We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The One Device Audiobook

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone

Regular Price:$29.65
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The secret history of the invention that changed everything - and became the most profitable product in the world.

Odds are that right now, an iPhone is within reach. But before Steve Jobs introduced us to "the one device", as he called it, a cell phone was merely what you used to make calls on the go.

How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? Veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the inside story you won't hear from Cupertino - based on his exclusive interviews with the engineers, inventors, and developers who guided every stage of the iPhone's creation.

This deep dive takes you from inside One Infinite Loop to 19th century France to WWII America, from the driest place on earth to a Kenyan pit of toxic e-waste, and even deep inside Shenzhen's notorious "suicide factories". It's a firsthand look at how the cutting-edge tech that makes the world work - touch screens, motion trackers, and even AI - made their way into our pockets.

The One Device is a road map for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age, and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, 10 years in the making, of the device that changed everything.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Brian Merchant (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"The One Device is a tour de force, with fast-paced edge and heaps of analytical insight." (Ashlee Vance, New York Times best-selling author of Elon Musk)

"A stunning book. You will never look at your iPhone the same way again." (Dan Lyons, New York Times best-selling author of Disrupted)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (217 )
5 star
 (110)
4 star
 (76)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.3 (200 )
5 star
 (100)
4 star
 (65)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.5 (200 )
5 star
 (121)
4 star
 (58)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jess B hutchins 07-13-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great"

    You want to know where the iPhone comes from. This book gives you what you need to know of the man hours that make the device in your pocket happen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-11-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "TECH PORN AT ITS BEST"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was so much fun. I loved it. It teaches the history of every element of iPhone. a glimpse into how it all came together. The soap opera that is Steve Jobs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernard Chaves Angola 07-06-17
    Bernard Chaves Angola 07-06-17 Member Since 2015

    Angola Fisherman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating!"

    Great story. Very enjoyable and entertaining.
    Would recommend this book to anyone who interested in iPhones.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GARY victorville, CA, United States 07-04-17
    GARY victorville, CA, United States 07-04-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book about the iPhone creation"

    Heard the writer on the TWiT network triangulation. Loved how he communicated and instantly bought the book. Listen to it in two days and I'm now on my second run through. Some of the stories you've heard before if you've read some of the Steve Jobs biography's, however he goes into much greater detail. This one definitely deserves five stars.

    Gary
    Victorville, California.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hans Marshalleck 07-04-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking"

    gonna put my phone down now. After sobering revelations from listening to this book. Indepth look is a must listen for any die hard iphone fan.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cody Konior 07-27-17
    Cody Konior 07-27-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely mixed feelings"
    Would you listen to The One Device again? Why?

    No. It just wasn't that good.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I felt like it was a very good attempt at making a book about the iPhone and it had many interesting facts and moments.

    But I felt that the book was a little meandering and not very cohesive. I like to start a non-fiction book with some kind of mental map of where we're going. In this book I often found myself getting bored and frustrated and just hanging on waiting until the next change in topic (which was often not far around the corner).

    So I would have liked a stronger introduction laying out the format.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I wasn't a fan of the narrators voice - it felt like listening to someone with a blocked nose for hours upon hours. I know this is a personal feeling though, and I don't want to knock them, but it made me uncomfortable.


    Any additional comments?

    I rated the book and the narration 3 stars. But I felt that the book overall was worth 4 stars. Yes - despite not being great, or having a great narrator, there's just no other source like this and I think it's worth listening to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn A. Bumgarner Nashville, TN 07-25-17
    Shawn A. Bumgarner Nashville, TN 07-25-17 Member Since 2011

    ranger92

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting read"

    It left me wanting a little more info to be honest. I feel like there is a lot of the story that only Apple itself can tell but probably never will.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Bohnert San Francisco CA 07-17-17
    E. Bohnert San Francisco CA 07-17-17 Member Since 2015

    Ted

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very incredible book. A must read experience!"

    The One Device is a book of this very moment in time. I began my iPhone experience with the iPhone 2. And just recently bought my newest one, an iPhone 7 Plus (Red). All bought in Palo Alto, California! I've known for a while that this one device is a magical high tech wonder. But why? And in how many ways? This important book by Brian Merchant helps me to understand these questions better; and to further explore the power and meaning of the iPhone, and why it is a truly iconic and historical item and device. No other "thing" than my clothing and drivers license do I automatically carry with me practically everywhere I go. Why is that? For me, this excellent book is a good place to begin looking for a rich and comprehensive answer. Apple and Steve Jobs and the Apple Team are certainly up there with the rare "Greats" of our era.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Grimes 08-19-17
    Jeff Grimes 08-19-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Factual history? Makes you think, beware bias"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    There is a lot of great content to this book, but the way it is organized presents issues. I would have grouped the chapters in a different fashion. At times it felt like two books. One story is the actual development of the iPhone and the other book is the technological advances that made the individual components possible. As a result, the narrative feels disjointed.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Brian Merchant again?

    Yes, He has given a different viewpoint. However, I would not consider his works as an unbiased history of event.

    Merchants work reminds me more of Capote's work than a strict history.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed the parts of the book that explored the development of the technology that made the iPhone possible. With this being said, the editorializing from the author could have been omitted. I think that everyone knows that Jobs did not invent glass :)


    Was The One Device worth the listening time?

    For an accurate depiction of how the iPhone was developed from the early 2000 on, I would say it is lacking. Not that the facts are incorrect, but they are presented out of context. Consider the chapter on GPS that explores the origins of this system. When the author ties it back to the launch of the original iPhone, it is implied that GPS is present in the hardware. This is not true as the first GPS radio included in the iPhone did not occur until the iPhone 3G. While this should not be a huge issue for the average reader, if you want an easy to follow accurate historical accounting, this book falls short.

    As far as a good use of time reading this book, I did enjoy it. If you can understand bias from fact (which in this book the author does not hide), and follow the disjointed narrative, it would not be a waste of time.

    One thing I would like to point out, is that this is not a "pro-Jobs" book which I find refreshing. However I do not feel that it was balanced in giving Jobs credit to bringing this device to fruition.


    Any additional comments?

    Very interesting book. It does sing the praises of the individuals that originated the technologies that comprise the iPhone, however it does downplay Job's role in bringing it to market.

    There is a very liberal bias (not knocking liberals as I consider myself more liberal than conservative). This mitigates the value of this book as a historical account. With this being said, this is the only source that I have read about Apple that "married" the cost of technological advancement with the impact on humans and human life.

    Some of the facts I would consider suspect, however this could just be the way the book is structured. However this may be attributed the natural way the narrative had to flow.

    And apologies for a disjointed review, this was unavoidable as I am still of "two minds" about this book. This is the first detailed review I have written about a book. As such, If the authors intention was to make me "Think Different". He succeeded

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Ford Western East Village 07-30-17
    Jacob Ford Western East Village 07-30-17 Member Since 2017

    Designer of Things

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A hint at what this generation might be studied for"

    Don’t listen to this for prose. Don’t listen to this for scandal. Definitely don’t listen for its weird cover art. Listen because it credits the thousands who invented the iPhone, and not any one inventor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.