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Apple's Cook, Ive & Federighi talk iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iOS 7 and future products

Ashleigh Allsopp | Sept. 23, 2013
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"Successful collaboration, in your mind, could be that your opinion is the most valuable and becomes the prevailing sort of direction. That's not collaborating," said Ive.

Ive and Federighi both share a focus on usability and simplicity, they say. When discussing what people look for when using a product, Ive explained: "I think, every often, you can't call out by attribute or name areas of value. But I do think that we sense when somebody has cared. And one thing that is incontrovertible is how much we've cared."

There's been talk about a "lack of innovation" inside Apple over the past year, but Ive and Federighi disagree, highlighting the iPhone 5s' fingerprint scanner, which Ive says caused "so many problems that had to be solved to enable one big idea."

"We didn't start opportunistically with 10 bits of technology that we could try to find a use for to add to our features list," said Ive in a probable jibe at Samsung and its Galaxy S4.

"New? New is easy," said Federighi. "Right is hard"

iOS 7
A second interview, this one from USA Today with just Ive and Federighi, the Apple executives spoke about iOS 7.

"When we sat down last November (to work on iOS 7) we understood that people had already become confortable with touching glass, they didn't need physical buttons, they understand the benefits," Ive said, explaining the reason for ditching skeuomorphic elements that Apple previously loved to use within iOS. "So there was an incredible liberty in not having to reference the physical world so literally. We were trying to create an environment that was less specific. It got design out of the way."

"Before, the shadowing effect we used was a great way to distract from the limitations of the display," added Federighi. "But with a display that's this precise, there's nowhere to hide. So we wanted a clear typography."

"Yes, we wanted to defer to the content, and just get out of the way," said Ive.

iPhone 5s camera improvements
When explaining the reasons behind the decision not to increase the megapixels of the camera of the iPhone 5s, but rather to make the pixels bigger, Federighi said: "Look at the camera space, companies are chasing megapixels but the pictures often look horrible because of their tiny sensors. My family cares about taking a good picture, not a megapixel count. We carry that through to all the decisions we make about our phone. What experience is it going to deliver? Not what number will it allow us to put on a spec sheet."

"That's exactly it," said Ive. "It's just easier to talk about product attributes that you can measure with a number. Focus on price, screen size, that's easy. But there's a more difficult path, and that's to make better products, ones where maybe you can't measure their value empirically."


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