Apple’s iPhone 5 is almost in public hands, is the iphone 4s and, with some time before the reviews start coming in, it already clear what Apple longterm strategy is with the iPhone visavis design. With over two million preorders in two days, it breaking preorder records at tons of carriers, despite the inevitable declarations by some people that the update wasn that great. I be buying one, mostly because my iPhone 4 is feeling a bit weathered and I know there are going to be some great games on the iPhone 5, and for its powerful CPU/GPU combo. Plus, I long overdue for some Siri goodness.
But I admit that there a part of me that wanted something more radically different with the iPhone 5. Even compared to the non4S I have, Apple’s iPhone 5 is an incremental change, physically speaking. Apple clearly following an it ain broke, don fix it design philosophy, and, from a guy who has a bad habit of fixing stuff that not broke (and breaking them in the process), that a good philosophy to have. As Windows 8 is starting to show us, bold and different aren always welcome changes bold and different should never trump
Apple likens its phones to a professional is the iphone 4s digital camera. It worked for years on the design, so why just whip out a new shape for the sake of it? A thinner phone makes sense huge doesn Ask faithful Canon 5D users. The 5D MK III looks almost exactly like the two generations of cameras before it and any external design changes are similarly slight. If Canon suddenly made the 5D MK IV body into something from Dr. Seuss, I sure there be a few goofs who’d love it, but it wouldn make it any better for fitting in the palm of your hand. This isn a shirt they making. Fashion is fickle utilitarian design shouldn be different for the sake of it. A car can look like a wang, but if the steering wheel is shaped like one and the dashboard is composed of wangs instead of numbers, then you have a problem.
So, whether you like it or not, Apple strategy is to update the iPhone guts, make slight design changes that make sense and add software and hardware features like Siri and idiotproof panoramic shooting. We have to wait for the reviews to see how the rest fares vs. the very mature Android sets and the stillvaporware Windows 8 phones.
But this evolutionary approach creates a is the iphone 4s problem: Apple is locking itself into longterm commitments when it says stuff like, made to fit in the average hand, and any deviation from that evolutionary design will seem like a political flipflop. It just changed the earphones, goofily dubbed and while the new design is radically different, its redesign was guided by ergonomics. Will we ever see the EarPods change now that they scanned hundreds of ear shapes and built, according to Apple, the perfect acoustic device for everyone hear holes? I doubt it.
I totally understand where Apple coming from with is the iphone 4s its evolutionary design approach, but I also think it has its limits. Apple could be digging itself into a trench that it have a hard time moving from in the future. Anyway, at this point, we know its sandbags are filled with gold. That can hurt.
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