Would you rather design the world's first diamond ring made entirely of a single diamond stone? Or would you try to design an 8mm plate on a smartphone that looks almost like the 8mm plate on a smartphone you designed last year, because it has to?
This keynote marks the first of many without Jony Ive lending his suave baritone to the background sound when Tim unveils the new iPhone. Jony Ive left Apple earlier this year and went on to form his own design studio LoveFrom with longtime friend and design collaborator Marc Newson.
There is no room for Apple to innovate in industrial design, as the company is not really going to launch new products anymore. They scrapped AirPower and pulled a disappearing act on the entire "smart-car" project. The last product that Ive really been able to go pretty wild with was the infamous 201
I remember a time when Ive allegedly intended to leave Apple (a year after Jobs left), and had to stop by being promoted to the position of Chief Design Officer. Now in a position that is only second to the CEO, there is not much room for Jony to move upwards, and the company's pivot to services such as Apple Pay, Apple TV + and Apple Arcade means that Ive can finally move out of Apple's structure, expand and experiment beyond designing 8 mm metal and glass slots, arguably putting the most disastrous keyboards on their flagship laptops and over-designing a $ 1999 display for a cheese grater $ 5999.
So to the new iPhone. Like all iPhones, the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are the largest iPhones ever made. They showcase designs similar to their predecessors, but with major upgrades of the internal hardware and software, including a chip that provides better CPU and GPU capabilities with less power consumption and camera features that are truly professional. The benefits of the new iPhones are not really visual but rather strictly technical. Remember the visual jump from iPhone 3G to 4, from 5 to 6 and from 8 to X? They were all about 2-3 years apart, but the iPhone X is perhaps the last stop for the iPhone's industrial design journey (I hope to be corrected). With an aesthetic that is now in sweet spot, Apple's focus now is to make each subsequent phone perform better than the previous.
To repeat, the new iPhones are not really NEW iPhones. They are old iPhones with new tricks. There is no way in hell that Apple is teasing a collapsible iPhone yet, or a 5G iPhone before the infrastructure is complete … or even a bezel-free iPhone because it would need a slider camera module that would make the iPhone thicker, a cardinal sin in Jony & amp; # 39; s design playbook. In fact, the iPhone can't even get much thinner than it already has, thanks to the limitations of Moore's Law.
Tim's pivot to services is probably his lasting legacy as CEO and it does not have much room in it for radical industrial design. I've stuck to fulfilling Jobb's vision of releasing the best consumer products, but if anything these products are now Apple's regret. IPhone sales have gradually seen a steady decline, partly because it's not worth spending a grand on new phones every year, but also because Apple's gadgets pass the test of time, with people on average using their phones for over 3 – 3rd Four years before I finally switched (my flat mate still uses a 6S; quite happy, if I may add). The Bendgate debacle may have been a flaw in Apple's otherwise long-standing record of making products last longer than the competition (they will last even longer now, since Apple began advocating for the Right to Repair Act that allows third parties to officially fix broken Apple widgets). Pair it with the fact that each flagship now costs more than one grand, and you have a product line that loses its annual hype.
So, I ask again … would you like to choose to play other violin for engineers, strategists, UI / UX designers and service designers, doomed to a lifetime of intentionally designing old products? Probably not so long, right? The new iPhone is remarkable in many ways, but it also marks the perfect distance for Apple's design legend who deserves to be able to do much more.