Image: iPhonedigital
Image: iPhonedigital

So that is three new phones, a watch, and a TV. Apple has been busy. Critics are legion, but they miss the point.


It’s the two acronyms of the moment: AI and AR, and they are the two defining characteristics of the iPhone X.

The rest of the products are very interesting, a watch that is also a communication device – how very Star Trek –  a new TV that makes HDTV seem like a 1950s black and white TV set, two worthy new phones the Eight and Eight Plus.

But it is the X – pronounced ten, that is drawing all the attention and no shortage of ire.

Apple has reverted to the Roman system of numbering, and if you listen to the critics, it is so far behind rivals, that Tim Cook, the CEO, might sound more modern if he started talking in Latin.

Some of the criticisms were downright silly. One person tweeted that the new face recognition software is no good, as your girlfriend/wife might wave it front of your face when you are asleep and open it up.  Sorry, if that is your big worry, you may need a counselor/marriage counselor rather than a new phone.

Actually, as this account illustrates, the facial recognition software in the new iPhone, and which uses neural computing, is an extraordinary application of AI.

But, augmented reality is the prize Apple is really chasing.

And the tale of this pre-dates the launch of the iPhone X by many months with the launch of the ARKit software tools for developers.

Now Ikea has launched an augmented reality app for iOS which enables you to view its furniture in your home, another app tells you how tall you are.

But then a year ago we got the wireless earplugs, a product slated by critics who missed the augmented reality angle.

What we have seen so far is just a hint of what will come – and Apple has shown that it is focusing on this opportunity – especially in combining AI and AR.

Its share price has risen 40 per cent this year, the company is now worth $815 billion, augmented reality could catapult it to a trillion within 18 months.