How iPhone May Change How We Carry Phones - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

07:29 PM
Michael Singer
Michael Singer

How iPhone May Change How We Carry Phones

Perhaps it's our Star Trek communicator roots, but North Americans are obsessed with clamshell designs. That may change dramatically if Apple's iPhone takes off with consumers.

Perhaps it's our Star Trek communicator roots, but North Americans are obsessed with clamshell designs. That may change dramatically if Apple's iPhone takes off with consumers.Form follows function in most design houses, which is why the smartphone has been primarily a candy bar design -- meaning no lid or flip-up screen. That's because a bar (or QWERTY slab) is the most efficient form factor for checking e-mail. Elsewhere in the world, the bar design is the preferred method of handset form factor. Analysts point to the pervasive 3G networks and text-crazed masses outside the United States for driving that trend.

The question remains: Will mainstream consumers get so used to the iPhone experience that they would be willing to lose the clam shell lid?

"For basic voice, I don't think U.S. consumers are going to move away from clamshells that quickly. The folding form factor still has its advantages," said Avi Greengart the Principal Analyst for Mobile Devices with Current Analysis. "For example, it can be shorter in length when folded (which feels better in your pocket), and it never calls your mother by itself if you fail to master the rapid lock/unlock key press combinations most vendors insist on forcing on users."

But the iPhone's touch screen, presence awareness, and virtual keyboard overcome those traditional problems, although using the iPhone may take some getting used to. Even Walt Mossberg needed a couple of days to master the keypad. Still, Apple and its fans are quite certain consumers will take a shine to the device.

Michael Gartenberg VP and Research Director at JupiterResearch notes too that Apple has included a few design features to alleviate consumer fears about QWERTY smartphones.

Apple is using mineral crystal for its screen, which has a higher impact ratio," he said. "It would break if you took a hammer to it but the sensitivity of the screen is not like the plastic ones you find elsewhere."

iPod owners know that to be true from the scratches on their screens. And instead of providing a cover in the box, Apple will again rely on the multitudes of third-party companies to design those protective materials for the iPhone

Still, once you opt in to the base prices of $499 for the device and $59 monthly carrier plan, you're probably not going to whip that iPhone around like a sack of potatoes. You'll probably even forgo the belt attachments for something a little more secure. a Halliburton case.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll