My Beautiful, Obsolete iPhone: Has Apple Lost Its Design Mojo?
My lovely, tech-challenged wife bought her first iPhone the other day. She looked at the price for the 3GS at the AT&T store—99 cents—and she thought it was a typo or some sort of post-Steve Jobs, fine-print come-on. When I assured her that the right to buy a discounted smartphone was rolled into our monthly bill, she was sold.
Her pink Razr would finally be consigned to that Great Cell Phone Graveyard in the Sky.
As the clerk unboxed her shiny new Iphone, I experienced déjà vu all over again. I wanted to pick up my wife’s old-school iPhone and, well, fondle it. Like my own late, lamented 3G, this phone was rounded and smooth, one part worry beads, two parts Brancusi sculpture. As I peeled off the plastic, I cradled it in my hand and it cradled me back.
My new edgy, glassy iPhone4S is a much better phone. The retina display kicks serious butt. But as a piece of design, it just doesn’t compare to the 3G. Its busy design doesn’t look as sleek or feel as good. The 4S is different, but it isn’t better.
And that’s been the trend with the Apple products that have been finding their way into our household lately. When they’re powered off and unplugged, they’re not ugly or clunky. Unless you compare them to the product they’re replacing. Read More