For the past few years, the iPhone’s design has gone relatively unchanged. A new home button here, no headphone jack there. Put the iPhone 6 next to the iPhone 7, and it becomes apparent just how little has changed. Needless to say, the beautiful aluminum design that impressed in 2014 no longer stands out.
Apple’s design complacency is made even more apparent by the newly unveiled Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, which feature the most incredible hardware we’ve ever seen.
Since the original iPhone was released in 2007, we’ve come to expect major design revisions every few years. The iPhone 4 featured an all-glass chassis and metal frame. The iPhone 5 took a similar approach but replaced the glass back with an aluminum casing, while making the screen bigger. Then the iPhone 6 hit, which put the company’s legendary design prowess on full display.
But aluminum phones are a dime a dozen in 2017, and many of Apple’s competitors have caught up. Truth be told, Samsung devices have looked sleeker and more beautiful than the iPhone for months, and the S8 is further proof the Korean company is a design leader, not a follower. The new S8 makes the iPhone 7’s design look ordinary.
That’s why it’s imperative for Apple to step up when the iPhone 8 is launched later this year. If we’re being honest, the S8 is the iPhone many fans have been waiting for. Curved screen, minimal bezels, wireless charging, expandable storage, and a plethora of innovative ideas.
Lucky for Apple fans, rumors suggest that’s exactly what we’re going to get. Assuming it features Apple’s usual level of polish, the S8 won’t be the best-looking handset for long. Add in Apple’s unrivaled symmetry between software and hardware, and the iPhone 8 could be the perfect device. Plus, you know it’ll actual have an upgraded camera.
I’m not looking for Apple to make a carbon copy of the S8. But now that Samsung’s device has been unveiled, it shows how much ground the Cupertino company needs to make up. Design has always been Apple’s strong suit, yet it’s been lagging behind its competitors for a long time.
Hopefully, Jony Ive and his team are giving the S8 a hard look, thinking of ways it can improve the iPhone while introducing new ideas, such as a “function area” and AR features.
The iPhone is more popular than ever thanks to its rich feature set and library of apps, so design isn’t the only thing consumers look for. Clearly, fans value Apple’s iOS ecosystem. But I’m sure there are plenty of consumers who are gazing upon the S8 with envy.
Because this year’s release will celebrate the iPhone’s tenth anniversary, expectations for Apple to deliver a beautiful and innovative device are sky high. If Apple doesn’t update the iPhone 8’s design, well, the company might be even more lost than we first thought.
One thing’s for sure: It’s going to take more than a red iPhone for Apple to match the beauty of Samsung’s new flagship.