Ap­ple takes it up a notch or two

Money Magazine Australia - - THIS MONTH - PETER DOCK­RILL

It may seem un­bal­anced to ded­i­cate this col­umn to a sin­gle man­u­fac­turer but the num­bers don’t lie. Ac­cord­ing to data from tech an­a­lyst Tel­syte, Aus­tralians bought an es­ti­mated 4.3 mil­lion smart­phones in the first half of this year. Most of us, it turns out, use An­droid, which con­trols 53% of the mar­ket (shared be­tween nu­mer­ous smart­phone mak­ers such as Sam­sung, Huawei and so on).

But one com­pany en­joys the other 47% all to it­self. You guessed it – Ap­ple, thanks to the decade-long suc­cess of the iPhone. So given al­most half of you will prob­a­bly own one of these new iPhones at some point, it seems rea­son­able to spot­light them here.

This year Ap­ple has dou­bled-down on the all-screen fa­cade in­tro­duced by last year's iPhone X. All of the com­pany’s three new de­vices es­chew the tra­di­tional home but­ton and em­brace the con­tro­ver­sial “notch”, which houses the front-fac­ing cam­era. Not ev­ery­body likes that but luck­ily there are other things about these phones to like.

Prob­a­bly not the prices, though. iPhones now start at $1229 and stop at $2369. “Sheesh!” is a def­i­nite un­der­state­ment.

What is it? iPhone XS How much? From $1629

Pros: Ap­ple changed things up a bit last year with the iPhone X, in­tro­duc­ing not only a new de­vice but a new nam­ing sys­tem. The XS is, how­ever, the stan­dard “S” style up­grade of yore – the same body but with im­proved in­ter­nals, such as its cam­era sys­tem, faster and more pow­er­ful pro­ces­sors and in­nu­mer­able new soft­ware ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Cons: The XR of­fers sim­i­lar specs for much less money if you don’t mind giv­ing up some of the XS’s pre­mium touches. ap­ple.com/au

What is it? iPhone XS Max How much? From $1799

Pros: Big­ger iPhones used to be called Plus. Now meet Max. This chunky big brother to the XS is, in ef­fect, the same de­vice on the in­side but you get a mas­sive 6.5in dis­play (com­pared with a 5.8in dis­play on the XS). Bat­tery life is also im­proved, thanks to the big­ger chas­sis.

Cons: The same caveats as with the iPhone XS. Ba­si­cally, if you’re an iPhone buyer the cheaper but com­pa­ra­ble XR of­fers con­sid­er­able com­pe­ti­tion. ap­ple.com/au

What is it? iPhone XR How much? From $1229

Pros: At $1229 you couldn’t call the iPhone XR “bud­get” but it’s def­i­nitely the cost-con­scious model of these three. The dis­play is 6.1in and is LCD, not OLED (like the XS/XS Max) and the res­o­lu­tion isn’t quite as fine. The body is alu­minium (not stain­less steel), and you don’t get dual rear-fac­ing cam­eras or 3D Touch. But apart from that, you’re ba­si­cally get­ting the same cut­ting-edge in­ter­nals and per­for­mance.

Cons: Sac­ri­fices, sure, but will you no­tice? ap­ple.com/au

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