Every so often, a new Apple product comes along with a breakthrough form factor that Jonathan Ive’s design team will riff on for years to come. As a result, there are many recurring motifs that provide clues to where Apple’s industrial design is heading.
The original iPod was one-such design. With its metal back and translucent polycarbonate front. Many subsequent generations of iPod classic, iPhone and iPod touch followed its lead. The black bezel on the iPhone proved to be similarly influential – now almost every Mac also sports a similar shiny black bezel. Then there was the bulging and tapering of the MacBook Air, which was reflected in the 3rd generation iPod nano, and the most recent iPod classic. The extruded shape of the 2nd generation iPod nano was reflected in the Mac mini, Airport Extreme and Apple TV… The list is almost endless.
And so, with reports surfacing that the new iPhone 5 may sport an aluminum back-panel, it seems like a good bet that Apple are planning to riff on the new aluminum-backed iPad 2 design. In the iPad 2 promotional video, Ive describes how the three surfaces of the original iPad have been reduced to two. He explains they “got rid of the structural wall around the perimeter of the product and eliminated the edge.” Hmm, like that pesky antenna around the perimeter of the iPhone – wouldn’t it be great to eliminate that?
So, for your enjoyment, we’ve put together a mockup of what the iPhone 5 might look like if it adopted the “two-surface” motif of the iPad 2 – even with its own dinky smart cover. Let us know what you think in the comments.