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

Nick Guenther kousue at
Sat Apr 26 11:07:15 CEST 2008

On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 4:15 PM, Stroller <linux.luser at> wrote:
>  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.

Perhaps, but consider also that most consumers hate cellphones because
they are too convoluted to use; perhaps a lot of them buy based on
looks, then, not because they are shallow, but because techies (like
us) force complexity down their throats that they never asked for and
so refuse to deal with deciding between.
Let's not look down from an ivory tower upon the unwashed masses of
consumers (especially since we are trying to win 'them' over to the
open way)!

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

To be fair, everything is about this though, not just mobiles. Cars
and homes and food choices and on and on.

>  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
> <> 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).

Personally I think the neo looks great. It looks much more slick and
refined than any stupid gaudy clamshell that I see a lot of my friends
with. (too bad the software isn't as slick yet). I have one friend who
said that the neo is the only phone that really feels comfortable in
his hand. Smallsmall phones (and iPods, and whathaveyou for that
matter) are just easier to break; they're diamond-encrusted stupid.

And there's no reason Openmoko couldn't appeal to a female demographic.


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