Steven Sinofsky looking at the iPhone 7 and the Depth Effect:
Each of these innovations in tools is creating a new form of imaging. These are not just “features” but we are slowly observing a paradigm shift. When you consider this, the iPhone 7 camera is not just “cool photo blur feature” but the start of a new paradigm where a new type of image is defined. If you think back, there was a time before the “norm” seen in images today. That norm was defined by the constraint of the tool (and physics).
He has some stellar examples of the Bokeh achieved from high end lenses. I had never seen the disc style Bokeh before from a mirror lens, but thought it was on point to show how that was highly popular when it came out, and is now see as a defect.
Yes, the iPhone doesn’t do bokeh, but that’s not the point. The point of the iPhone 7 Plus Depth Effect is not to mimic a high end lens, but rather to give you a “better” portrait. With that in mind, I don’t see how the feature is anything but a success.