The Apple iPhone X was probably one of the worst-kept secrets when it comes to smartphones this year. Months prior to its release, we were treated to leaked renders, photos, and even dummy models of handsets that were identical to what was shown off at Apple's September event. While there were plenty of rumors, it appears that Apple never planned to add a fingerprint reader to the handset, instead, betting all its chips on the Face ID technology.
In an interview with Mashable, members of Apple's top brass like Phil Schiller, who is SVP of worldwide marketing, the SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi, SVP hardware engineering Dan Riccio, and more, took some time to discuss the iPhone X before its release on November 3. It comes as no surprise, but Apple's plans for the iPhone X started as far back as 2014. It was during this time when the team made up its mind to include a Neural Engine in its future chipset. While it didn't quite know what it was going to be used for, it was something that the team knew it had to be in there. This processor would eventually become the A11 Bionic that would be used for Face ID, Animoji, Siri, and more.
For years, Apple had an amazing design that people adored, but one year, something happened, consumers and reviewers alike felt that the large bezels were becoming a bit long in the tooth. While the competition was evolving its design, Apple looked like it had stagnated, offering up the same tired design year after year. This had to change and behind the scenes, the team already had plans to launch something different for 2018. Yes, you read that right, the firm had plans to launch the iPhone X in 2018 but shifted the timeline to bring it out a year earlier. Dan Riccio, the SVP hardware engineering states that “with a lot of hard work, talent, grit, and determination we were able to deliver them this year” which, in turn, left very little room for error.
Despite there being rumors that Apple wanted to embed Touch ID under its display, Riccio states that the firm went all in with the Face ID technology and didn't even look into investing into an alternate means of securing the phone. To be clear, he states “we spent no time looking at fingerprints on the back or through the glass or on the side” and went a little further by stating that “as far as last-minute design changes? Actually, we didn’t have time for it”. So what about the notch on top of the screen that houses all of the technology that makes Face ID possible? While it may look odd, Apple defended the decision, stating that it's not something that will look off when in use.
By Friday, the iPhone X will land in the hands of eager consumers, ready to be judged, played with and most importantly, carry the torch as the start of a new generation of iPhone. Apple has clearly put a lot of energy into this product but the real question is will it pay off? Will Apple be able to satisfy its most dedicated and critical fans?