Possible Inspiration for the Apple iPhone 4G

Upon seeing the photos of the new iPhone 4G (or whatever you wanna’ call it) I was immediately curious why the shape had suddenly changed so drastically. But knowing Jonathan Ive and how his brain works, you start to realize that Dieter Rams’ design ideas are some of the most basic building blocks of all modern day Apple products. So I did a little digging and came across the two images above from a Dieter Rams Flickr pool and I have to say that the resemblance is definitely there. Having one material wrap around another like that is a nice touch and I think that it’s a nice iteration to liven up the current slab that is the iPhone.

My only real beef with this design are the two, independent volume buttons. I really like the feeling of the current volume rocker and how it’s one piece of metal. I’d guess that it’s a little less intuitive to tell which button is which by simply touching. Clearly I haven’t found one of these lying around in a bar or anything, that’s just my feeling. Otherwise I’m pretty excited to see if this shape is the real shape or if they’re still in the design process, though I think either way people are gonna be excited.


17 Comments Possible Inspiration for the Apple iPhone 4G

  1. Jono April 20, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    If anything, I think the new iPhone 4G is just continuing the design aesthetic Apple started with their unibody macbook pros (aluminum feel, sharp angles, black accents).

  2. Bobby Solomon April 20, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    @A. Meller – Yeah, clearly I wasn’t the only one who picked up on the Rams influence.

  3. boo April 20, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    I’m a little torn about the design; I get how it’s conforming to apple’s current design aesthetic, but I really like the curvy back of the current iphone. The 4g looks like any other smartphone now. I do have time to get to love this thing, so we’ll see

  4. K Pimmel April 20, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    I had the same thought, and came across this Gizmodo article which has a nice side-by-side of Braun / Rams works vs Apple products http://ow.ly/1AqTi

  5. A. Meller April 20, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    @Bobby Solomon

    Indeed. Good, clean design is good, clean design, no matter how you look at it!

  6. Jasper April 20, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    I really like the look of this prototype, and I love the products you’ve picked up on as inspiration. Not sure how, but it makes me want one more.

  7. ron April 20, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    getting rid of the rocker and replacing with 2 separate buttons probably means theyll function as something other than just volume control, like maybe a physical button for taking pictures.

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  9. Tina Notaro April 20, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    It’s gorgeous :o

  10. Alex April 20, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    I’m all for the retro look. The curved back always seemed a little strange anyway.

  11. rachelmc April 20, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    I’m curious to see if Apple will be making any design changes based on the fact that the images have leaked (perhaps responding to the volume button critique — it’s been mentioned frequently). Or perhaps it’s far too late in the process for that.

  12. Carlos April 20, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Sincerely, I am not sure that this “thing” is the actual iphone 4g. There is something weird about GIZMODO’s source, even if it is himself/herself. The dasign is too “bricked” to be true, I hate that “design”.

    Anyways, there is some paranoia about apple products, what else can we expect from fans?.

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  14. micah lindenberger April 20, 2010 at 10:22 PM

    Im pretty sure everything is going Star Wars. Basically thats the ultimate mecca of furturistic gadget interface design…I’m sure trekkys would argue that point though…but no one cares.

  15. Chipotle April 21, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    I saw that video with the diferences of this 4g design and I have to say that I quite aweful, or at least will take me some time to like it, but right now I still choose the iPhone3g still

  16. Beth April 21, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    The volume buttons look exactly like the buttons on my Nooka watch… I hope they offer a white version as well as the black.

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