Most users can’t call out the exact design decisions that are the hallmark of Apple’s now legendary attention to detail in branding and product design. That isn’t to say that they don’t recognize it when they see it. Sparse whites, deep coloring and a lack of frills are all what Steve Job’s Apple were known for. However as this week’s launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c shows, in the age of Tim Cook Apple seems more ready to complicate items and add crowning touches on things that its former CEO may have never approved of.
This week’s event certainly proved that Apple can still crank out smartphones with impressive new functionality. The iPhone 5s’s TouchID functionality is bold and innovative to say the least. But the company’s marketing seems to be shifting away from what it was during Steve Jobs’ tenure at the company.
For example, there was a time that the thought of Apple plastering pastel colors all over its pristine white website would be unthinkable. Following the début of the iPhone 5c, however, Apple’s entire homepage was covered by a never-ending ticker that shifted the colors of the entire site’s design to showcase the iPhone 5c’s color options.
Seeing this blatant Apple-style violation might force users to revisit some of the choices Apple has recently made concerning its hardware products. The iPod Nano’s software design caused a stir when it debuted with its bright colors and colored gradient app icons. For a company that used to pride itself on clean lines and a lack of frills, its latest iPod touch has a lanyard holder that looks a lot like a hardware frill. Even the new colored cases the company introduced for the iPhone 5c featured circled color patterns that seem fresh from the mind of someone who didn’t read the Steve Jobs design manifesto.
Of course, charges like these aren’t new, industry insiders have watched the company’s products for years, putting every device it makes under a microscope to see if it’s still the same company that cranked out products like the iPhone and iPad.
It’s likely that Apple will keep innovating, it’ll keep introducing new devices that push the envelope feature-wise. It’s also clear, that Apple is slowly turning into a company with Tim Cook’s unique marketing and branding perspective.
Whether that’s good or band depends on the result users get at their local retail locations.
The iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s go on sale September 20th.
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