The iPhone X is a massive change in scope and design for Apple, doing away with some of the most familiar elements in a smartphone to date.
That change does not come easy for Apple, which not only made the Home button a common element in its own smartphone lineup, but also a mainstay in other competing devices, too. But the iPhone X is meant to shepherd in the next 10 years of design at Apple, and the flagship smartphone appears to be doing a good job of that so far, even with its limited availability on the market.
Recently, Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, sat down with TIME to talk about the iPhone X, the handset’s design, and some of the hardships that Apple ran into along the way, saying, “There were these extraordinarily complex problems that needed to be solved.”
According to Ive, solving some problems meant looking back at what has worked in the past, all in an effort to change how things worked now and adopt new methods:
“Paying attention to what’s happened historically actually helps give you some faith that you are going to find a solution,” says Ive, a soft-spoken 50-year-old Englishman. “Faith isn’t a surrogate for engineering competence, but it can certainly help fuel the belief that you’re going to find a solution. And that’s important.”
Ive goes on to talk about moving forward, moving away from the things that feel familiar. Apple is not a stranger to abandoning technologies and features when they deem them no longer suitable. They did the same thing with floppy discs many years ago, and, most recently, the company effectively excised the 3.5mm headphone jack from its smartphone lineup. Of course, Apple was pummeled for that decision from people who didn’t want to lose that port, which Ive admits can be a pretty unfriendly place to be:
“It’s not necessarily the most comfortable place to be in when you believe there’s a better way,” he admits. “[Because] that means moving on from something that has felt successful.”
Ive also says that it comes down to accepting that what feels the most familiar might not always be the way to keep things, and that change is necessary to make advancements:
“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. “And in the short term, it’s the path the feels less risky and it’s the path that feels more secure.”
The full interview is available through the source link below. If you’re curious to hear Ive talk about the iPhone X, with a quick addition from Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Dan Riccio, it’s certainly a worthwhile interview.
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