The iPhone X

With the iPhone X, Apple is attempting something I believe to be unprecedented — a complete ground-up rethinking of a fabulously popular and successful platform, without a disruptive, painful transition.

There are several parallels between the original 2007 iPhone and the original 1984 Macintosh. Both introduced new fundamental paradigms that quickly became the standards on competing platforms — the GUI in 1984, multitouch in 2007. Both were created by relatively small teams, led by Steve Jobs. But the biggest similarity — or at least the one most salient to this discussion — is that both were burdened at the outset by severe technical limitations. An 8 Mhz CPU, 128 KB of RAM, and 400 KB floppy disks (the original Mac’s only form of storage) were not enough. Likewise, the original iPhone’s CPU, 128 MB of RAM, and EDGE-based cellular networking were not enough. That both products succeeded — and became downright beloved, despite their technical limits — is testimony to the genius and talent of the designers and engineers who brought them to life… More at DF.

Worth a read.

Categories: iPhone

2 replies

  1. 1. ” Before Touch ID, the home button was even labeled with a generic empty “app” icon, an iconographic touch of brilliance.” – you know, I had totally forgotten or hadn’t noticed that it had an icon – and I agree, having it be the empty app was a brilliant zen move.

    2. hearing about refresh rates make me long more and more for apple pencil support on anything smaller than a regular ipad

    3. Most Android phones don’t have a mute switch? Huh! Patents? (I remember the hubub when Apple switched around what the iPad switch did, from mute to rotation lock…)

    4. TrueTone – just like Retina, I can barely give a damn. I assume my iPhone 8 is doing it?

    From a UX perspective, I was long a fan of the home button as a bit of “centering” akin to always being able to click on the website name on the top of any page and go back to the start of the site. I’m still a little nervous about losing that, and/or accidentally triggering it the home screen, but I’m pretty sure I’d adapt once I upgrade.

  2. In my experience, small or relatively small focused teams produce better innovation or new features better than large teams with many managers. The key is focus, which is very difficult with a large team. Steve Jobs had focus and was very picky about details.

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