iPhone X: Apple suggests new phone is 'all screen', but prominent critics point out problem

The 'notch' is the most iconic thing about the new phone, and could be its most controversial

Andrew Griffin
Monday 23 October 2017 13:55 BST
The woman's iPhone reportedly helped save her life
The woman's iPhone reportedly helped save her life (REUTERS/Stephen Lam )

Apple has been criticised for the advertising around its iPhone X.

The site advertising the new iPhone X claim that the device is "all screen". But prominent Apple critics have pointed out that it actually isn't – and that even Apple's own website is very clear that it's not.

That's because the top of the screen has a notch cut out of it, in which the camera and other sensors for its facial recognition technologies are built. The phone does get rid of the wide and long bezels that have been on every iPhone up until now – but the screen doesn't go all the way over the entirety of the front of the phone.

The complaints began earlier this month, in a piece by Ken Segall, who worked for Steve Jobs at Apple and Next on its advertising. He suggested that the tagline was "stretching the truth".

"Apple advertising was always creative and fun, but it was also intelligent and accurate," Mr Segall wrote on his site. "That’s what made it the industry’s “gold standard” for marketing.

"That’s why it makes me nervous when I see today’s Apple playing loose with words and images to sell a product."

That post was picked up by Apple commentator John Gruber, who said that the notch in the top of the screen meant that the description wasn't fair. If it weren't for the notch at the top he would have "no problem" with the tagline, despite the fact that screen doesn't actually go over the top, but the large black cutout caused problems, he wrote.

"Here’s one simple way to think about it: what does Apple do 2-3 years from now if they ship an iPhone with no notch?" he concluded. "Describe it as 'Really all screen this time'?"

Apple isn't actually hiding the notch, which it has encouraged developers to design around and appears to be including as the defining image of the iPhone X. The place the "it's all screen" tagline appears on the site is also right next to a picture of the large black notch.

The same page also says that the phone is "entirely screen".

"Our vision has always been to create an iPhone that is entirely screen," it reads. "One so immersive the device itself disappears into the experience. And so intelligent it can respond to a tap, your voice, and even a glance.

"With iPhone X, that vision is now a reality. Say hello to the future."

The tagline only seems to appear on Apple's website. The ads that have been posted around the rest of the web and on billboards simply include a picture of the phone – in which the notch is highly visible.

Pre-orders open for the iPhone X on 27 October, and they go on sale a week after. But all reports suggest there will be relatively few to go around.

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