iPhone 6: The Really Good Thing About It Is How Really Good It Is


From the size of the lines outside the Apple stores Australia-wide one can safely say that this new iPhone must be really, really good.

After only a couple of minutes searching the World Wide Web for lists of all the new features that make the new iPhone really, really good, it’s easy to understand why there are lines hundreds of metres long full of people talking about how really, really good that new iPhone is.

It’s got an amazing new charger that charges the battery better than the other battery charger. The screen’s resolution contains not only the usual ROYGBIV spectrum of light wavelengths, but an elaborated ROYGBIMV spectrum accommodating the newly patented hue only visible to the naked eye of the evolutionarily superior Apple Genius, aptly named ‘Maccle’.

And just when you thought it couldn’t be any more of a dream come true, it even comes with a tissue dispenser and distress signal for when you are being unfairly removed from the same line next year.

In fact, you could even go so far as to say that the new iPhone is the best phone ever made. The best!

The problem with all of these mouth-watering lists of new features, and all these vibrating lines of eager beavers, is that although they demarcate just how really, really good this new iPhone is, they say very, very little about what goodness the iPhone really, really does.

Firstly, we have to differentiate between properties and functions. What A is, and what A does, are very different. What constitutes A is a list of properties, properties which help us differentiate between As and Bs (for example iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 Pluses). But properties only tell half the story. All things might be made up of properties, but it is the difference in properties that alters A or B’s function. Where properties are what an iPhone 6 is, the iPhone 6’s function is what it does.

On top of all of the great new properties of the iPhone 6 listed above, the property that seems to be causing the most hullaballoo is its screen size. (Note the big difference between the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus). I even have anecdotal evidence: when passing the line on George Street this morning I overheard one Apple zealout remark to another, “The iPhone 6 screen is more bigger than the iPhone 5 screen, but the iPhone 6 Plus screen is even more bigger than both, so I’m getting the Plus.”

This defining property — this more bigger screen space — is really, really good because it enables the consumer to increase his or her media consumption level without increasing the time in which he or she takes to consume it. But, when we ask ourselves about what this does – about what important function this media-consumption efficiency increase culminates in – the impressive technological innovations of the iPhone 6 become far more evident: In increasing the amount of media one consumes without altering the time in which one consumes it, the iPhone serves as an extension of one’s mind which increases cognitive efficiency in a sub-conscious trade off that limits one’s ability to exercise the potentially asocial prospect of analysis.

This function of the ever-evolving swathe of miniature machines is by definition mind-altering. Questions that in a less information-bombarding landscape might arise in the interim between one conjecture and another are quickly snuffed beneath the scrolling tide of information in the palm of your hand.

When Hume penned the groundbreaking epistemological supposition that ‘Nothing is in the mind that is not first in the senses’, I wonder if he envisioned a world in which the human sensory apparatuses rate of raw data absorption would be imposed by the changing screen size of a computer tethered to our body?

Is this the true function of what all of these shiny new machines do? I daresay if Tim Cook proposed his new product as being a mind-altering experience the FDA wouldn’t have allowed for its international shipping.

In this regard, the new iPhone is just like the television, or the last most important development in the passive whiling away of what Aristotle referred to as the most important function of the human mind – reason. Unlike the television, of course, when your iPhone is not on your person or face up next to you on your mattress at all hours of the night and day you start to feel anxious.

Sounds really, really good.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.