The new iPhone 4, like generations before it, is a beautifully styled object. It appears cunningly simple at first but the amount of attention given to detail and design of each piece that make up the exterior is truly admirable. The texture, the curve, the sheen and the bevel of each button and pieces are styled and carved to make this one of the most strikingly elegant industrial design in recent years.
But here is the striking irony. Apple has worked painstakingly to give the iPhone the right look. The design is a big deal for iPhone. Apple as well as consumers agree. Much of the fuss whenever an iPhone is introduced is about its design and how sleek and cool it is to look at. But no one I know who has an iPhone carries it in it’s naked state. Everybody, I mean everybody cover up their iPhones with hideous covers and protective jackets of some kind effectively canceling out the effort that made it beautiful in the first place. I’m sure the iPhone 4 will be no exception.
It’s disappointing to say the least that something so elegantly designed cannot practically be consumed in its purest form. Is iPhone missing something fundamental in its design? Should Apple design the next iPhone with protective rubber pods and anti-skid case? Or should they not give a damn about the design at all since everyone covers it up anyway? I guess these are questions no one asked. And so far, no one seems to complain about the irony.