iPhone X boasts facial recognition for its £999 price tag. But will we trust it?

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Apple has marked the tenth anniversary of its iconic iPhone with a new high-end, high-priced smartphone, dubbed the iPhone X – or the ‘ten’.

Featuring an “edge-to-edge” 5.8 inch OLED screen for a much bigger display, the new model sees Apple pushing the biometric envelope – dropping the home button and its ‘old’ Touch ID system in favour of facial recognition, or FaceID.

By using 30,000 infra-red dots to check an identity this can even be used in the dark and is, claims Apple, much harder to fool than its old TouchID system.

While there was a one-in-50,000 chance that TouchID could be unlocked by a random stranger, the odds rise to one-in-one-million with FaceID, the US smartphone giant reckons. However it remains to be seen whether the general public are so convinced.

Certainly Robin Tombs, CEO and founder at Yoti, whose biometric tech is used by partners such as the NSPCC, thinks biometrics are the way forward.

“Today’s announcement from Apple reaffirms that tech companies are increasingly turning to biometrics to boost security – and it’s no surprise.

“Biometrics make it easier for people and businesses to know who they’re dealing with – proving identities using a face or fingerprint, instead of ID documents and passwords that are easily lost, stolen or forgotten.”

Wireless charging

One other key feature of all the new iPhones, including the iPhone X, is Qi wireless charging. This uses a a plate within the back of the phone to accept an inductive charge from a pad or a piece of furniture with wireless charging built in.

It’s a feature that’s been standard in Samsung’s Galaxy S line of smartphones for the last three years and is also available with several other rivals.

Of course all of this new technology comes at a price and it is perhaps no surprise to learn the iPhone X is the most expensive phone yet. An entry-level, 64GB capacity model will cost $999 (£999 in the UK) when it goes on sale on 3 November while the 256GB version will be priced at $1,149 (£1,149 in the UK).

By contrast, Samsung is charging $930 (£869 in the UK) for its new Note 8 phone, which has 64GB of storage.

Certainly not all commentators are convinced by the latest high end, high priced model from Apple either. Says Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com:

“The announcement of iPhone X to commemorate a decade of Apple innovation is definitely one for the fanatics, introducing an incredible high resolution screen, a dual lens camera with image stabilisation, and new ways to navigate with the loss of the iconic home button. 

“While it’s satisfying to see the new iPhones pack a slew of new features, boasting everything from a depth-sensing camera to the iPhone X’s Animoji animated emojis, Apple still faces a challenge in convincing both the uninitiated and long-term fans alike that these new devices are the true innovation the market has long needed.”

Manufacturer Handset shipments Year-on-year change Market share at end of June
  July 2016 – June 2017    
Samsung 313.5 million -3.0% 23.0%
Apple 215.6 million +0.5% 11.8%
Huawei 152.1 million +26.4% 11.1%
Oppo 111.2 million +62.9% 8.1%
Vivo 86.1 million +60.3% 6.1%
Xiaomi 64.0 million +2.8% 6.1%
LG 56.0 million -2.6% 3.8%
Lenovo 51.7 million -15.2% 3.2%
Source: IDC      

 

Chris Price