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

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

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.