Jony Ive on the iPhone X: We had to solve ‘extraordinarily complex problems’

“Apple helped bring personal computers into the home with its early Macs, revolutionized the way we listen to music with the iPod, and put a supercomputer in everyone’s pocket with the iPhone,” Lisa Eadicicco writes for TIME Magazine. “In 2017, the Cupertino, Calif. company came for the smartphone — again — with its iPhone X, one of TIME’s 25 Best Inventions of the Year.”

“Apple executives say the iPhone X is about charting a course for where Apple’s products are headed. ‘This phone really sets us up well for the next 10 years,’ says Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering,” Eadicicco writes. “Getting there will mean letting go of some of the things we’ve gotten used to about our smartphones. To make the iPhone X’s screen as expansive as possible without enlarging the phone itself, for instance, Apple had to get rid of the home button. ‘There were these extraordinarily complex problems that needed to be solved,’ says Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer.”

MacDailyNews Take: It takes about two hours to forget about the Home button forever, if it even takes that long. When we have to use it on our iPad Pros, it’s “Oh, yeah, this old thing.”

Apple's iPhone X. Say hello to the future.
Apple’s iPhone X. Powered by the amazing A11 Bionic. Say hello to the future.

“How does Apple decide when it’s time to move on? It’s not a decision to get rid of an existing technology as much as it’s a willingness to accept that what’s familiar isn’t always what’s best,” Eadicicco writes. “‘I actually think the path of holding onto features that have been effective, the path of holding onto those whatever the cost, is a path that leads to failure,’ says Ive.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Only Apple could dispense with something as integral as the Home button and make it feel not only perfectly natural, but actually improve the flow of the iOS user interface.

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Forbes reviews Apple’s iPhone X: So refined, it will convert the most devout Android user – November 14, 2017
Android Central reviews Apple’s iPhone X – November 13, 2017
ZDNet reviews Apple’s iPhone X: The best smartphone – November 13, 2017
ZDNet’s Miller: After 10 days with Apple’s iPhone X, it’s clear its the best smartphone. Period. – November 13, 2017
Michael Gartenberg: iPhone X is the best smartphone you can buy today, and likely tomorrow; Apple is now a full generation ahead of their competitors – November 10, 2017
T3 reviews Apple’s iPhone X: Brilliant, five stars, 2017’s best smartphone – November 8, 2017
DisplayMate: Apple’s iPhone X has the most color accurate display we’ve ever measured; it is visually indistinguishable from perfect – November 8, 2017
Ars Technica reviews iPhone X: Easy to recommend if you want a glimpse at the future – November 3, 2017
iMore reviews iPhone X: The best damn product Apple has ever made – November 2, 2017
TechCrunch reviews Apple’s iPhone X: ‘Like using the future of smartphones, today’ – November 1, 2017
Tim Bajarin’s first impression of Apple’s iPhone X: Face ID worked flawlessly – November 1, 2017
The Verge reviews Apple’s iPhone X: Clearly the best iPhone ever made, despite being marred by its ugly notch – November 1, 2017
Above Avalon’s first impressions of Apple’s iPhone X: ‘An entirely new iPhone experience’ – October 31, 2017
The Independent reviews Apple’s iPhone X: ‘This feels like the future’ – October 31, 2017
David Pogue reviews Apple’s iPhone X: ‘The best thing is its size’ – October 31, 2017
Forbes reviews Apple’s iPhone X: Opulent, gorgeous, classy; the best iPhone yet – October 31, 2017
CNBC reviews Apple’s iPhone X: ‘The best smartphone on the market’ – October 31, 2017
iPhone 8’s Apple A11 Bionic chip so destroys Android phones that Geekbench creator can’t even believe it – September 30, 2017
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Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X leaves Android phones choking in the dust – September 18, 2017
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Apple’s A11 Bionic obliterates top chips from Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei – September 18, 2017
Apple accelerates mobile processor dominance with A11 Bionic; benchmarks faster than 13-inch MacBook Pro – September 15, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic chip in iPhone X and iPhone 8/Plus on par with 2017 MacBook Pro – September 14, 2017


    1. No it wasn’t.

      You couldn’t build squillions of a new device and have them on sale before Christmas if you hadn’t completely finalised the hardware down to the last detail about a year before. Otherwise there would be no way to test prototypes, devise the way to mass produce it and gear up for suppliers to deliver millions of parts every month.

      If anybody ever tries to tell you that Apple is making last minute hardware changes to a new iPhone, common sense should tell you that it’s a lie.

    2. I strongly believe that was not the issue. This phone and FaceID have been in development for over two years.

      I believe the UI issues would have been well resolved over a year ago.

      Ramping up production of all the new components happens very late in the cycle, and I believe those rumors that a FaceID component was the biggest sticking point in that ramp.

  1. When I switched to a MacBook Air from a PC notebook many years ago, I was absolutely amazed by the smooth slick feeling of two finger, trackpad inertial scrolling. It felt so good, I had to just keep doing it, just to enjoy the feel. it was liberating

    Now, with the iPhone X, I have that same liberating feeling. It feels so slick, so smooth, it just feels like all the friction is gone.

    BTW, I did NOT feel especially good with the feel of the iPhone 7 Plus home button. For me it feel significantly less satisfying than the previous button, even to this day. I felt it was a trade off for the sake of water protection and other things, and one I was willing to make.

    But these new gestures feel incredible.

    On the issue of the Control panel. This is the very first iphone IMO where the control panel is truly, instantly, accessible form within any app, the home screen or the lock screen. Here again, the friction is gone. Another HUGE win for me.

  2. ‘we had to solve extraordinarily complex problems’

    Granted, a superlative iPhone!

    Except you missed the most glaring problem of all — the hideous “notch.”

    Have faith that will go away in time …

    1. My UNOFFICIAL survey:

      95% of all reviewers, say that its a complete non issue, and that after a while you don’t notice it

      Having the X, i feel just the same. Do you have an X?

        1. It is far more informative and useful than your snarky response, castelbuono.

          petelp owns an iPhone X and provided his viewpoint. He noted that most reviewers say it rapidly becomes a non-issue. And he asked GoeB a valid question – does GoeB own an iPhone X or have enough experience with one to know if the notch is an issue in real life?

          The 95% thing is just a figure of speech for “vast majority” – at least, that is the way that I read it. You did see the “UNOFFICIAL” disclaimer in all caps, didn’t you?

          1. You sure know a lot about “snarky response,” cause you da King, Melvin.

            You have a bad habit of stalking anyone that dares to offer a constructive critique of flawed Apple. Immediately follows is always the same predictable ELITIST CORRECTIVE TONE that does not allow for respectful honest dissent. Thank the maker those voices will not be cowed by you, fanboy.

            And BTW, my purchasing decisions is my business. Look elsewhere for strawman arguments …

      1. Anyone still annoyed by the notch can download the notch remover app. Seriously. It doesn’t help in app, but for the lock and home screen It does what Apple should have done.

        Sorry, but the notch still bugs me. Even if I can I don’t want to “get used to” mediocrity when everything else besides it and camera bump screams refined.

  3. His sounds very pedantique, it is like we have to acept the iPhone X problems because they may have tried to make a product out of some many difficulties.
    It doesn´t give a pass on how bad iPhone X is.

  4. well, it is good to know they can solve extraordinarily complex problems. and seemingly pretty much on schedule

    so how come they have thus far been unable to solve a very simple and basic one for several years now – to wit:

    bring back the cheese grater mac pro and plug in the most up to date components.

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