Apple announced their newest iPhone model, the XS, last week. As part of the announcement, they revealed a new commercial that shows the phone up close in all of its glory.
Those that watched the live announcement know that the upgrade was typical for an “S” rotation year, focusing mainly on performance and battery life. However, the display, bezels, and buttons stayed the same as last year (aside from a larger model).
However, those that have only seen the commercial, shown above, may think that there is no longer a notch in the new XS model. With the way the phone is shown in the commercial, it is easy to see how someone could be confused. It is nearly impossible to see the notch, as the screen around the notch is completely black, thanks to the background image.
This trickery isn’t exactly uncommon among tech companies, and Apple is far from the only one doing this sort of thing. In recent examples, Samsung and Huawei have both recently been caught lying about images supposedly taken with their flagship phones. Both companies allegedly tried passing off DSLR images as if they were photos taken with their phone cameras to imply better image quality.
The difference here is that Apple never directly lies to the customer. They never claim that the iPhone XS won’t have a notch, but let the imagery of the ad “imply” that the screen takes up the entire front of the phone. Because of this, I don’t think it’s fair to assume that Apple meant to intentionally mislead people, even if it does seem like it.
Looking closely at the ad, you can see the horizontal divot in which the phone speaker is located. This gives a good idea of the size of the notch, as this speaker is fairly centered within it. However, the casual viewer likely won’t notice this detail.
One thing people have pointed to as further evidence of malintent is the name of the commercial: Illusion. This could, in these people’s opinions, allude to the “Illusion” created in the ad of a notchless iPhone XS.
It will be interesting to see if any more comes of this small controversy over the coming days. For now, I think it’s fair to assume that Apple was trying to be clever instead of malicious with their new commercial.
Regardless of the controversy over their commercial, Apple has seen a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding their announcement of the iPhone XS. This is hardly surprising: Apple product releases regularly dominate social media and news circulation.
The iPhone XS is currently available for pre-order from Apple and all major cell carriers, and officially goes on sale September 21st. The XS starts at $999 while the larger XS Max starts at $1099.