Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why I think iPhone 4 is a major design failure

I am one of those who gush and oooh and aaah over most of the stuff Jonathan Ives designs for Apple. I already own an iPhone 3G and work in an office full of various Mac computers (from Power G5 to all shorts of iMacs to a MacBook Pro). But the current iPhone never did it for me. From the beginning, seeing the leaked device, up to now that I have handled the device, played with it, talked with many users and read a lot about it, I still don't like it.

First of all the design of the first three iPhones (2S, 3G, 3GS) was brilliant. Curvy, thin, elegant, different than anything else in the market. And they still look different than all other smart-phones out there. Instantly recognizable. Easy to hold. The feel of that backside curve in your palm is absolute perfection. Than the flat design for iPhone 4 comes along, with its beveled corners. Just like all the rest of the competition. Gone is the curve that made it so nice to hold.

Glass - back and front. Great idea, aesthetically perfect. But why make a device that is supposed to be handled a bit rough, one that usually lies on the back side, have glass there too? How ergonomic is that? How many fingerprints can one handle? (On the plus side, it does make for easier protective membrane application. But still). And the metal edge all around to hold that glass into place (among other things)? I don't need an iMac in my pocket, I have it on my desktop, thank you very much.

After many months, apple finally had to remove all traces of a white iPhone from their website. They cannot manufacture it because the white back surface with the glass diffuses the flash light of the camera so it ruins the photos you take (or try to). How can a big company such as this, with an incredible industrial design record, announce a product, much less take pre-orders for it, before testing it to see if it works properly? Latest news do seem to indicate it might be released next year. We'll have to wait and see.

I would be interested to find out your thoughts about this, so please feel free to add them in the comments.


  1. You're so goddamn right dude.

  2. The only reason I went from the 3GS to the new 4 is that my 3 decided to take a vacation on it's own in Nashville while I went back to NY. Yes, the 3GS was a nice design but most of the time it spent on its charger. The battery was terrible. I purchased an add on battery and it made the phone heavier. I like it anyway and I would have been happy to keep it.
    The 4 is not uncomfortable to hold but the glass back is useless as I keep a case on the phone anyway. The battery is so much better. The camera is excellent. The reception is not as good in some cases but that could be AT&T. I'm pleased with the phone and it's abilities and it still looks hot! I would like a red one, though.

  3. όπως και να έχει πάντα τα προϊόντα της Apple θα είναι αντικείμενα φετίχ.

  4. Anonymous11:45 pm

    Well, I was considering the iPhone 4 and the Desire HD. Judging on battery performance, I finally ordered the iPhone 4. I'll have to keep it a case because it breaks easily, but being dependent on a daily charge is a nightmare.

  5. Totally with you on that. It's ugly! I was dying for a white I have to say.. Lucky those who got it.

  6. I so agree with you. For me, one of the best design features of the old iPhone is that you can instantly determine which side is up before you pull it out, just by grabbing it inside your pocket.