You’d have to be pretty deep under a rock to have not heard about the latest iPhones by now. And while early performance tests are calling the iPhone 8 (nevermind about the more advanced, soon to be released iPhone X) the most powerful smartphone ever made (it’s not even close), the continuation of the same iPhone style over three models now, paired with the introduction of a new bezel-less design for the iPhone X, have some wondering if this could be the end of smartphone design altogether.

Are we really coming to a point where all smartphones will simply be a piece of glass—with little to no physical differentiation between brands?

Yes—at least, according to industrial designer Phillipe Starcke. In a recent conversation with The Verge’s Sam Byford, Starcke—a design icon in his own right—had this to say about the state of phone design:

We go directly to bionics. Bionics is when the service — telephone, computer, anything — goes in your body. And in this case, there is no more design. The designer is your coach, is your dietician, but there is no more. For all intelligent human production, the designer will be dead very very very fast.

That’s why today, the duty of an honest designer like me, with an honest company like Xiaomi, is to continue to make less and less until that will not be possible. [So] there is no answer today. We don’t need to make a difference. In Xiaomi products, final differences stay inside. The quality, the price — the price is less and less and less. That’s why it’s a difference — when you see that it’s half of the competitor, it’s a huge difference.

What are your thoughts? Have we finally reached the apex of smartphone design?

Read more over at The Verge.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.