The iPhone X Arrives: What People Are Saying At The Apple Store In Boston

iPhone Frenzy

Despite reports that the iPhone X would be in short supply -- or perhaps because of the reports -- hundreds lined up in Boston at the Apple Store on Boylston Street Friday morning. Many told CRN they had stayed overnight to secure a possible spot for getting the dramatically redesigned iPhone, which features a nearly edge-to-edge OLED display and brand-new Face ID facial recognition technology. The device is also Apple's most expensive smartphone ever, with a starting price of $999. Judging by the scene in Boston though, many customers are not put off by the pricing.

The CRN Test Center visited the store Friday to talk with customers about what brought them out.

'Totally Different'

It's not just one thing about the iPhone X that brought out Matt Moy, who had waited since 7:30 p.m. the night before with his mother, Lisa Wong. It's "everything" about the device, Moy said. "The screen, the Face ID -- everything about it is just really exciting to me. It's new, it's something totally different from all the other iPhones that've come out. I can't wait to have it in my hands."

Moy said that the Face ID facial recognition, which replaces Touch ID fingerprint recognition for unlocking the iPhone X, is appealing as much for its novelty as anything else. "It's something new," he said of Face ID. Touch ID has been around for years, and "it's about time we upgraded it. I think this is the next step," Moy said.

Wong was less sure about the value proposition of the iPhone X. "My son just told me I have to get it, so I am getting it," she said, laughing. "I figure if I'm going to wait in line with him, I might as well get one."

'All Screen'

William Nurmi said the iPhone X, which features minimal bezels around its 5.8-inch display, "looks like the future" thanks in large part to its nearly edge-to-edge design. "I wanted [the iPhone] to be all screen since 10 years ago," he said.

Nurmi was less enthusiastic about Face ID facial recognition. "I think Touch ID was working perfectly," he said. The new camera system overall holds a lot of promise, including for use with augmented reality apps, Nurmi said. "I think that the potential for the future is of course huge for AR," he said. "But I think the Face ID aspect adds nothing."

Nurmi said the $999 price tag for the iPhone X doesn't seem unreasonable to him, given how much use he will get out of the device. "It's something I'll use every day for hours, for like two years," he said.

Risky Business?

Another detractor on Face ID at the Apple Store line was Michael Harding, who said that once he gets his iPhone X, "I probably won't even have [Face ID] engaged."

"It's not really good for business security. And I feel like I don't really want that risk with my financial data," Harding said. He plans instead to use a "nice and old-fashioned" PIN code for unlocking his device, he said.

Still, Harding said he wants the iPhone X because he's "a huge fan of [Apple's] UI and UX design. It's very simple. Across platforms, how the iPhone X interacts with the MacBook Pro is very useful. It's also just a cool phone."

'One Package'

Along with the newly redesigned display and Face ID, the iPhone X includes features such as a dual-camera system (originally introduced in the iPhone 7 Plus) and inductive charging capabilities (which are also found in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus). Jonathan Olsen said he got in the Apple line because the iPhone X brings together so many different pieces. "It's a nice combination in one package of all of the innovations we've been seeing for all the other phones," Olsen said. In addition, he's devoted to iOS thanks in part to its simplicity. "I like the Apple system," he said.

'Can't See' The Appeal

Not everyone in the Apple Store line was there for themselves. Dina Maydman said she was hired on TaskRabbit, a site for temporary gigs where she earns most of her income, to pick up a 256-GB silver iPhone X for a buyer. Maydman said she didn't have much competition in getting the gig, which entailed waiting since 9:30 p.m. the night before. Luckily, "it was unseasonably warm," she said.

Maydman said she wouldn't be taking the opportunity to get an iPhone X for herself, however. She uses the LG G5 and said she's happy with it. "I'm not an Apple fan, and I can't see myself paying that much for a phone," Maydman said.