-year life span cycle, although it could increase in the future. But the iPhone X is the phone that Apple wanted to release
  • I've bought an 8 plus and after a few days its definitely a step up from the 7 plus. Everything just seems much slicker and faster.
    I will then also get the X. As I have the 8 plus, I won't be too concerned about shortages or shipping delays. If I like the X (which I can't see any reason why I wouldn't), I'll sell the 8 plus on.
    I'm happy to lose the small change on the trade up to benefit a few months from the new faster 8 plus experience.
  • Thats just a placebo effect, the diferences between the 7 and 8 in every day use its not that much
  • I’m currently using the still very good 6s Plus, I’m waiting for the 8 to arrive. I’ll be moving to a smaller form factor now as I use the iPad a lot for large screen needs. I’m in the same camp that wants to wait and see the next generation of the iPhone X first.
  • Personally I was ready to upgrade my 6. I wanted the X but since it does not have the appropriate radio for T-Mobile’s new band 71, I decided to use the T-Mo upgrade program and get the 8 with the $300 trade in. I’ll pay down the 50% of the phone and then when Apple, hopefully, includes the appropriate radio for band 71 in the Xs next year, upgrade to that.
  • I'm still using a 6 that I somewhat enjoy but I feel it is time for an upgrade. I am considering the 8 over the X. I can't bring myself to buy a phone for $1000 when I could get a MacBook Air for the same price.
  • Hoping the notch gets properly figured out by the next version so that it makes better design sense. Seems like a big compromise to me. Maybe enough developers will design their apps to cut a straight line across at the top that even Apple will realize displaying video and photos with the notch blocking is bad design. And the X isn't bezel-less enough, it's still got a chunky frame around it. Reminds me of the first iPhones in a bad way. I needed to upgrade from my 5 and obviously, I'm impressed with the jump to an 8. I know there's a possibility I might salivate at the sight of the X, but this seems like the sensible decision for me for now, considering my reservations about the X. Although I didn't cover my 5, now I feel I have to get a case to protect all this glass... some basic shock absorption but still thin and perfectly clear... can't find one!
  • Getting rid of any more of the bezels can present a problem of accidental touches on the screen, which I have experienced personally on some Android phones.