Friday, July 30, 2010

From his point of view: Technology vs Style

Go back to the late 80s or early 90s and have a look at one of the first mobile phones. Now take a look at the new iPhone.

There are two obvious differences:
1. Technology
2. Style

Now I can understand the huge leap in technology between them and the fact that you can now stuff a million times more information and features into much smaller spaces. What I don't get, is the equally huge leap in terms of style!!!

Why did the mobile phone have to be so ugly ? Assuming that the size of it couldn't be any smaller, why couldn't it be better looking?

For those of you who will say that I'm judging by today's style standards, consider this: Did the bulky mobile phone look stylish back then? Definitely not! As far as I can remember people were almost ashamed of carrying them around - the only ones who had them were those who could afford them and really needed them (stock brokers, etc. - remember Wall Street and Michael Douglas' phone?).

Would people of the late 80s - early 90s carry Michael's mobile phone (assuming it was affordable to them) ? Probably not...

Now, you'll say that it was too big to carry around and therefore not stylish. However, I will kindly remind women of e.g. the oversize Birkin Bag. Huge, gigantic, utterly impractical... but stylish! So much that most women would want one (assuming it was affordable) - so, there goes this argument.

So, it wasn't the size of Michael's phone that made it unstylish, it was the actual design!

Is it that technology was the first priority and no one thought about making it look good, or that people who made mobile phones were really good at inventing stuff but had a crappy sense of style?

So what about today? I'd say that style finally managed to catch up with technology (or vice versa?), and that people have realized that style sells as much as - if not more - than the actual technology. So from now on (especially thanks to Apple) we will be seeing record selling consumer products to have a much better balance between style and technology than our parents were used to... No more ugly inventions!

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