So here are the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, in stores at last. But this time things are a little bit different—the hardest of the hard-core iPhone buyers are sitting out Apple’s annual roll-out of the latest iterative improvement to the iPhone. Of course, that’s because the iPhone X—a cutting-edge model that offers more than iterative improvement—is looming on the horizon.

This leaves Apple, the iPhone, and the people who buy it in a fall unlike any we’ve seen in some time. And in surveying people I know—hard-core Apple fans and casual iPhone users alike—I’ve been surprised at how different people are reacting to the different buying choices Apple is offering this time around.

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