Hardware

How Apple failed business pros with the iPhone XS

The new line of iPhones are an upgrade, but lack several key features that could make them a better choice for enterprise users than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max mark the next step up for Apple devices, with larger screens (6.5 inches in the case of the XS Max), improved battery life, and an A12 processor providing a major performance bump. However, there are a few things that Apple could have done better to make the phone more appealing to professionals than its competitors (namely the Samsung Galaxy Note 9).

One is RAM: The XS and XS Max come with 4GB, which is 1GB more than the iPhone X. However, the Galaxy Note 9 comes with either 6GB or 8GB RAM (depending on your storage choices), and therefore the ability to more easily multitask and perform compute-intensive functions.

The iPhone XS and XS Max also lack some of the business accessories of other phones, such as Android's DeX platform, which allows certain smartphones to be used with external monitors and other peripherals. The Galaxy Note 9 can connect to DeX with only the new dongle or a multi-port HDMI adapter.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

Another major barrier is the price: The iPhone XS costs $999 for the 64GB model, $1,149 for the 256GB model, and $1,349 for the 512GB model. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS Max costs $1,099 for the 64GB model, $1,249 for the 256GB model, and $1,449 for the 512GB model. The Galaxy S9's 128GB model costs for $999, while the 512GB model sells for $1,249. For the largest option, Samsung's flagship will cost you $200 less than Apple.

Other Android options, including the Essential Phone and the OPPO R15 Pro, also include 6GB RAM and a price tag under $600.

However, perhaps the largest failure of the iPhone XS and XS Max for the business community is the lack of support for the Apple Pencil, or any other proprietary stylus. As a phablet, the XS Max would benefit from the ability to get work done with a stylus, which can make it easier to navigate between different tasks on the device, take notes, and annotate content.

Samsung's Note series is one of the best-selling lines the company offers because of its large form factor and stylus capabilities. The S Pen gives users the ability to magnify text and write notes on the phone's screen, which can be highly valuable in a business setting. If Apple continues to create devices with large screens and not include the option for a stylus, the company could potentially be alienating some professional users.

Other phones that do come with a stylus or offer support for one include the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, and LG's Stylus Q series.

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Image: James Martin/CNET

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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