London School of Economics: Why the iPhone X matters to Apple

“Apple is one of the world’s most valuable and richest firms. On the surface, this has been largely attributed to the success of the iPhone, but digging deeper, it is fundamentally owed to Apple’s stubborn obsession with user-friendly human-computer interaction,” Carsten Sørensen writes for the London School of Economics. “Design thinking and user experience (UX) are now trendy concerns for many organisations – including Apple’s competitor Samsung – but it has always been at Apple’s core.”

“Apple’s untiring attention to the user experience (UX) was a defining factor in positioning the smartphone as a dominant consumer technology,” Sørensen writes. “The iPhone gestures focused on dynamic finger movements with the bouncing of lists, and tapping, dragging, pinching, sliding and rotating has now become an integral part of the smartphone experience, irrespective of manufacturer and operating system.”

“The iOS story is one of new phones enabling new services through new sensors, new integration of other platforms, and new devices, such as TV-boxes, tablet computers, smart watches, home automation support, and voice-activated entertainment devices,” Sørensen writes. “In this light, the iPhone X is an essential part of Apple’s strategy to forge deeper relationships between developers and consumers built upon this core device.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s the ecosystem, stupid.


  1. “We were gonna reinvent the phone. It was a great challenge. Let’s make a great phone that we fall in love with. We had the technology, we had the miniaturization from the iPod, and we had the sophisticated operating system from Mac.
    Nobody had ever thought about putting operating systems as sophisticated as OS X inside a phone, so that was a real question. We had a big debate inside the company whether we could do that or not. And that was one where I had to adjudicate it and just say, “We’re going to do it. Let’s try. The smartest software guys were saying they can do it, so let’s give them a shot.” And they did.
    Smart-phones at the time all had these keyboards that were there whether you needed them or not to be there. And they all had these control buttons that were fixed in plastic and were the same for every application. Well, every application wants a slightly different user interface, a slightly optimized set of buttons, just for it. What we did was get rid of all these buttons and just make a giant screen. A giant bit-mapped screen that could display anything we want. Put any user interface up. We could use that physical space for other things where you didn’t need a keyboard. You could keep changing the user interfaces as you come up with new ideas and applications. So it provided incredible flexibility to create great user interfaces for different applications.
    We were gonna use the best pointing device in the world. We were gonna use a pointing device that we are all born with – we’re born with ten of them. We were gonna use our fingers. We had invented a new technology called multi-touch, which was phenomenal. Once you actually used a touch display, there was no going back it was unbelievable.
    What’s hard for people to remember, and this is good I think, going back to pre-iPhone there was no app market for apps on phones. Phones were sold in truly walled gardens. The thought that a developer could make an app for a phone was unheard-of.”

    source: steve jobs: the unauthorized autobiography

    1. now apple should apply those same principles to the macbook keyboard, I’ve sent numerous emails to SJ & TC over the years suggesting a touch screen keyboard, totally customizable to UI, apps, languages, etc etc. No need for physical keyboard anymore. Image ability to have any configuration you want complete with arrangeable tool pallets HUD, etc. It will happen someday.

    2. “we had a big debate inside the company whether we could do that or not. And that was one where I had to adjudicate it and just say, “We’re going to do it. Let’s try. The smartest software guys were saying they can do it, so let’s give them a shot.” And they did.”

      That was the most interesting part of the story of the development of the iPhone, the internal battle between those execs that wanted to use the OS from the iPod, Rubinstein and Fadell, vs the execs that wanted to use OS X, Forstall.

  2. There was, perhaps, a time when Educational Institutions produced new concepts or products. Creative thought or true wisdom. But that time is at least a century behind us, now. It’s just not their forte. And their belief otherwise is just embarrassing.

  3. iPhone eXperimental is so important for Apple because all other products and services aren’t receiving proportional attention for design and development. Apple has put all its eggs into the iPhone eXperimental basket.

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