There was tremendous and rapid innovation in hardware – phones in 2009 looked totally different from phones in 2001. There were sliders, phone with keyboards, phones with dual hinges – because we hadn’t yet settled into the comfortable slate form factor that we use today, everyone was trying a different approach.
Today, nearly every smart phone – whether IOS, Android, or Windows 7 – looks nearly identical, with only occasional alterations to the formula. Even RIM has moved towards this design as well for some of its models. Since 2007 there has been amazingly little evolution design-wise, as the focus has shifted to the OS and to apps.
I’m bored. My hope for CES 2011? To see some truly unusual, groundbreaking hardware designs for phones. How about transparent or flexible displays? How about dynamic keyboards? How about something I’ve never seen before?
Look at the fashion world or the automotive world. These industries constantly evolve their aesthetic approach – distinct from functionality. They do this to avoid stagnancy and to keep consumers excited.
We need the same. Let’s hope we get a taste at CES.
Ethan Rasiel is General Manager at a Public Relations firm in New York City. The views above are his alone and do not represent those of his employer or any client.