23 February 2019

And one more thing: Did the iPhone just lose its cool factor?

After months of leaks, rumors and over-the-top hype, Apple has finally unveiled a first — its first Samsung smartphone.

The iPhone 6 is chock full of new features – bigger screen, higher resolution, thin and lighter design, faster processor plus a whole lot of nifty specs too technical for our taste.

In other words, the iPhone 6 works and looks an awful lot like a Samsung smartphone.

The first thing I noticed about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is their rounded edge, a throwback to the first iPhone Steve Jobs launched in 2007.

It was the standard of cool then, more for functionality, less for form.

But in the intervening years, the iPhone design has evolved closer to the Steve Jobs mantra of design trumping everything else.

By the time of the iPhone 4 and its later siblings, the handset had become even more cool for sheer coolness: it had become a piece of jewelry with its flat, metal-encased sides and bevelled edge much like a design classic, to hear chief designer Jony Ive put it.

So what on earth were the Apple guys thinking when they decided to copy Samsung?

If you haven’t heard, Samsung has just introduced a handset that’s very much like the perfect-looking iPhone of old.

Presumably, Samsung designers got wind of Apple’s plan to jettison the iPhone 5 look before Apple’s own designers realized it.

And perhaps not wanting to be called an Apple copycat again, Samsung waited until the first signs of a redesigned iPhone before making its move.

The result is more than coincidental.

The two rivals consciously decided to stop being in each other’s face. They just went ahead and copied each other.

Jobs was known to order people around to fit something that worked into something that looked beautiful.

Never mind what it did. People would soon find out, he would tell them.

But people would almost certainly pick up something they could feast their eyes on. Like a ravishing phone.

That same thinking gave birth to seven generations of the 2007 handset, each ever more beautiful than the one before it.

More than 472 million iPhones were sold between 2007 and the end of 2013, during which time Apple Inc. became the world’s most valuable stock.

Apple is confident that with the new product launch – laced with newcomers such as the iWatch and iWallet – it’s on track to wrap up its biggest year ever.

That would make Apple big, very big.

But cool?

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EJ Insight contributor

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