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

Schmidt András asch at
Sat Apr 26 15:48:48 CEST 2008

Stroller wrote:
> Hi there,
> I fixed your top-posting problem for you. You can see the correct 
> posting order at the bottom of this message.
> On 26 Apr 2008, at 12:44, Schmidt András wrote:
>> Stroller 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.
>>> ...
>>> 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.
>> I myself and all people I talked to think that that the black one has 
>> no style. Also the orange-white looks cool.
>> It is not a blocker for me but would be for an average user who is 
>> not Open fan.
>> Fancy color case is a must in the future.
> Perhaps I didn't make my point very clearly. You are an individual, 
> and there are about 6,500,000,000 other individuals just like you, 
> except with slightly differing tastes.
> If you take all the other phones on the market then "yourself and all 
> people you talk to" will also think that almost all of them "have no 
> style". This is the nature of individual taste. For each & every 
> person there's a mobile phone (painter, musician, design of rug) that 
> is just perfect, and I doubt if "yourself and all people you talk to" 
> will universally agree on all these things.
> I, personally, think the stealth Freerunner looks GREAT, but I don't 
> think that's the most important factor. Yes, the majority of 
> mainstream consumers care only about the appearance, but even if 5% of 
> consumers buy according to features then that is a MASSIVE worldwide 
> market.
> I am pretty sure that FIC didn't get an amateur to design the 
> Freerunner's case. They didn't get a twelve year-old to design it, and 
> they didn't buy an electronics enclosure off-the-shelf from Radio 
> Shack <>.
> So please don't be offended but saying "I don't like it and neither do 
> my friends" is totally irrelevant - come back when you've interviewed 
> a hundred different people and they've scored the Freerunner 
> (alongside several other phones) in a range of 1 - 10 on size, colour, 
> design attractiveness, comfort-to-hold and so on. You need to 
> establish with each respondent why they chose their last phone - was 
> price a factor? features? You can probably rule out everyone who got 
> their phone "free" from their mobile supplier, because the 
> Freerunner's market is those who are prepared to pay a premium for the 
> features they want in a phone. Now interview another 100 people, those 
> who are prepared to pay a premium for the features they want in a 
> smart- or business-phone - do they find the Freerunner attractive or 
> ugly? Do they care?
> Not wanting to uncover a mound of sleeping proverbial here, but the 
> Freerunner's lack of a camera is probably far more important to the 
> Freerunner's buyers. And since we can't change the colour of the first 
> 1,000 or 10,000 Freerunners, bitching about the colour might as well 
> go the same place as the "I want a camera" thread - dead & buried.
> Stroller.
Please don't feel offended. I have tried to emphasise that it is just 
(some friends' and) my opinion.

I did not state that Openmoko is wrong. I like the business model that 
individual companies can provide different color and shaped cases. What 
I stated is that to sell a mass of phones some fancy cases will have to 
be  on the market. Buying a replacement case will not be a problem for 
users that was the business model for many phones and it worked.

I myself prefer hacking software so I will not create any but may buy 
one if I find the one I like for sale.

Schmidt András

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