One of the snap reactions to Apple’s iPhone 4S was disappointment because people were expecting a new design for the phone.It’s not that the iPhone 4 has a bad design. It actually has best design of any phone on the market. It’s one of the nicest pieces of computing hardware ever. It’s solid, sleek ,and gorgeous.
But that doesn’t matter. People like new stuff. And after months of reports about a thinner, different iPhone, people wanted something, well, thinner and different.
According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, a new design was never planned for the iPhone 4S. Gruber spoke with sources in the know, and they informed him Apple was always planning to use the same design as the iPhone 4.
Why? Gruber doesn’t give a concrete reason, but says, “Apple isn’t going to make a new form factor just for the sake of newness itself — they make changes only if the changes make things decidedly better.”
He adds, he wouldn’t be surprised if next year’s iPhone looks just like the iPhone 4S.
On some level that would make sense. After all, Apple doesn’t redesign iMacs, or MacBooks every other year.
But, on the other hand, people like getting newly designed products, and we would imagine Apple’s fabulous industrial design team likes making new-looking products.
Plus, as Gruber points out, Apple is a company of cycles. The iPhone cycle appears to be iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, then iPhone 4, iPhone 4S. If maintains this cycle, then we could see an iPhone 5, followed by an iPhone 5S.