Finishing the iPhone X in time for the tenth anniversary of the iPhone in 2017 was a “wonderful coincidence,” according to Apple design chief Jony Ive.
According to an interview taken during the iPhone X launch but only now published by Japanese design magazine Casa Brutus, Ive said that while the new flagship phone represents the achievement of a long-held ambition, it is only the beginning.
The iPhone X is obviously the biggest design shift in the history of the iPhone, but its design had apparently been in the works for quite some time. Ive said that Apple had been trying for many years to design what he has in the past described as “a single slab of glass.”
“Before this, there was a feeling that individual components called enclosure (housing) and display existed,” Ive explained. “What we always wanted to do is tackle the essence of integrating what we considered different parts. Looking at the iPhone X from that perspective, I think that it took many years and finally we were able to achieve it.”
With the iPhone X, the design feels contiguous and integrated, and it took many years to achieve that level of fit and finish, Ive said, adding that Apple is already working on next-generation designs.
Ive went on to discuss the more technical aspects of the iPhone X, explaining that the inclusion of the new Face ID technology is the culmination of years of work towards a “non-contact” user interface. Essentially, features like Face ID, which do not require physical interaction, make a device feel simpler yet at the same time robust.
Finally, when Ive was asked whether there was pressure to realize the new design by the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, he agreed that there was, but claimed that ultimately it was a “wonderful coincidence.”
“Well, just for the design team and engineer team! If you try to do a good job, there is always pressure,” Ive said. “I understand that what is expected is a change, but what we are trying to keep in mind is always to do the best job, as much as possible.”
“[Given the years taken to develop the iPhone X], it was a truly wonderful coincidence.”