The iPhone X was unveiled in September with much fanfare, with all kinds of new features like Face ID, top-to-bottom OLED screen, no Home button, and who can forget Animojis. But early on, when the iPhone X was just a glimmer in a designer's eye, Apple thought the task of bringing it to fruition was quite maybe too daunting.
"It’s probably the boldest of the things we’ve done – thinking back to the start when the teams started working on [the device] and made proposals of some of the things we would ultimately do with the technology," Apple's Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller told T3 in an interview. “At the time, at the beginning, it seemed almost impossible. Not just almost. It seemed impossible."
He said that the early trepidation gave way to some excitement as the company decided to move forward with the project:
“Clearly there was a point in the process where we had to commit to the fact that it would be a full top-to-bottom screen on the front with no home button, which means you’re counting on Face ID working as we’d hope, and being as good. That’s an exciting moment, when you have to sort of … the old saying: ‘Burn the boats. Leave the past behind, and commit.’ Knowing that the team was willing to make that gamble was a key point early enough in the process."
Schiller said that the users seem to find the iPhone X new at first, but are comfortable with it in about 30 minutes. "It’s not the kind of thing you have to live with for a week or two to get used to," he said. "It doesn't mean … you know, we’ve still got muscle memory sometimes and we might try to do something and we remember, ‘Oh no, that’s not how you do it’ - you want to swipe up on an iPhone 8 or 7, or on an iPad, and no, it doesn't work that way. That, to me, is always the sign of some of our most advanced, best thought-out technology: they become intuitive incredibly quickly and change how you think about everything else you use."
The interview is fairly wide-ranging, touching on things like AirPods, the Apple Watch Series 3, MacBook, and the new iMac Pro. Definitely worth the read if you are interested in the workings of Apple's thought process.