Why is this weird iPhone 13 M1 concept so compelling?

Chris Burns - May 13, 2021, 10:11am CDT
Why is this weird iPhone 13 M1 concept so compelling?

There’s an iPhone 13 M1 concept phone making the rounds this week with a design that’s quite odd. The design sits on the edge of a nightmare, pushing the top of the phone up on one half, while the other stays down, making room for a set of front-facing cameras and/or sensors. If this concept were done with less finesse, it would be pretty easy to dismiss. But for some reason, it looks amazing.

The designer Antonio De Rosa VIA Yanko Design created a device that’s a merger of several key elements present in iPhone devices that’ve been released over the last few years. The back side has the rounded-corner square with several cameras inside. The sides of the phone are flat. The back has the Apple logo.

The way this device sets itself aside from the rest of the in-production iPhone devices made so far is in its notch. Instead of pushing down into the space that’d normally be reserved for the iPhone display, this device has a bump up.

This device attempts to create the dream that was the single piece of glass that can do anything. It takes said dream and accepts the idea that, while we still need a set of forward-facing cameras and/or sensors, we shouldn’t place them under the display or allow them to pop up with a mechanical component OR push them down into the display.

Apple will not make this device. Any sort of display and hardware shape that breaks the illusion that the device is anything but the absolute best industrial design solution of the day… isn’t something Apple would deliver. Or at least they would not do so if they’d already committed to using a notch, like the notch they have on the iPhone 12 now.

Having the camera array at the back pop up with the camera array at the front might be the element that makes this design feel fresh. Much like what we saw with the most recent round of Samsung smartphones, having the back-facing camera array feel like it has some bearing on the industrial design of the front makes for an interesting product to hold and behold.

Does this look like a product you’d like to use? Could you imagine Apple making an iPhone 13 like this?


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