Monday, 29 March 2010

Design innovation vs Standards

One of the obvious aspects of Apple innovation, which I have tended not to blog much about in the past, is the Design work that applies to their products, led by Jonathan Ive. The attention to detail is not just applied to the products themselves, such as computers, iPods and mobile phones, but also to the accessories that ship with those products such as power adaptors. Compare below the Apple power adaptor for iPhone which is built into a UK 13A mains plug (left) with a normal but fatter and bigger ordinary mains plug (right)!

Last year I recall a campaign followed by a fanfare announcement that mobile phone manufacturers had finally agreed a new standard power adaptor that would be interchangeable for many models and makes, instead of requiring a different one for each. This seemed a bit odd to me, given that most people only have one phone and therefore still only need one charger when they travel around. Taking into account the above Apple example, isn't it better to aim for a well designed pocketable adaptor which provides a standard USB power level output, rather than a new additional standard, which everyone again will implement in horrible ugly ways?

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