The iPhone, despite all of it’s new technological features and groundbreaking concepts, surprises a lot of people who see it for the first time. Expecting something either insanely compact which folds out like a transformers toy, or something fairly large with protrusions that look like a science fiction novel concept machine. They are instead confronted with a small, thin, rectangular device. Period. Looking like a souped-up Ipod and nothing more, the iPhone’s simplicity hides a multitude of features behind it’s simple facade.
Extremely Streamlined Profile
The iPhone was designed along the same lines as an Ipod. It’s meant to be extremely functional and convenient while avoiding the ‘high tech’ look that quite a few telephones try to achieve. It’s simply a thin rectangular device with no protrusions, very few buttons, and a large screen covering most of one side. Naturally, it also has a few plug ports for external devices like Bluetooth headsets and the like, but that’s about it.
The Screen Is Both Display And Interface
The main reason why the iPhone’s design is so simple is because the large LCD screen that makes up one face of the iPhone is both it’s display and main means of interface. The 3.5 inch LCD screen is touch sensitive, and requires no stylus. It can be manipulated with one’s fingers. The menu on the screen can be used to select different modes for the iPhone, switching from using it as an Ipod to a Phone or as a web browser. This allows for a much simpler design to the phone, as opposed to some other competing multi-use phones which actually use slide-out panels with miniature keyboards and even built in track balls for cursor movement.
The third design principle behind the iPhone’s simplicity could be both good or bad depending on the perspective of the user. You see, the unit’s memory and batteries are integral to the unit and can’t be replaced or upgraded except by taking them to an Apple shop. On the one hand, this makes the iPhone much more stable and allows for higher battery capacities and more memory space with less bulk. On the other hand, some users appreciate the convenience of carrying additional memory sticks and batteries as spares. This feature has been a major point of attack by critics of the iPhone, but by and large those who have purchased iPhones often find the built in memory space and battery life are more than sufficient for their day to day needs.