The One Device
We know the iPhone as the device that transformed our world, changing everything from how we talk to each other and do business, to how we exercise, travel, shop, and watch TV. But packed within its slim profile is the fascinating, untold story of scientific, technological, and business breakthroughs--global in scope, sometimes centuries in the making, and coming from vastly different disciplines--that enabled Apple to create the most profitable product in history.For all the time we spend swiping, tapping, and staring at iPhones, you think there would be few things we didn't know about these gadgets. But think again. is a Magic School Bus trip inside the iPhone--traveling into its guts, peeling back its layers, and launching explorations that take us to the driest place on earth and a Mongolian lake of toxic sludge, down the Silk Road, into 19th century photography, and all the way back to Cupertino, California, where members of the original design team reflect on the earth-shattering work they did.As multifaceted as the invention it follows, The One Device is a roving, wide-lens approach to tech history that engages the imagination as it explores the marvel of engineering that millions of us use each day.

The One Device Details

TitleThe One Device
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJun 20th, 2017
PublisherBantam Press
ISBN0593078411
ISBN-139780593078419
Number of pages416 pages
Rating
GenreHistory, Science, Technology, Nonfiction, Business, Design, Computer Science, Literature, 21st Century, Apple

The One Device Review

  • Amar Pai
    June 25, 2017
    This is fascinating
  • Christy
    June 26, 2017
    Broad strokes were great, details were only goodThe chapter selections were excellent. More than once I was pleasantly surprised when the book included one of my favorite iPhone anecdotes or technical details (such as the FingerWorks acquisition or the heavy software influence NeXT had over iOS). However, I noticed that some (admittedly very technical) details were incorrect or explained in such a way that was contradictory or confusing. Also, at many junctures the author chose to explain some t Broad strokes were great, details were only goodThe chapter selections were excellent. More than once I was pleasantly surprised when the book included one of my favorite iPhone anecdotes or technical details (such as the FingerWorks acquisition or the heavy software influence NeXT had over iOS). However, I noticed that some (admittedly very technical) details were incorrect or explained in such a way that was contradictory or confusing. Also, at many junctures the author chose to explain some technical point in a very general way in order to help the layperson understand it. Unfortunately, pulling away to generalities actually made the explanations more confusing. This was annoying when I already understood what he was explaining and forced me to look up the details myself when I didn't.
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  • Vamsi Sridhar
    June 29, 2017
    Copy: Kindle Rating -4/5As the world celebrates the 10th anniversary of the "Jesus Phone", one picture is commonly shared among all the media outlets - Steve Jobs, in his signature black turtleneck, holding a 3.5inch iPhone at its birth launch. The picture goes with a tagline - the man who personified the brand. The fascinating aspect of this book is that it shatters this image to bits (or bytes). In a nutshell if i were to summarize the book & here i take the words of the author - " hope my Copy: Kindle Rating -4/5As the world celebrates the 10th anniversary of the "Jesus Phone", one picture is commonly shared among all the media outlets - Steve Jobs, in his signature black turtleneck, holding a 3.5inch iPhone at its birth launch. The picture goes with a tagline - the man who personified the brand. The fascinating aspect of this book is that it shatters this image to bits (or bytes). In a nutshell if i were to summarize the book & here i take the words of the author - " hope my jaunt into the heart of the iPhone has helped demonstrate that the one device is the work of countless inventors and factory workers, miners and recyclers, brilliant thinkers and child laborers, and revolutionary designers and cunning engineers. Of long-evolving technologies, of collaborative, incremental work, of fledgling start-ups and massive public-research institutions." If we were to take public survery to name the top 3 impacts of the iPhone, the most likely answers will be - media, economy & music (in no particular order). The hidden but the deepest impact is though felt on the enviorment. The author does this interseting exercise that forms the basis of half of the book - he takes an iPhone & pulverises it. He gets to know what minerals are used (and in what %). The author then takes us to a whirlwind tour to where these minerals origniate- from the mines in Chine to the state-run smelters in Bolivia, from the refinieries situated at the white desert-Salar del Carmen to many other deeper holes on earth. Miners & workers, who form the first chain that links to this top selling smart device, share a deep mistrust to automation & machinery. They use pickaxes and dynamite to break the rock free and load it into mine carts for transportation; the workers are said to distrust more efficient technologies because they would eliminate jobs. As a result, the mining inside Cerro Rico looks a lot like it did hundreds of years ago.It means your iPhone begins with thousands of miners working in often brutal conditions on nearly every continent to dredge up the raw elements that make its components possible. This is a probably the biggest highlight of this book. Going to other parts of the book - the author follows a same pattern - take one component of the device say the battery, touch-based UI or the screen; trace the origin of this component & link to how it eventually founds its way to the iPhone. The author, I must admit, takes great pain in remiding us constantly that Apple is not a true inventor of many things that it is associated with. The weak part of the book is the elaborative account of his sorjourn to Foxconn - he pulishes more or less the same of what we have already heard. I love reading about Apple - this books really in deep on what goes behind to create a succesful product. It is an eye opener.
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  • Tom Keenan
    June 28, 2017
    Disappointing. I think there has to be several great stories related to the development of the iPhone. There are a few of them here. Admittedly there is a problem given Apple's penchant for secrecy many of the original participants wouldn't give interviews and several others have died. But Merchant's credibility was was damaged, in my eyes, by several statements that were untrue and others that have been contested.In addition, it seems that Merchant implies culpability on Apple's part for the pr Disappointing. I think there has to be several great stories related to the development of the iPhone. There are a few of them here. Admittedly there is a problem given Apple's penchant for secrecy many of the original participants wouldn't give interviews and several others have died. But Merchant's credibility was was damaged, in my eyes, by several statements that were untrue and others that have been contested.In addition, it seems that Merchant implies culpability on Apple's part for the problems with mining elements that are used in the iPhone, which to me seemed pretty far down the supply chain. It appeared to me to be blaming Apple for many of the problems of capitalism.Could have been much better.
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  • Daniel
    June 30, 2017
    A near definitive account of a sweatshop underneath a pixie dust factoryWe believe in magic. Unobtrusive, short, self explanatory, exhilarating and full of mystery, it titillates the senses and drives imagination. What was built as a imaginative drive of one person was instead a decade long sweatshop inquisitive creative process by those who believed in the art of the technologically impossible - and made that possible.
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  • I.
    June 27, 2017
    I live tech stuff and this book sounded more interesting to me than it turned out to be If the reader wants to know about conditions in China and where the raw materials come from, then it's a good book I wanted more how they designed it etc So it's an just OK
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  • Jim
    June 27, 2017
    The story behind the iPhone makes for great reading for technophiles. Up there with "What the Dormouse Said" as my favorite computer and technology books.
  • Pat Cummings
    June 28, 2017
    Will never look at my iPhone the same way. Great stories and tidbits of information about all aspects of the device from inception, design, product teams and manufacturing. Did you know the average employee in an Apple stores brings in over $400,000 in sales?
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