Thoughts on the Upcoming iPhone’s Design

John Gruber, Daring Fireball:

I detect an undercurrent of sentiment that if Apple announces the iPhone 4S, it’d be a letdown, but if they announce the iPhone 5, it’d be exciting. But this is all merely about the how the thing looks on the outside. A new form factor would by definition bring more “new-ness” to the announcement, but why should an iPhone 4-lookalike “iPhone 4S” be considered disappointing if it contains significantly improved components? The iPhone 4 is, I think it fair to say, the most popular device Apple has ever made.

Disappointment wouldn’t be surprising, considering it’s human nature to want new things. Plus the iPhone 4’s design is a little ‘old’ by tech standards. Still, Gruber makes a few good points, especially with regards to symmetry and the upcoming iPhone’s rumoured teardrop shape:

But here’s the thing: Something about this design seems wrong to me. The proportions seem off. Wouldn’t a teardrop body feel weirdly unbalanced when held horizontally? Look at MacRumors’s mockup of this purported design. It strikes me as ungainly that the “forehead” is smaller than the “chin” on the front face. On all previous iPhones the forehead and chin are the same size, which makes the iPhone look “right” no matter how it’s oriented. This iPhone seems like something that would only look right or feel right when held in portrait.

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