It’s rare that we get to hear or witness any commentary from Sir Jony Ive regarding Apple’s latest products. The voice of the British design icon is often used in Apple’s marketing and promotional videos which are shown when a new iPhone or iPad is announced, but it’s not that often that we get an insight into his thoughts and beliefs on the products that he designs.
As part of an interview with Wallpaper* the Knighted Apple Chief Designer has spoken about iPhone X – his latest example of sensational product design – highlighting his enthusiasm about his belief that Apple’s tenth-anniversary iPhone will evolve over the next 12-months thanks to continuous software updates.
Historically speaking, as consumers we are used to new devices filtering into the market with a specific set of features and capabilities, and then accepting that those features will remain consistent throughout the lifecycle of that product.
Those companies then release a refreshed version, typically 12-36 months later depending on the type of hardware that it is, and then the consumer starts the whole cycle again. However, with iPhone X, Ive believes that the device will evolve and grow over time, becoming more capable and fluid than it is now, thanks to software updates:
I’ve always been fascinated by these products that are more general purpose. What I think is remarkable about the iPhone X is that its functionality is so determined by software. And because of the fluid nature of software, this product is going to change and evolve. In 12 months’ time, this object will be able to do things that it can’t now. I think that is extraordinary. I think we will look back on it and see it as a very significant point in terms of the products we have been developing.
What Jony Ive is saying as part of that interview is definitely true, and has actually been true for most of Apple’s smartphones and products.
However, the fact that he is actually explicitly talking about this now, and is referencing iPhone X in name, gives you the impression that Apple has fairly big plans for the device over the course of the next 12-months, with a potential killer feature coming in the form of an iOS update. Fingers crossed for that one.
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