The iPhone 7 looks like the iPhone 6 and why that’s a good thing

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jabingla2810, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. jabingla2810 macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    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.
  2. robE89 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2011
    Or it can just show lack of creativity? This can go both ways.

    I don't think Apple has any excuses to have those big bezels in 2016/2017. Don't get me wrong, i mostly like apple devices but finding excuses for them is why they won't try to change something.
  3. mjwebb macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2016
    Personally, I like the design of the device. It is functional, thin enough, I love the size/shape of it....I don't think there's anything that should be changed. But there is the aspect of being creative and new designs to show interest for the customer.

    I don't care for the design, but I do care for Apple's interest in our opinions.
  4. Bbqthis macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    I strongly believe the bezels are there because it makes it look like an iPhone. The iPhone is arguably the most recognizable device. From the front, they have all more or less looked identical, which is important for brand integrity. Just look at the Porsche 911. Changing the bezel size would make it not instantly recognizable and that could be seen as too big of a risk for the single most product.
  5. noobinator macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    I'd say it's only because they are holding off on the major re-design for the 10th anniversary iPhone 8. They don't want an S model (not re-designed) as the 10th anniversary.
  6. jabingla2810 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Oct 15, 2008
    You are thinking too narrow. My post isn't about Apple or finding excuses. It's about design.

    Check out Dieter Rams principles for design. His principles are followed by designers all over the world, and although design can be subjective, these principles can be applied to a lot of things.

    Two stand out regarding the new iPhone. Honest and long lasting.

    (Long last design, not battery life ha)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 2, 2016 ---
    The exact sort of opinion that drove me to make this post.

    Apple can't afford to wait a year, it's a long time in this business.

    The reason there isn't a complete redesign this year is that there isn't a reason for there to be. Maybe next year there will be, but it won't be because it's the 10th year anniversary.
  7. noobinator macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    The rumors are that the phone will have curved glass, OLED screen etc... What do you think is the reason they will do this next year when everything was readily available this year to do this sort of update?

    Apple is the king of marketing so I think they are holding back for the 10th anniversary to make it a "game changer". It's very, very risky in my opinion so I don't disagree with you.
  8. robE89 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2011
    Looking from this perspective, i guess you are right and makes sense.

    I get your perspective, just i see other phones packing a 5.1' screen in the same physical size as 6s which is only 4.7' and so on.
  9. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    At this point everything looks mostly the same. It's a thin rectangle with glass on one face. I don't need it to define my status.
  10. Chew Toy McCoy macrumors regular

    Chew Toy McCoy

    May 13, 2016

    But was it really? We don’t know what goes into Apple’s optimization for making a mostly great and stable experience. There’s a lot of hard work between readily available and making it a great experience. At the other end of the user experience you get exploding batteries. But hey, it looked great up to that point.

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