I've been in the consumer electronics industry since 1975. Usually newer models add features, faster speeds, and greater functionality. It seems like Apple may be the exception to this rule. About 8 years ago, I replaced an iMac computer that I was using with an HDMI cable to turn my 55" Mitusbishi Flat screen into an iMac on Steroids. All was great and I decided to do the same for another Flatscreen in my office. Well, the newer version of the iMac, did away with the DVD recorder/player, yet is the exact same size. Why did they do this?
They did the same thing on the newer MacBook Pro models. They also eliminated the Apple logo that lights up on many models. Before you trade on your old Apple model for a new one, do your homework. The same thing happened to the iPhone 7. Remember Apple saying that they had to remove the industry standard 3.5mm jack in favor of their new lightning port connection. Well, I use a JBL set of headphones when I fly to drown out engine noise and relax. With my iPhone 6s+, I could easily plug in and charge at the same time. This is not possible with the newer iPhones. The first time I flew back to Los Angeles with my iPhone X, I had to take a taxi cab because Lyft was not an option with a totally dead iPhone. Ironically, Samsung, the provider of Apple's AMOLED screens, had no problem waterproofing their devices and maintaining their use of the 3.5mm jack. I believe someone at Apple thought this was a great idea that would force all of the current 3.5 headset solutions into retirement so they can sell more of their wireless earbuds. These are cool but are not in the same league as a wired pair of high fidelity headphones. Yeah, they make an adaptor, but you still cannot charge and it's just another thing you carry around and will lose. I cannot keep those wireless earbuds from falling out of my ears, especially in between my seats. Ugh!
The above has never been more true than on the original iPhone X model (A-1865 series). It appears there are two downsides to moving to the newer. Improved" model. Unless you have been living under a rock or don't follow technology, Apple and Qualcomm have been at war. The problem is Qualcomm had always been Apple's primary chip provider. They have the market cornered and their SnapDragon processors are the fastest and best available. Unfortunately Qualcomm is very aware of that and charges a premium for these. Apple recently decided to give their competitor, Intel, who offers a cheaper processor., the bulk of their business. Apple won't admit it but independent testing has shown the Qualcomm processor to be much faster than the Intel replacement.
If that wasn't enough to dampen your upgrade spirits, how about this...
Not only does the older model A-1865 series have a superior processor, it is a true global device whereas the newer A-1901 series offers a GSM-only experience with the slower Intel processor. What all this means is this. The MSRP of these devices is the same starting at $999.99 up depending on 64GB or 256GB. The resale value though and performance will be better on the A-1865 series (Verizon, Sprint) versus the A-1901 (AT&T, T-Mobile). Fortunately, in the US, both of these models work fine pretty well. In fact, Verizon is moving away from CDMA altogether.
Interestingly, in Germany the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are now being offered with the Qualcomm chip set since they are suing Apple over there for patent infringement. Evidently, the only way they can continue to sell these devices is with Qualcomm's processor.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.