If you, like me, were glued to the iPhone X launch yesterday then you may have been left wondering what happened to 9. Where is 9 and what has it done wrong. I can understand why you would avoid the number 2, but why 9?
The presentations were all delivered with the usual exuberance and we saw much of what we are used to. iPhone 8 is a developmental step ahead of 7, the new Apple TV looks great in 4K and the new Apple watch series 3 (without cellular) a similar step forward. While these are all stunning products, they are evolution, not revolution. In an ecosystem where these products are already highly developed, one must ask where new functionality or innovation could come from. My 7+ is good enough, it’s a great phone. Is there really anything there compelling to upgrade for?
But it’s the addition of a SIM card to the watch and the appearance of the all new iPhone X that got me interested again. By December (assuming the iMac Pro launches on time) we’ll have a stellar line up of products. Cellular in the watch sets it free; iMac Pro looks a powerful beast that may well reinvigorate Final Cut users; the iPad pro with iOS 11 is causing many people I know to consider the future of their laptops; the new MB Pro is a great tool even if I haven’t really worked out the touch bar and now the iPhone X is something completely different.
It’s “expensive” and we’ve seen edge to edge before, there are many questions being asked about Face ID, but there is something about it that has me excited. I question how much further the functionality of such a device can be pushed; a phone is a phone and apps are apps. This phone recognises that we now consume electronics as both luxury goods and daily essentials. At first these may seem contradictory, but if you look at how the design conscious live today, it makes perfect sense. £570 for a pair of Yeezy trainers?! If I forego my every day Yeezys and my special occasion Yeezys, (2 pairs of shoes made of rubber and fabric) I can then afford to have the most sophisticated handheld computing and communication device with AI, a facial recognition engine (we’ve developed an app with this, we know how hard that is), made of aerospace grade materials in my pocket. Those who have touched it report it feels like the next generation of smartphone and you’ll have to relearn how to interact with your iPhone.
So that’s where 9 has gone to. There is no 9.
9 would represent continuous innovation.
iPhone X is a step change.
I’m hoping Father Christmas is feeling generous this year.