Apple iPhone Essay

This essay looks at the developing phone market and where the future lies for the Apple iPhone. Apple has seen 13 years of financial growth, but as of April 2016, they announced their first revenue decline since 2003 (Thielman, Neate and Hern, 2016). This could suggest that the phone has reached maximum capability and upgrades are no longer required. The following looks at area where apple could develop it’s phone to enable continued capital growth.

Google has invested in R&D of a modular phone, which are now commercially viable in an increasingly environmentally conscious world. The LG G5, the first commercially available modular phone has just been released. This is paving the way for a new type of phone, a more customisable phone. Apple have always been known for not giving users the ability to customise their phones, their computers and phones are sealed to stop users from upgrading parts inside. This is proven by the fact they have a recycle system with a machine that takes apart the phone and deconstructs it part by part so that Apple can use the parts again in new phones, or sell them to external companies to be used in other products. Since Apple offers it’s customers payment plans for the iPhone itself without the data, so they can pay a monthly fee and upgrade to the next one comes out, this makes perfect sense.

iOT (Internet of Things) is an idea that everything should be connected to the web for the user to be able to control more easily. HomeKit is a prime example of where Apple could build more function within its’ iPhone. “HomeKit is a framework for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home.”. This framework Apple has produced is the beginning of something huge, the IoT (Internet of Things) are a collection of devices that are designed and developed to connect with each other on a network. McKinsey & Company estimate that the industry will be worth between $200-$300 Billion by 2025 (McKinsey & Company, 2015). This technology paves the way for a truly connected home that is able to combine all of the data about the person who lives there to be able to create a much better and easier life for the homeowner. When all the devices in the home talk to each other they are able to create schedules for temperature, lighting, cooking, locks and so much much more in relation to any of the residents schedules. This can mean opening the curtains, switching on the radio, preparing a coffee and ensuring a warm temperature all before you’ve even woken up.

Siri, the personal assistant accessed by voice with “Hey Siri”, is already a very useful tool and can accomplish many tasks like setting an alarm, reminding you to do something when you leave home or make a call for you. While Siri is already very useful, imagine the potential when the iPhone has built in everything I have discussed in this essay. Statements like “Hey Siri, I’m going on holiday, give me directions to Leeds airport, Shut down the house and send Mike access my garage for next Tuesday”.

The current iPhone has the ability to track Parkinson’s disease progress, help diagnose autism and predict seizures when paired with an Apple watch. When the iPhone is able to track the data of it’s user, that data can also be shown to a doctor for feedback. Imagine a world where the phone extends life and even prevents death.

An important addition to this is that the phone is not only a powerful tool, but it has become a symbol of status. The phone now comes in three different sizes and four different colours with a range of accessories that come with it, ranging from wireless headphones, cases and a bluetooth watch branded as the Apple watch with prices reaching as high as £13,500 for the most expensive model. Apple markets its products within music videos, films and tv and in2014 it was the worlds biggest spender on product placement. (Yoshida, 2015)

The original telephone (from the Ancient Greek τῆλε (têle, “afar”) + φωνή (phōnḗ, “voice, sound”) was a means of voice communication over distance. Telephones were static, and in the early days public phone boxes requiring the insertion of coins were the commonplace means of speaking with someone at a distance, often connected by means of a switchboard operator.

The advent of cell phones or mobiles radically changed the face of communication. The other great communication imperative was the Internet. The combination of features of both into the iPhone (Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, stated at the debut of the iMac that the name derived from the excitement of the Internet combined with the simplicity of Macintosh, and the use of the lower case i has subsequently been taken to imply the Internet connection on other devices) has created a powerful instrument which is much more than a simple “voice to voice” machine.

The telephone has developed from a static handset in a public phone booth (some remain, particularly near known suicide sites) to the brick-sized clumsy mobile and subsequently to elegant slim machines which are themselves status symbols. Perhaps the shape will see further development: already wrist phones may be seen; with the exponential increase in micro-surgery procedures it is not impossible to imagine mobile phone circuitry to be inserted under the skin at birth and apps and further modifications added as the owner learns control. Touch sensitivity is a growing issue nowadays: what about mental control of one’s internal phone? Use of the mind alone to operate computer systems is becoming an increasingly viable possibility (Falcon et al., 2016) and a brain-computer interface is already established. Last year, the Brown researchers reported testing a prototype of a fully implanted interface, with the electronics housed inside a titanium can that can be sealed under the scalp, though the device is not yet commercialised (MIT Technology Review, 2016).  At the moment, “display” is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Consider if the display were directly to the retina, the voice transmitted directly to the inner ear.

References;

Falcon, A., Irina, A., Pataki, D., Duvall, A., Jamaluddin, A., Jamaluddin, A., Duvall, A., Jamaluddin, A., Jamaluddin, A., Khaliq, A. and Jamaluddin, A. (2016). 8 Mind-blowing Gadgets You Can Control Just With Your Brain. [online] Hongkiat.com. Available at: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/brain-controlled-gadgets/ [Accessed 16 May 2016].

McKinsey & Company. (2015). Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things. [online] Available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/business-technology/our-insights/the-internet-of-things-the-value-of-digitizing-the-physical-world [Accessed 16 May 2016].

MIT Technology Review. (2016). A Brain-Computer Interface That Works Wirelessly. [online] Available at: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/534206/a-brain-computer-interface-that-works-wirelessly/ [Accessed 16 May 2016].

Thielman, S., Neate, R. and Hern, A. (2016). Decline in iPhone sales leads to first revenue decline in 13 years for Apple. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/26/apple-iphone-first-revenue-decline-13-years [Accessed 16 May 2016].

Yoshida, E. (2015). Apple had the most product placement in the films of 2014. [online] The Verge. Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/4/8147063/apple-transformers-age-of-extinction-product-placement [Accessed 16 May 2016].

Storytelling with Pixotale

Pixotale is a great app for iPad and iPhone that allows the user to create immersive storytelling experiences on the web, it works really well and it is a great example of how the web can use images to create great stories. You can check it out here, but also follow the link to view it yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://pixotale.com/story/11937047/Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 12.31.53Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 12.32.05

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Edge to Edge Display

Since 2007, Apple has changed the size of the screen on the iPhone. The first two iPhones had a 3.5-inch screen with a 320×480 pixel resolution.

iphone_3gs

The iPhone 4 changed the resolution boasting a new ‘Retina Display’ at a 960×640 resolution;

topic_iphone_4

The iPhone 5 changed the screen once again to better suit widescreen content. The screen was now 0.5″ bigger at 4″ with a resolution boost up to 1136×640.

apple-iphone-5-white

The iPhone saw the biggest change to screen size with the introduction of two entirely new screen size models. The iPhone with 4.7″ screen size and resolution of 1334×750 and the iPhone Plus with as 5.5″ screen size and a resolution of 1920×1080.

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So with Apple being so happy to change the screensize and resolution of their iPhone, it is quite possible that they will opt for edge to edge display completely removing the bezels and making a much sharper looking phone. Like portrayed in this mockup;

iphone-7-rumors-4k-bevel-less-display-no-buttons-top-bottom-edge-edge-screen

Or could they follow in the footsteps of the Samsungs Galaxy S6 Edge which sees the screen wrap around the edges to give more immersive experience;

samsung-galaxy-s7-edge-vs-galaxy-s6-edge

References;

http://www.macworld.co.uk/news/iphone/iphone-7-release-launch-date-new-features-images-rumours-headphone-leaked-photo-airpods-feb-3-3530504/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_(1st_generation)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_6

http://www.idigitaltimes.com/iphone-7-rumors-bevel-less-screen-no-buttons-top-bottom-edge-edge-display-485889

 

Future of 3D Touch

3D Touch is a technology that apple has implemented into it’s currently generation of iPhone to add a new dimension to the user interface. It now means there are three levels of force that can be applied to the screen that will offer the user a different experience, these are a tap, gentle press and hard press. A great video explaining it is below.

There is also technology researched by Disney to complement the 3D touch that would give tactile feedback to the user based on what was on the screen. This means the device could imitate the feel of an object and bumps and can also add resistance to the screen.

Haptic Feedback is something Apple have alreadly implemented into the iPhone to allow the user to understand when they have pressed harder for the 3D touches. This is just the beggining, using 3D touch more thoroughly throughout the operating system and creating different ways of doing things using these techniques will change the way people interact with their phones forever.

References;

http://www.cultofmac.com/320144/apple-patents-hints-at-the-amazing-future-of-force-touch/

http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/apple-patent-iphone-touch-id

http://www.wired.com/2015/09/what-is-the-difference-between-apple-iphone-3d-touch-and-force-touch/

Wireless Charging

One of the biggest problems Apple has as it strives to make an ever slimmer iPhone is the size of battery. This is one that even Apple itself has recognised by releasing what has been dubbed the ugliest product apple has ever made, the iPhone charging case.

smart-battery-case-gray

In the USA, 64% of the population have a smartphone and since iPhones are used by 42% of all smartphone users, it would be in the interest of smartphone makers to make an industry standard for wireless charging. So that any smartphone with wireless charging could be placed on any charger and it would work.

This would open the market to all sort of commercial possibilities, anywhere where you are able to sit for a long period of time could have a table with wireless charging available. This would change coffee shops, cafes, cinemas, driving, airports and public transport experiences forever. It would mean that the user could drive more sales in these places, because it is possible that the user may notice their phone low on battery so they decide to go and get a coffee while they give their phone some extra juice.

This also would relieve pressure from the phone makers, who could then continue to strive for the best design and better technology within their phone without having to put so much thought into battery drainage.

This is something that has already started to take effect, Starbucks announcing in June 2014 that between then and June 2017 it would roll out 100,000 wireless charging pads in it’s stores. But instead imagine the entire coffee table that was a charger and could charge multiple phones placed upon it. That would be, in my opinion, a gamechanger.

A wider rollout would see computer desks in offices keeping its users phone fully topped up while they work.

References:

http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/01/16/apples-iphone-now-represents-42-of-smartphones-owned-in-the-us—npd

http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2656164/Out-phone-battery-Head-nearest-Starbucks-Coffee-chain-begins-rolling-free-wireless-charging-tables-stores.html

http://www.cultofmac.com/391531/how-apple-could-revolutionize-wireless-charging-for-iphone/

https://www.qualcomm.com/news/spark/2013/04/19/wireless-charging-glimpse-future

Future of displays

LG have created a working prototype of a OLED display that can be rolled up ‘like a piece of paper’, this is huge for future products that will be able to have bendable displays. The device made it’s first ever appearance at CES 2016. This is a great piece of technology that could definitely have its purposes. You can see a it below in this image;

2FCB46B700000578-3384028-image-a-3_1451924348175.jpg

Electronic paper is an interactive technology that looks similar to paper, something that can be touched like a normal touchscreen, the benifits of this is that it can be as thin as paper and have an interactive screen, the downside is the fact it only displays in 16 shades of grey and white. This is not something that can be used in phones that challenge colour screens but is definitely an interesting space to watch. There is one example of a phone that uses this technology to add an additional screen to it’s back. It’s a great looking phone that you can see here;YotaPhone_Photo_4.jpg

 

References;

http://www.lgdisplay.com/eng/prcenter/newsView?articleMgtNo=4962

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/3/10706180/lg-rollable-display-flexible-screen-announced-ces-2016

Mobile Testing

An important side of the marketability of this website is the amount of users that can access it. This means, that the website must be accessible by multiple devices. Therefore I have tested three of the screens on the website to check if they would work, below are the results.

It is worth noticing that the site looks good and works well on most of the screens but it is important to also note that some of the design stops working on the smaller screens and that the devices are unable to show the site as they have been designed. The best way to get round this is to build a separate design for landscape mobile. Another issue is the fonts, and whether they display correctly, as you can see there is a mixed result from across the different devices. The mobile optimization has worked to a satisfactory level, but has suffered a few issues on smaller screens.