If You Think iPhone X Animojis Are Silly, Think Again

SBSAnimoji on iPhone X

It can be hard to get iPhone X customers excited about technical specifications, OLED displays and the optics of Face ID, so Apple doesn’t go there.

Instead, Apple focuses on the visual aspects of the iPhone X. After all, it’s a handheld portal to the world, even the universe with the right astronomy apps.

This is not a new thing, but it does bear on the emergence of animojis, indeed Animoji Karaoke. Here’s the thing. In the past, computers were hard pressed to do the things we wanted them to do. Our early PCs, indeed their predecessors on which many worked, were used for computation at best and primitive games, as an aside, by dreamers.

Today, with a iPhone X, Apple touts:

Introducing A11 Bionic. The most powerful and smartest chip ever in a smartphone, with a neural engine that’s capable of up to 600 billion operations per second.

The dreams have arrived.

With that kind of power and the needs of modern iPhone users to communicate (and be entertained) in a very visual way, the way to sell this iPhone X is to focus on the visual aspects. The computational power drifts into the background. The number crunching power of an iPhone X is merely a means to an end. That’s an important aspect to remember by those who are skeptical.

Marketing Drivers

That proper way of thinking about the iPhone X leads to marketing ads like this:


The story tellers in this video are walking us through the visual experience. Watching a 4K video. Combining Face ID and Apple Pay. Shooting slo-mo videos. A video like this shows us, in an orchestrated visual way, how we can use this iPhone to enhance our lives and enjoy the iPhone’s capabilities.

Animojis play a role in this. The technology itself may be a fad (or not), but it lays the foundation for more to come. That’s why getting on board with emerging technologies is so important. One grows with technology, even if it seems silly at first, or gets left forever behind.

On a recent TMO Daily Observations Podcast, I was asked what I thought of animojis. Off the cuff, I responded something like this.

Animojis are cool. But they may be just a fad. Animojis on an iPhone X capable of 600 billion operations per second, are like a rich guy who buys a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, brings it into port, and sets up tennis courts on the flight deck. The tennis players have a lot of fun, and the view is great, but the carrier is capable of so much more.

That’s true from the perspective of a scientist or engineer who may want to use the power of the iPhone for other, more technical activities. But the truth is, Apple builds a wide variety of computational equipment, and some is more suited to the computational professional than others.

But when it comes to getting the prospective iPhone X customer excited about the product, all those technical specifications mean nothing. Customers want to know how they’ll better enjoy and benefit from their iPhone lives with this new product. That’s what the marketing is all about, and that’s what the evolution of technology is all about.

Apple understands that in spades. And so no matter what you plan to do with your own iPhone X, Apple is going to celebrate the highest level of technical abstraction, the visual power and impact of this world-portal device.

It shouldn’t be any other way.

6 thoughts on “If You Think iPhone X Animojis Are Silly, Think Again

  • John:

    I believe I heard your exchange with Bryan and Jeff about this point a couple of weeks ago, and believe that here, you’ve set the right tone.

    Clients with science and engineering backgrounds, professionals with high end or power user needs, and geeks because that’s how geeks roll, will appreciate the tech specs and their underlying technology of the iPhone X. For everyone else, aka normals, visual and fun demonstrations and applications can make all the difference in the competition for hearts and minds. For most clients, it’s the personal and fun applications of the device that are principal drivers to uptake, so long as these are within easy reach. Power user, professional and geek disdain for these more plebeian applications, however short-lived, are no deterrent to their popular uptake.

    @geoduck:
    I hear you and my instincts are similarly inclined. However, my kids are of just the right age (Millennials) to enjoy these animojis, whether I’ve used the cat animoji to impersonate my daughter’s cat and request to be fed, or the alien animoji to ask them to ‘phone home’ or the robot to call them to dinner or be assimilated – their sheer delight and shared family fun is priceless, and overwhelms any single tech spec or the device’s price tag. Human enrichment, like wealth itself, has many forms.

  • Animoji’s are a fad. They are silly. I would go so far as to say they DETRACT from emphasizing the power and capability of the X. I watched a couple of them online and my immediate reaction was “Well that was pointless”. After some thought I was reminded of the criticism of the first Mac as “just a toy”. Similarly this takes a breathtakingly powerful device, and makes it seem like a toy good for nothing but cheap gimmicks. In a couple of years I will be updating my SE. Possibly the iPhone I get will have Animoji’s, unless of course, good sense and taste have put a swift end to them. I won’t be using them though.

      1. The SE/30 holds a special place in my heart.
        My first Mac was a hand-me-down SE/30 that I used as a word processor in college. My senior year, I had a friend that was convinced we could get it online. We updated it to OS 7.1 via a dozen or so floppies, and voila… 9″ Grey Screen internet. The next year, I figured out how to add a color video card in the PDS slot, and I’ve been in IT ever since.

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