“Once upon a time, Apple could do little wrong.” I wonder when that was? Having just read about the design and launch of the Mac – not enough memory, no cursor keys, etc – it wasn’t then. Or how about the Lisa, or Apple III? Or diluting the brand with clones? Or the “egg freckles” Newton? Or the puck mouse? Or the cube Mac? Or the firewire only iPod? Or the Motorola ROKR? How about the amazing iPhone, with no 3G and no apps – hell not even copy and paste? Or how Steve Jobs was sure innovating, look at the iPad- certainly an oversized iPhone was like a herald from the future…
And all that whining about the notch. Look, until they can build a screen magically transparent to cameras and sensors from the back, it’s either going to be a notch, a line making the screen smaller, or some kind of ridiculous periscope. Here they reclaim some of the space.
Design is about the juggling of various often competing constraints. Some of the constraints I might wish they weren’t so beholden to, like the need for the thinner thinner phone. Other ones seem frustrating too, like to compete in the marketplace they need visual hooks and changes for their own sake. Or the constraints of history, like the iTunes mess – I mean I’m afraid of them listening too much like blowhards like this guy, because I’m certain whatever replaced iTunes would lack flexibilities that the crusty legacy stuff enjoys.
The above was written in response to the recent whining about the iPhone X notch and other minor infractions that are marginally annoying at best.
Kirk is right of course, as he usually is, and in my view I say again that you only need to look at the competition to see how good Apple is at design. The company has moved mobile and fixed computing from a point where the products were commodities that had no investment in actually working with a human being to devices that we don´t even need to think about using.
Where Apple does rightly suffer is that the company spends a huge amount of time blowing its own aluminium design trumpet and so with that will inevitably come criticism. It is almost begging for it.