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.
The One Device 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.
Brian Merchant is the senior editor of Motherboard, VICE's science and technology outlet, the founder/editor of Terraform, its online fiction outlet, and his work has appeared in the Guardian, Slate, VICE Magazine, Salon, Fast Company, Discovery, GOOD, Paste, Grist, and beyond. His work frequently appears on the front pages of Reddit, Digg, and Slashdot.