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Thursday 14 September 2017

The spec of the iPhone X is awesome

iphone XI’ve been thinking a lot about the Apple iPhone X since its launch on the 12th Sept. I watched for the whole two hours and the impression you got - from the time spent - was that this was a smartphone for animojis (they did spend a lot of time on this) and gaming (there were two long game demonstrations). Indeed, almost all the time was spent on what I will refer to as ‘consumer fripperies’.

And that’s what worried me because the spec of the new iPhone is, and I use this word deliberately, awesome. This ‘beast’ comes with A11 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, Neural engine and an Embedded M11 motion coprocessor. The iPhone X comes with an array of cameras and sensors packed into a tiny area at the top of the screen. The TrueDepth array, as Apple calls it, projects infrared dots onto your face to map it, captures that image, then uses a dedicated processor to interpret the face data. This array at the front of the iPhone X packs an Infrared camera, Flood illuminator, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Dot projector, front camera…and a speaker. I could go on about the ‘awesome’ spec. But the point is that this iPhone X has huge potential for both Apple - and third party developers - to produce some pretty serious applications. If you add the extra sensors in the Apple Watch Series 3, the opportunities in healthcare alone could represent a major step forward.

Installing a neural processor will allow machine learning. Coupled with facial recognition, the opportunities are either major or scary - depending.

The other point to make is that almost all this new, awesome stuff is Apple proprietary. As an aside, many of Apple's suppliers saw their share price decline yesterday. Eg IQE fell over 7%. Not just because of the delivery delays for the iPhone X but also because Apple is going to take so much 'inhouse' in the future.

I think Apple undersold all this on Tuesday. Certainly I wasn’t the only one that got annoyed at the fripperies - the animoji really got on my nerves. But now I really do think I - and others - underestimated the major step forward in hand-held computing that the iPhone X represents.

Posted by Richard Holway at '08:52' - 1 comment

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