John Gruber responds to Marco Arment’s view that it took Apple courage to embrace the “notch” on the iPhone X:
Apple just completely changed the fundamental shape of the most important, most successful, and most recognizable tech product that the world has ever seen.
It is. But as I wrote when Phil Schiller used the word to explain why they removed the headphone jack last year, that took courage too. It takes courage to rob a bank too. The objection people had to calling the removal of the headphone jack “courage” is based on the notion that courage is always noble. You can despise the notch and/or think it’s the stupidest thing Apple has ever done, but still acknowledge that it took courage to embrace it.
My objection (again, after admittedly only spending 10-15 minutes with an iPhone X in hand) remains that Apple could embrace the notch on the lock and home screens, allowing for this new iconic silhouette, without embracing it all the time.
Gruber is on point with regard to things that take courage to do, but he’s off on wanting Apple to embrace the notch sometimes.
Apple isn’t embracing the notch sometimes. That’s not Apple’s modus operandi. When they make a decision on something, they go all in. Gruber wants iPhone X to wear concealer and fake eyelashes when it goes out in public and iPhone X is all, “Oh no, child! This is how I look! Love me the way I am!”
I’ll say it again. I’ll keep saying it until I’m dead: look long-term. No one has an iPhone X yet. Everyone who has an opinion has either never used an iPhone X (like me) or only used it for a brief period of time (as Gruber himself openly admits).
Humans are reactionary animals and reacting to the short-term is the default for us in life, investing, planning, everything.
It’s possible I’m wrong, but let’s regroup in a year.
We’ll really know for certain if Apple made the right move if Samsung apes the notch on their next Galaxy phone.