THROWBACK THURSDAY: Dieter Rams

Apple’s iPhone doesn’t stand alone anymore, but it’s still significant when it gets a refresh. The world has actually changed quite a bit since the iPhone 6 launch two years ago. Most of us aren’t on two-year contracts anymore and the days when you could get a high-end smartphone for free are pretty much gone too. There’s a lot more freedom to choose when you upgrade and what you upgrade to, but I’m pretty sure most folks are paying more today. Sure they’re getting more but somehow taking away the free phones didn’t actually make cell phone service go down in price.

It won’t be long before we get a real look at iPhone 7, although the veil of secrecy that once covered all Apple products has long been punctured. Apple faithful will tell you that the new phone will probably lose the headphone jack, physical mute button, and even the physical home button, although the home button will probably be replaced by a haptic feedback pad like the current Macbook has. It won’t look a lot different, though, and that very fact represents a bit of a change for Apple. iPhones have always looked like iPhones, but every generation has been unique. This next generation isn’t expected to look different enough for most folks to notice.

In commemoration of the forthcoming non-redesign of the iPhone, I’ll point you back to an article I did in 2013, about Dieter Rams, the “real” father of Apple design.

It’s hard to believe it but Mr. Rams worked in the late 1960s and early 1970s, designing products that most of us would think were brand new today. His clean, useful designs certainly influenced Apple design in the 1990s and into the 2000s, and since to be completely honest Apple seems to have stopped creating new designs I guess you could say he’s influencing the 2010s as well.

For those who are keeping score, I’m still an Apple guy, and probably likely to remain so, but I sure wish they would update their design aesthetic. It kind of stinks every time I find myself drooling over an Android phone. Dieter Rams is still with us at age 84… maybe we should ask him what the next phone should look like.