The iPhone X comes 10 years after the original iPhone. Even the name itself could be a not-so-subtle homage to this: Apple used X, the Roman numeral for 10, for years to name the Mac’s OS X operating system. But there is another 10th anniversary reference in the new iPhone X: It comes with an updated version of the original iPhone’s iconic wallpaper.
iPhone’s 10th anniversary
The first iPhone launched with a picture of a cloud-wreathed, blue-and-green Earth, as seen from space, on its lock screen. The same image is inside the recently leaked iOS 11 Gold Master, as part of a package of new wallpapers.
Of the new wallpapers, three are thought to be exclusive to the iPhone X, with black backgrounds intended to hide the camera notch at the top of the screen. One of these exclusive iPhone X wallpapers shows the same Earth-from-space image as the original iPhone, updated to support the hi-res screens of the modern-day iPhone. I overlaid one on top of the other in the above illustration.
Apple usually seems averse to nostalgia, preferring to look forward rather than to dwell on past achievements. In recent years, though, this attitude seems to have softened. The now-retro rainbow-striped Apple logo also makes a comeback in this new set of wallpapers, and has been seen in advertising material over the past few years.
Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh
Apple’s has dabbled with nostalgia in the past, and it didn’t turn out so well then. The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh was a hideous piece of early Jony Ive design, with leather palm-rests on the keyboard and a $7,499 price tag. Released in 1997, and discontinued a year later, Apple only built 12,000. The company now sells that many iPhones in about 20 minutes.
The iPhone X probably won’t be billed as an anniversary iPhone, but the X in the name alone continues an Apple heritage. And if the default wallpaper turns out to be the same as that of the original iPhone, there will surely be some cheers from the nerds in the keynote audience during today’s big iPhone X event.