Apple's latest "Shot on iPhone" video is awesome, yet deceptive

Apple's latest "Shot on iPhone" video is a crazy showcase of what can be done by strapping three dozen iPhone XRs on a rotating rig and shooting cool stuff with them from different angles. It's also a nice reminder that none of what we see in ads like this matters even in the slightest, as far as the end user is concerned.

The video itself is a short, visually impressive, and well-edited showcase of a bunch of creative ideas. It's cool to watch and it really was shot using only an iPhone XR — or 32 of them, rather — but there's no cheating in terms of what camera(s) Apple used to capture these moving images. If this happened five years ago, the quality of the video would have been impressive in itself for a smartphone camera, but now you can pretty much substitute all those iPhone XRs for 32 of almost any other phone on the market, and you'd get similarly good results.

Companies trying to make it seem far easier to shoot amazing footage with a smartphone than it is in reality, is nothing new. There has been no shortage of attempts to even pass photos from a professional camera as taken with a smartphone. But people quickly caught on, so said companies (mostly) stopped doing this and started taking impressive stills and videos with their real products instead. Of course, not without the help of "additional equipment and software", as popularized by a fine print in many of Apple's "Shot on iPhone" videos.

This latest iPhone XR camera showcase is just a bit more extreme than usual. Instead of showing what can be done with the phone in more realistic, easier to recreate scenarios (as has been done in the past), this one goes all out with bubbles full of smoke and a big ball of steel wool that gets set on fire. This makes it way more about the cool experiments, instead of what can be done with the iPhone.

The behind-the-scenes video further confirms this by being twice as long as the ad and being almost entirely concerned with the activities themselves. It's actually a refreshing reminder that behind all the flashy imagery of these ads, there's just a bunch of people having fun with more expensive, scaled-up versions of science experiments for kids.


Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless