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Apple VP Greg Joswiak defends iPhone X notch as one of the company’s most impressive pieces of tech

While I personally find the iPhone X notch almost unnoticeable much of the time, and cute when it’s visible, others have been more critical. There have been complaints that it’s asymmetrical and un-Apple-like in its design, and even that it ‘ruins’ the display.

But Apple VP Greg Joswiak has defended it as one of the company’s most impressive technical achievements …


c69e9_screen-shot-2017-03-30-at-14-48-26 Apple VP Greg Joswiak defends iPhone X notch as one of the company's most impressive pieces of tech

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Quoted in Tom’s Guide, Joswiak said that the focus should be on everything it achieves.

With all of those components, this is one of the most densely packed technology areas I think we’ve ever done. It’s one of the most sophisticated pieces of technology we’ve ever done in such an incredibly small space.

Apple did, he said, take its usual approach to new technology – not trying to be first to market, but aiming to offer the best possible implementation. And while he may not have called out Samsung by name, it was obvious who he had in mind with one comment.

It doesn’t matter if you’re first to a general idea, it’s about being first to making it fantastic, and that’s what we try to do. Whether it’s the chip team working with our hardware team or our software team with our human interface team — it is one team here. No one else can match that […]

We had a line of sight on how to do real facial recognition, in a way never done before. It would be really hard to do, but we just didn’t want to do it the way others had, which could literally be spoofed with a picture.

Tom’s Guide picked the iPhone X as the overall winner in its 2017 Innovation Awards.

The iPhone X isn’t the first phone to integrate technologies like OLED or facial recognition — it simply executes those features better than the competition. At the same time, the processor inside the iPhone X is miles ahead of anything from the Android camp.

There are three advancements — the Super Retina Display, Face ID and the A11 Bionic chip — that combine to make Apple’s flagship the most innovative product of the year.

Face ID did hit one glitch, with the release of iOS 11.2, some owners reporting a message that the iPhone X was unable to activate the feature. Fortunately, a simple reboot fixed it.

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Apple’s Greg Joswiak Talks iPhone X Face ID, Display and A11 Chip

Tom’s Guide today shared its list of “2017 Innovation Award Winners,” which of course includes the iPhone X, among other products like the Nintendo Switch, the DJI Spark, and the Amazon Echo.

Apple’s iPhone X took the Tom’s Guide “Best Overall” award for its Super Retina Display, Face ID, and A11 Bionic chip, and the site’s iPhone X writeup includes some interesting commentary from Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of product marketing.

For the iPhone X’s Super Retina Display, which incorporates the first-ever OLED panel in an iOS device, Joswiak says Apple had to “do a lot of engineering” to come up with “panels that were better” to address traditional OLED issues like oversaturated colors.


The iPhone X is using its own color management system, a folding panel design that stacks circuits for minimal bezel, and other technology improvements to outshine competing smartphone displays.

Reiterating previous comments from Apple executives on Face ID, Joswiak says Touch ID was never planned for the iPhone X. Prior to the launch of the device, there were rumors suggesting Apple had tried and failed to embed Touch ID both under the display. Apple execs say Face ID was planned for the iPhone X from the beginning. “We had a line of sight on how to do real facial recognition, in a way never done before,” said Joswiak.


The “notch” on the iPhone X, which some believe is a questionable design decision, houses what Joswiak says is “one of the most densely packed technology areas” Apple has done. The notch includes a 7-megapixel camera, an infrared camera, a flood illuminator, a proximity sensor, an ambient light sensor, a speaker, a microphone, and a dot projector, all of which powers the TrueDepth system that enables Face ID and other features like Animoji.

At the heart of the iPhone X, there’s an A11 Bionic chip with two performance cores and four high-efficiency cores that work together to make the iPhone X incredibly fast. An included neural engine powers Face ID and other machine learning tasks, while an embedded M11 Motion coprocessor captures motion-based data.

Apple’s chip team “worked hand in glove” with the rest of Apple’s hardware and software teams to design chips that are “perfectly suited” for the iPhone X’s feature set. “That’s huge,” said Joswiak. “No one else can match that,” he added.

Josiwak’s full commentary on the iPhone X, which includes additional details about each feature, can be read over at Tom’s Guide. The Innovation Award list also highlights multiple other products across categories like Augmented Reality, TV, Graphics, Design, Game, Entertainment, CPU, Tablet, Peripheral, and more.




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