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The Wild West Days of Phone Design
I do miss the Wild West days of cell phones, before we'd all settled on glass rectangles. It's always fun to watch competing manufacturers trying to figure out the ideal form for a new thing, and it's not the home runs as much as the swing-and-a-miss designs that I find the most interesting. In particular, that five-year span just before the first iPhone came out is when designers seemed to have a lot of latitude to experiment... More here.
Isn't it strange how the best and most quirky designs appear when a product is in its relative infancy (click the link above for some true quirkiness). It is almost like the manufacturers see the most popular form win and then they all fall in line. This happens in cars, watches, phones and so many other major product categories.