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The 5 stages of iPhone X acceptance

You're definitely not spending THAT much on an iPhone X. OK, probably not. Well, maybe.

James Martin/CNET

The new iPhone X from Apple has generated some pretty strong reactions, from amazement at its face-powered animojis to shock at the sky-high price to disappointment at the loss of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Still, many of the early naysayers will no doubt end up buying an iPhone X when it's available in November -- though the phone is expected to be at least as hard to get as the Nintendo SNES Classic. And now, because of the extra weeks between the Sept. 15 preorder date of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and the Oct. 27 preorder date of the X, there'll be plenty of time to do a little soul-searching and rationalizing about spending so much on a new phone.

To that end, with apologies to the famous Kubler-Ross model which explains how people deal with the most difficult of situations, we present the following journey of a skeptical phone shopper on the inevitable path to paying. (And if it sounds familiar: Yes, I also applied this to Chromebook acceptance earlier this year.)


I definitely don't need this. The iPhone 8 Plus is good enough, and all three new phones have the same A11 Bionic processor,  wireless charging, augmented reality features and the fancy quad-LED flash. The 8 Plus and iPhone X, meanwhile, both have dual rear 12-megapixel cameras with optical zoom and portrait mode. 

Even better, some new Android phones have almost all the same features and a similarly catchy all-screen design. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus and Note 8, in fact, they have an ever bigger screen than the iPhone X. And that S8 Plus costs hundreds less.

Heck, maybe my old phone is good enough for another year. It's only three years old, and I've survived so far with only 16GB of storage.


You still get wireless charging, plus a home button, on the iPhone 8.

James Martin/CNET


This is all about tech haves and have-nots. A thousand-dollar phone, with only 64GB of storage? That's crazy. And how could they possibly replace the fingerprint reader? That was the best feature! We've been waiting all this time and a weird cut-out on the top of the screen was the best they could come up with?

For its tenth anniversary, the iPhone X had a solemn duty to wow me, to completely reimagine the very concept of a smartphone. Instead, it's merely extremely impressive and cool-looking. Feh!


That giant screen looks awfully nice, and unlike the 8 Plus, the iPhone X has optical image stabilization on both lenses! Maybe if I pay it off over 24 or 30 months it won't feel that expensive. I could always skip Apple Care, I'm usually pretty careful with my phone. I should probably trade my old phone in. If I shop around, I can get a nice little pile of cash or credit for it.

And if I still can't swing an iPhone X, Samsung is offering some generous $200-$300 trade-in deals right now. I can get the price of that aforementioned Galaxy S8 Plus down to about $600. That makes a lot more sense than $1,000, right?

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a similar all-screen design, but costs a lot less. 

Sarah Tew/CNET


This is the future. We're all going to be paying $40 per month for perma-lease arrangements with our phones, which will always know our face, and even our moods. Ad-serving based on what emotion Facebook thinks the expression on your face conveys? It's coming, no doubt.

More seriously, Edward Snowden tweeted that the problem with the iPhone X was that it: "Normalizes facial scanning, a tech certain to be abused."


Well, I have always wanted an animated poop emoji avatar

Here's my credit card.

iPhone 8Apple's new handset offers wireless charging, a better screen and an improved camera.

iPhone XThe all-screen iPhone is coming on November 3 for $999.