Catherine Boivie: Apple or Samsung? That is the question (part 2)

As mentioned in my blog a few weeks ago, I have started seriously researching the differences between the iPhone 8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S9 to determine whether or not I should switch from the iPhone to Samsung.

While I was happy with my iPhone 6 Plus, I recently began having battery issues with the device – even after Apple replaced the original battery, it needed to be recharged twice a day. Also, much to my disappointment, I accidentally cracked my iPhone screen by bumping into the kitchen table, which made it land on the tile floor. Luckily, everything seems to work, but having a screen cracked in the upper left corner has put pressure on me to purchase a new smartphone.

The author’s current iPhone, crack and all.

When I looked at the iPhone 8 Plus, the biggest drawback was the lack of a headphone jack. Since I already described my reasons for opposing Apple’s decision eliminate the sole remaining analog component of its devices, I won’t go into detail about it here, though I maintain it was a poorly considered decision, in spite of the young man at the Apple store who responded to my concerns by saying in a condescending voice that I “mustn’t be afraid of change.”

In my last blog I also described talking to both Samsung users and iPhone 8 users without gleaning very many advantages or disadvantages for either system. Both my sister and husband use Samsung smartphones and are very happy with them. One of my friends noted that if she’s having a problem with her Apple product she can get almost immediate assistance at the Apple store, while with Samsung you’re more on your own, though there is a 1-800 number you can call.

I also concluded that my preference for Apple’s security overrode Samsung’s additional storage capacity, and I suspect it’s this line of thinking more than any other that led to me deciding to stay with the iPhone.

(Well, the security and the fact that I have been using it for more than six years, can keep using it to interface with my iPad… and yes, their face to face, in-store technical support. I’m not going to pretend that Apple didn’t have a nostalgic advantage.)

My next step, then, has been to decide which iPhone model to purchase. I considered three options: staying with the iPhone 6 Plus, getting an iPhone 8 Plus, or getting an iPhone X.

The major reasons I rejected continuing to use my old iPhone 6 was because of its lacklustre speed, my continuing issue with its battery, and its recently cracked screen.

When I checked, the iPhone X cost $1529, compared to $1269 for the iPhone 8 Plus – about a $300 difference. Both have 256 GB storage. I was amazed how much iPhone costs have increased! You can buy a powerful laptop for the cost of an iPhone X. But as Apple CEO Tim Cook recently pointed out, the iPhone X has outsold every other Apple device in each week since it went on sale in November 2017, showing that price simply is not a big factor for iPhone users.

For that extra $300, you get facial recognition security (Face ID) rather than touch ID, a better camera, and a slightly larger iPhone screen size (the iPhone X is 14.7cm versus the iPhone 8 Plus’s 14 cm) – even though, as the picture shows, the iPhone X itself is smaller (70.9 mm by 143.6 mm) than the 8 Plus (78.1 mm by 158.4 mm).

Nevertheless, unless I can get the iPhone X for cheaper than the list price, I’m opting for the iPhone 8 Plus.

So, I’m now ready to go get my iPhone 8 Plus. But wait – it’s the end of August and the iPhone’s newest models are going to be announced soon, which means the existing models may go down in price. Should I buy or should I wait? (Potentially) Better still, should I wait for the (possibly) lower Black Friday prices? Would I be able to tolerate my slow iPhone 6 Plus with its battery issues and cracked screen until then?

So many questions, so few answers! Stay tuned!

Catherine Aczel Boivie
Catherine Aczel Boivie
Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie is a widely respected executive with over 30 years of experience in the leadership of advancing the value of information technology as a business and education enabler. Prior executive roles includes: CEO Inventure Solutions and Senior Vice President of Information Technology/Facility Management for Vancity Credit Union; SVP of IT and Chief Information Officer at Pacific Blue Cross and Canadian Automobile Association of British Columbia. Catherine is also an experienced board member serving on several boards, including those of Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-television Services, Canada Foundation for Innovation and MedicAlert Canada. Dr. Boivie is the founding Chair and President of the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Association of Canada that has over 400 Chief Information Officers as members across Canada. She has been publicly recognized for her contributions, including being named as one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network in the "Trailblazers and Trendsetters" category and the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for being a "catalyst for technology transformation".

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