Does Innovation Drive Apple’s Success?
ince Apple released the iPhone X in September, many of us have been musing over the same question—is the new
$1,000 smartphone genuinely innovative? Especially this year, which marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, we’ve
been hoping to see something we’ve never seen before. What better way for Apple to pay tribute to Steve Jobs than to
stun us with industry-disrupting features? When Apple introduced the iPhone X with features like wireless charging, an
What we fail to remember, though, is that Apple’s strong suit is
in taking existing technologies and turning them into something
we actually want to use. Take the original iPhone, for instance. A
decade ago, touchscreen smartphones were already on the mar-
ket, but few of us remember them. That’s because they provided
a terrible user experience. Apple, on the other hand, poured itself
into engineering an intuitive user interface that you could manip-
ulate with your fingers by pressing and holding to magnify or pinching and spreading to zoom out and in. Apple didn’t create the
first smartphone with a touchscreen, but it was the first company to make one that made sense to people.
Similarly, the most hyped features of the iPhone X are hardly new. Face ID, which unlocks the iPhone X when you look at your
screen, is a more sophisticated version of the crude facial recognition technology found in Android phones. While you can trick
Samsung’s iris scanner with a photograph like a Facebook profile picture, Apple’s Face ID is advanced enough that banks will
allow you to use it to make financial transactions. That’s the revolutionary power of Apple. All that being said, it is interesting to
see how the pressure of the tenth anniversary pushed Apple to take risks like changing its form factor and incorporating more
experimental technology like Face ID. If successful, I hope the tech giant will take it as reason to be more aggressive in adopting
current technology and making it appealing to the masses.
Reflecting on Ten Years
Apple’s big anniversary has also been a reflective year at iPhone Life. Going into 2018, we will be celebrating our tenth year in
business. The magazine remains at the core of our business, but we’ve now grown into a digital brand with a website that’s
turned into a trusted source of iOS how-to and lifestyle content for Apple enthusiasts (see founder Hal Goldstein’s iView column
on page 80 for the unconventional story of how iPhone Life was born).
It’s That Time of Year
If you’re in the market for an iOS device this holiday season, you’ll find yourself faced with more purchase decisions to make
than in the past. Departing from Steve Jobs’s minimalist philosophy, Apple is now selling six different iPhones, four iPads, and
three Apple Watch models. In this issue’s buyer’s guide (see pg. 35), we’ll help you decide which Apple device makes sense for
your lifestyle. We also threw in a generous helping of headphones, speakers, and other essential gear that we’ve personally tested and can confidently say make owning an Apple device that much better.
Editor in Chief
iPhone Life magazine, firstname.lastname@example.org, @schillcleveland
“Apple’s strong suit is in taking existing
technologies and turning them into
something we actually want to use.”