What the iPhone 11 Reveals About Apple
t’s been a year of change for Apple. Within months of the tech giant departing from its legacy as a hardware company to
focus on services, its chief designer of 30 years Jony Ive made a departure of his own, leaving Apple and launching his
own design firm. Amid all of this, iPhone sales began declining year over year, signaling the iconic smartphone has be-
come a mature product. Given the trends, it makes sense that Apple is expanding into new areas by building a TV stream-
ing, gaming, and magazine platform. After the services announcement in March and Ive’s unexpected farewell, many of us at
iPhone Life have been having conversations about how these changes affect the way we see Apple as a company.
What Sort of Company Is Apple Now?
With a hand in so many industries, including credit with the Apple Card, how long will we recognize Apple as the innovative hardware company that Steve Jobs shaped? Most importantly, will Apple continue to prioritize creating an excellent user experience
over finding ways to make extra money off its customers?
While it’s logical for Apple to find new areas of growth, the thought of being prompted to pay Apple monthly for everything from TV
to news to music to games has felt unappealing and even a little dystopian. I don’t know that I want one company to have so much
power over me. The other issue is this—are Apple’s services any good? It’s too soon to tell with Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade,
but I, for one, haven’t been particularly impressed with Apple Music or Apple News. While I miss the integration with the Apple ecosystem, Spotify and Flipboard are in many ways better apps. The Apple Card, which has received warm reviews so far, may be the
exception (see page 26 for a full review). As long as Apple continues to champion our privacy, never selling our data and resisting
the temptation to push its services on us in invasive ways, my attitude toward the company won’t fundamentally change.
A Reassuring Fall Event
Apple’s future may be unknown, but the fall iPhone launch demonstrated that when it comes to hardware, Apple’s still got it.
While the new Apple Watch and iPad have very few new features (see page 14 for a roundup of the fall event), the cameras in
the iPhone 11 line are receiving glowing reviews despite initial complaints about their prominent appearance. Along with adding
wide-angle photography, Apple added a low-light feature called Night Mode that is beating out the Google Pixel’s Night Sight in
early reviews. I’ve struggled to take decent photos in dim lighting for years, so this feature alone has made the upgrade worth it.
While only the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have the triple-lens camera and OLED display, Apple made a smart strategic move by
lowering the entry point for the iPhone 11 to $700. Early reports show strong sales of the 11 and of the 11 Pro (see page 22 to
learn the differences between the new iPhones). It looks like Apple pulled off keeping its prowess as a high-end hardware company, while also increasing its customer base for its new services.
Gear Up for the Holidays
We haven’t forgotten that many of you are in the market for more than an iPhone this time of year. To help you in your pursuit of
the best products to pair with your new expensive piece of glass, we’ve tested hundreds of products over the past three months
and have compiled our favorites into our annual buyer’s guide (see page 31). Enjoy!
Editor in Chief
iPhone Life magazine, email@example.com