Apple’s two-toned design: love it or hate it?

A mockup and third-party 3D model of the iPhone 5

By now most of you have probably scrutinized the “leaked” images supposedly depicting Apple’s next-gen iPhone and have formed an opinion. For the purposes of this article, let’s just assume that the device pictured above is the final design of the iPhone 5. It’s certainly interesting, isn’t it?

This is not the first time we’ve seen this strange design featuring a combination of glass and aluminum. A few weeks ago some mockups and even a physical 3D model (above) appeared online depicting a conceptual device that’s remarkably similar to the today’s leaks. I must admit that when I saw these third-party attempts at designing the iPhone, I found them relatively unappealing. The stark differences and sharp lines between the aluminum and glass on the back looked distinctly un-Apple. I thought there was no way Apple would release a phone looking like that.

However, the latest crop of images leaves me with a much better taste in my mouth. The situation feels similar to the infamous leak of the iPhone 4. When I saw the first pics of the iPhone 4 on Gizmodo’s site, I was not impressed. Inexplicably, though, the finished product had a look and feel to it that didn’t quite come across at first glance.


Again, assuming that the design highlighted today is the final version of the next iPhone, it’s certainly a different direction for Apple to go in; definitely not as minimalist and uniform as previous iPhone designs. That being said, though, I think it’ll offer a welcome change to the iPhone line. It’s a bit more industrial-looking, but the high quality materials, precise unibody cutouts and sleek lines are still unmistakably Apple.

Overall I’d say that I am a fan of this design. I like the way Apple has chosen a darker finish for the metal on the black iPhone, while keeping the shade lighter on the white model. The black model in particular looks classy and fresh.

And of course, we can’t forget about the screen size. I’m surprised that Apple went with a display that is taller but not wider than the current iPhone (which means it has a different resolution and App Store apps will need to be adjusted to display properly), but a larger screen is no doubt a great move both for design purposes and usability.

So, do you guys agree or do you want Apple to continue with the glossy, glass design of the iPhone 4 and 4S? There’s definitely grounds to dislike this design, and I feel as though this is one in particular is sort of a ‘love it or hate it’ thing. Comment below or tweet me here!

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  • KyleFrost

    To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan. Wish it was a clean aluminum back without breaks. But I’m assuming the reasoning is connectivity, so it’s a compromise.

  • Chris

    I wish they would make it worth while and go at least 4.3 preferably 4.5″ and more width. But then again they probably don’t have the money to work on resizing apps…….

  • possomcrast1


  • jarrod

    Money??? An issue with Apple???? Your funny!!!! They probably don’t want to make screens that big because its simply to large for average consumers, I’m using a 3GS coming from a android 3.8inch screen and I find the iPhone to be more efficient with screen size because it has better touch technology then a phone thats only a year old,  it also looks a lot better. Im in favour of a 4 inch screen it would make the experience a lot better for people that have trouble reading displays.

  • jarrod

     @KyleFrost I don’t think it’s a issue, the 4 & 4S used the aluminum as a antenna they could find away around it plus the original iPhone was all aluminum unibody.

  • KyleFrost

    Not entirely true. The original iPhone did have aluminum, but the bottom of the back was a black plastic to allow for antenna connectivity.

  • fjldsfjkfdj

    love the black hate the white

  • BillThomas

    @Chris 4.5 is to big and dont have the money……they have over 75 billion in there account so im sure with money like that if apple wanted to they could dominate the mobile market, so my guess is apple is very content on where they stand in the mobile world……

  • Cubster

    Love the black never have liked the white iPhones but if they make that black iPhone the final product I’d pay anything to have it

  • BrainRoopull

    The white one looks like a cheap Chinese knock-off (no offense to the Chinese.)The black one looks like any other smartphone out there…  a big black slab.
    I am curious as to how the author supposedly knows that he materials are “high quality.”   That’s fairly well undermines any assumption of objectivity.  In reality, for all we know, the thing is made out of peanut butter.It was inevitable that they put a bigger screen on the thing.  3.5″ simply isn’t considered adequate in yesterday’s smartphone market, much less tomorrow’s.  That it’s a different aspect ratio is a bit surprising.  This means serious fragmentation of apps!  That alone gives me reason to doubt this is real.  However, a narrower screen that has a 4″ diagonal does two things.  It makes people think the iPhone will have the same size screen as other 4″ phones (it will actually be smaller than most 4″ screens.)  On the other hand, it won’t be so large that people with smaller hands won’t be able to reach across the screen with their thumbs.Seriously, though…  I thought “unibody” solid polycarbonate was going to be the wave of the future with phones.  

  • Tonybabo

    I know I’m probably in the minority but I love the design of the iPhone 4 and 4S. I like that my phone doesn’t feel cheap. I hate the cheap plastic feel of many android phones. I think the 4 and 4s are beautiful phones. I get the practicality of people not wanting Glass on both sides. Personally I like to see edge to edge, and raised up to get to 4 inches without changing the size to much. I’m okay with aluminum back I guess maybe little more curve to fit in your hand better but I still think IPhone is best looking phone on market. Now as for the two tone in this mock up. I believe these are probably fake, if for some reason this is real then I’m going to go on a limb and say that I think what it’s showing is there going to incorporate back multi touch technology on the upcoming phone and it’s the reason for two tone. This is Jobs last real product he worked a ton on, he knew it was his last project. Not that he knew he would pass away but that he was stepping away. So that said I do believe this next IPhone is going to blow us away so the reason for two tone has to have a function.

  • MaeganBabcock

    I kind of like this design.  Of course, I have mine in a case, so it doesn’t matter much what the back looks like because I never see it.

  • Tuliomesa82

    it looks like tthe HTC radar

  • boundtobeafraid

    I don’t know if I hate it, but for sure I don’t like it.

  • Vini97

    Hate IT!

  • ttocs1970

    What difference does it make?  Most people put a case on the phone anyway. 

  • tcole1322

     @Tonybabo completely agree with you i dont like the 2 tone though at all

  • tcole1322

    money is def not an issue with apple and besides that 99% off apps are not paid for by apple nor made by apple