Since we have heard the news that the iPhone 7 will look very similar to the iPhone 6, some people on this board have said: “It’s a minor update” “Nothings different, same as last year” “3 years of the same design, would never happen with Steve Jobs here.” And the problem with statements like this is that they just aren’t true. The only reason Apple have ever changed the appearance of the iPhone has been a byproduct of a technological breakthrough, something that would lead to a better product. They have never changed its appearance for the sake of change. Check out 23:45 of this video. Jony Ive discusses the aspects of poor design he doesn’t like, which includes being asked to “Make it look different.” It would be really easy for Apple to change the appearance of the iPhone 7, perhaps keep the same shape but go back to an all Glass Back, sounds pretty cool right? Everyone would think it’s a massive update, and people wouldn’t complain about being ‘the same as last year’! So why haven’t Apple just done something like that? The problem with this that it wouldn’t be an improvement, it wouldn’t be a better product, it would just be different. It takes guts to make this decision in todays phone market. Other companies are coming out with some really unique phone designs. Motorola with their modular attachments and Samsung with their Edge display. To more understand why Apple redesigned the iPhone every other year let’s look at the reasons. iPhone 3 to iPhone 4 The iPhone 4’s redesign was a result of a new antenna design. The antenna of the iPhone 4 also acted as the frame and body of the phone. It was an entire rethink of the antenna, which led to the phone looking like it did. The glass on the front and back to let the radios work best. iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 At the time, the iPhone (Apple’s most popular product) was the only Apple product not to utilise the unibody process Apple pioneered and revealed in late 2008. Manufacturing the body of a product from a solid piece of aluminum has massive benefits, less parts, less joins, less margin for error, less flex, less creak etc etc The iPhone 5 was Apple’s vision of a phone using the unibody process. iPhone 5 to iPhone 6 The design of the iPhone 6 was all a result of having a larger display. Jony Ive describes this in the video posted above. The curved sides of the iPhone make it feel narrower that it actually is, resulting in a comfortable phone to hold. You may have noticed that I left out the iPhone 2G to iPhone 3G, and I did that because the reason behind its redesign is something very unique in Apple’s history. It was the make it cheaper. The first iPhone, while a critical success, priced out most of its buyers, and to fix this it was made cheaper, even under Steve Jobs watch, go figure. So why is the iPhone 7 looking like an iPhone 6 a good thing? It shows Apple hasn’t changed and it still cares about design. If there isn't a reason to change something, then don’t change it, despite market pressure to do so, don’t change the design for an arbitrary reason just to, “Make it look new, make it look different." This philosophy has served Apple well across all it’s products for the past 20 years, some, of which haven’t changed appearance for 4 or 5 years. And while it can be frustrating, because seeing something totally new is always exciting, just know that when we do see something new it will be the result of something really cool.