The look of mobile devices has changed considerably over the past couple of years, or more precisely since Jan 9th 2007 when the iPhone was first unveiled. Since then there has been a gradual movement toward the ubiquitous large touch screen, rounded corners and thin form. To illustrate this, handsets from Samsung, Nokia and Apple are shown to the left – to the untrained eye there is little to differentiate between them.
Compare this to a few years ago when there was a proliferation of form factor – from the previously ubiquitous clamshell Motorola Razor to some of the more unusual designs from Nokia (below). Admittedly these are somewhat polarised examples to make a point but nevertheless it is fair to say that we are not seeing the range of design in the basic form factor that was the case a few years ago. Some would consider that this was due to the focus moving to the user interface rather than the form factor of the device and indeed, as we have reported previously, technology eco-systems are increasingly the critical element of the design process.