Exactly ten years ago on June 29, 2007 the first true smartphone went for sale in the United States. The 1st generation iPhone (also known as iPhone 2g or iPhone EDGE) is a milestone in the history of software engineering, user interface design and industrial design. The multi-touch touchscreen, the virtual keyboard, the intuitive interaction, the possibility to easily upgrade and backup iPhone OS were breakthrough revolutions, all in an 11.6 mm thick and five-button device. The team who worked on the iPhone, the super secret project Purple, made an incredible effort to create something that brings simplicity to an highly sophisticated product. Everything defers… to the screen which was conceived as an infinite pool that can suddenly light up and show the contents. It’s so simple, one and only one button, the iconic home button, is present in the front. As Jony Ive, Apple lead designer, reminds to us:
“I think that there’s a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation. It’s about bringing order to complexity”
Look at his face, he’s really touched, this is a statement of incredible importance not only for the design team, but for the whole Apple. It is the quintessence, the intimate nature of a man who devoted his life to designing and crafting products following a principle. He’s, maybe inadvertently, standing tall and telling us: Hey my name is Jony Ive and this is what i am and, therefore, what i do. The victory for beauty is not only in the product itself but in observing how much he cares about his values (and i’d add: how lucky he is to do what he truly loves). In a world of compromise the consistency to a principle shines bright. The creation of such a revolutionary product requires bravery, genius, dedication and vision. It’s the rejection of the lousy, sloppy and careless phones of that time. They questioned everything and they succeded. Beauty inside and outside is software and hardware in technological products and Steve Jobs knew very well that they have to be integrated to seamlessly work together. Yes Steve, it’s also a day to remember him and his vision. So thank you Steve, Jony and all the team. The iPhone has not only changed the way I use my phone and the things I am empowered to do with it, it has changed my aesthetic and therefore my morality.
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