You don’t have to buy a new iPhone every year, says iPhone co-creator

The iPhone has reached a level where most people can afford them and they don’t have to buy the latest generation of the phone every year, said Tony Fadell at TechSparks 2022.

You don’t have to buy a new iPhone every year, says iPhone co-creator

Thursday November 10, 2022,

3 min Read

The co-creator of the iPhone, ironically, it appears, isn't a big fan of people chasing every new upgrade.

Apple's iPhone has reached a level where most people—anywhere around the world—can afford and use the devices. And Tony Fadell, the co-creator of the iPhone, says they don’t need to buy the latest generation of the phone each year.

Tony, himself, has a 12th generation iPhone, he said at TechSparks, YourStory's flagship event and India's most influential startup-tech conference.

"The only thing you have to realise is just as revolutionary as the computer was or the mobile phone was back in the day, that sometimes at some point, they reach a technological pinnacle,” Tony told YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma over a video interview.

Tony is also the inventor of the iPod—the iconic handheld music device that played an important role in the development of the iPhone. Twenty years and 32 models later, Apple discontinued the iPod in May this year.

“We should not think any differently about innovation when it comes to that point of the curve,” Tony said. “The iPod, it may be gone, but it will never be forgotten, because Apple... it won’t be the Apple of today without the iPod."

After leaving Apple, Tony co-founded Nest Labs—the company that created the Nest Smart Thermostat. In 2016, Time named the iPod, the iPhone, and the Nest Thermostat as three of the “50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time”.

Asked about what high-impact products entrepreneurs can build in the world, Tony said people should focus on the climate crisis and build products around a circular economy.

Earlier this year, the iPhone co-creator released his new book titled, 'Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making'. 

“The book is trying to be an encyclopedia of mentorship, to capture all those things that I have learned through failure. I have learned from some of the best mentors in the world and give back the way I was given to,” he said.

Tony is an engineer, designer, investor, mentor, and author. He has built things that have changed the world, and billions globally have used his creations.


In his book, he wrote, “Building a product is like making a song. The band is composed of marketing, sales, engineering, support, manufacturing, PR, and legal. And the product manager is the producer—making sure everyone knows the melody, that nobody is out of tune, and everyone is doing their part."

He continues, "They’re the only person who can see and hear how all the pieces are coming together, so they can tell when there’s too much bassoon or when a drum solo’s going on too long when features get out of whack or people get so caught up in their own project that they forget the big picture.”

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Edited by Suman Singh