I was honestly turned off by the industrial design of iPhone 6. Segmented back and general absence of Apple’s design standard left me cold; while I dig the curved glass and round edges, the protruding camera lens and unnecessary complexity of the design left me wondering; is Apple becoming just another gadget company?
Take for example, iPod Classic, especially the last version with click wheel. From industrial design point of view, there’s no question about it, it’s extremely well designed. It’s bold and original. It can be recognised from distance; it’s iPod, clear and simple.
iPhone 3G, iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 (and 5s) were also good designs. My own favourite is still black iPhone 5. It is obviously informed design and it has nothing unnecessary. It is also honestly black; everything is black in this phone and there is no decoration. It looks like monolith from 2001: Space Odyssey, and it’s what I like; it’s elegant and sophisticated, and yet so simple.
I believe industrial design should be a statement of the core values of the company that manufactures it. For example, organic curves of Genelec’s speakers is a bold design that goes surely noticed. Seeing the speakers I felt that the designers must be beautiful people. (and they really are, by the way). Moreover the design serves a purpose; the organic shape provides a stronger structure and less interference for sound. Design is communication.
Another example; Apple’s Macbook Pro. It’s is simplified design from earlier versions. The “Macbook Pro” title is gone from the display, the sleep LED light is gone too, and I don’t miss either of them. The new Macbook Pro is a great and sophisticated design that is joy to use. There are no visible segments except the removable bottom plate. The computer has clean lines and form that serves function. I liked Apple’s choice to simplify the existing design.
With iPhone 6, Apple however seems confused. It doesn’t even lie flat on surface because of the protruding camera lens. It’s just a packet of latest technology. It seems to me that Apple just had to make it thinner so that they could say it’s thinner.
It is dangerous game; can they make iPhone 7 even more thinner? I am not expert by any means what comes to cellular antennas but there must have been a better way to get antennas working than accept the god-awful bloody segmented back; they could have made the phone from polycarbonate for all I care if that would result a cleaner design.
Technology should enhance our lives in unobtrusive, visually pleasing way. It saddens me to see that Apple seems to be losing it’s core values regarding their phone’s design.