Although it may look quite the opposite, Apple’s main task was not to make a popular, thus a visible device, but to make it fully transparent and even invisible, from user perspective.
They managed to build a device that you can easily forget about, especially when you are using it heavily. The paradox is the hardware is working so fine compared to user’s expectations, thus you can dive deeper into what you were doing, i.e.: into your favorite apps.
The main user focus is on the app utility and beauty, and not on the device; the second one disappears, letting the developers to do their magic, in a direct connection to the end-user.
Speaking of magic, what’s undeniable magic about iPhone or iPad is their apps and how well they’re running, and not the devices. The devices have a single scope: to let the user dive and be captured by magic, novelty and high creativity which are the result of thousands of professional, hard working and sometimes genius developers, willing to please, help, amaze and bewilder the user. If they don’t succeed in any of those, they don’t make money, therefore they starve.
Apple’s magic is just a word Jobs’ using to prepare the user for what’s beyond the hardware specs: the real magic of the beautiful, extreme designed, addictive apps.
Going back to beginning: when diving into an app, the only task the device should be taking care of, is to let you do whatever the developer lets you do within the app’s universe, not limited by the device. In front of the user, the relation between the app and the hardware (or OS) is one between the master and the slave. Of course, this is the last mile to the user, and there are many other types of relation between the devs and Apple, but this is not our concern. All I need to know is that in front of my eyes, the app has to absolutely rule over the device and make it do whatever the dev intended, never ever less. Should anywhere in this journey to me the device fail or should the app ask too much from it, or should they not communicate well enough to know from each other’s limitation, then my user experience is ruined.
The real magic of Apple is, mark my words, to make the iPhone disappear just in front of your eyes thus clearing the path from the dev to his user.