Ugliness (was Re: 10 PACK UPDATE!!!)

Stroller linux.luser at
Fri Apr 25 22:15:26 CEST 2008

On 25 Apr 2008, at 16:25, Lowell Higley wrote:

> Nine out of ten "typical consumers" I show it to think it's ugly  
> and wouldn't buy it because of looks alone.  If I show it to a  
> techie type, I get the "what are the specs?" question.  Lesson?  To  
> the consumer, beauty is only skin deep.

This is typical of the consumer, though (and of the place the mobile  
phone has taken in the mainstream, of "reflecting" the owner's  

At the end of the day, there are a hundred mobile phone designs on  
the market - and for probably this reason. Substantially all mobile  
phones do the same thing - make & receive calls - and I guess  
appearance is a primary differentiation. If your one consumer in ten  
finds the Freerunner acceptable (or even, shudder!, attractive)  
enough to that they'll buy it, then Freerunner surely has a far  
greater market interest than most mobiles! It's all a matter of taste  
and I'll bet there are very few phones on the market which would be  
_universally_ considered non-ugly.

We should also remember that OpenMoko is probably not aiming at the  
"girlie" market, of consumers for whom appearance and daintiness is  
the primary concern. I am reminded of a girl I knew two or three  
years ago who was pleased with her new mobile - it was a small  
clamshell design with a second screen on the outside; the outer  
screen showed the time or, when it rang, the caller's name or number.  
A screen saver was available for both screens - floating pink &  
pastel bubbles were chosen.

When making calls is the only function then I do like small phones,  
but the aforementioned girlie phone had no features that appealed to  
me over any of the other clamshell designs available on the market  
for the past decade. The Freerunner is surely aimed to compete with  
phones based on Windows Moble & Symbian - phones on which email,  
calendaring & media playback are important features (it may even  
compete, then, with the PSP).

The Freerunner will be replacing a Sony Ericsson P990i <http://> here - now THAT'S a phone  
which could barely be more ugly, but nevertheless it sold well on its  
features (and besides, ugliness is STILL only an opinion).


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