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Style vs. Functionality

Mobiblu EaringsIf there is one thing that Apple has taught us, it’s that people will pay extra for style – even when it comes to technology.

Manufacturers have taken note of Apple’s success and have attempted to replicate the hip appeal of products like the iPod with their own devices. Unfortunately, this often comes at the expense of functionality.

Take the following examples:

The Nokia 7380: Nokia claims that this sylish cellphone can be enjoyed by both men and women – however, it doesn’t take a huge market research budget to realize that no man will get within 100 feet of this thing. The “lipstickesque” design of the 7380 may be pleasing to the female set – but it is severely lacking under the hood. The complete lack of a keypad combined with horrible battery life and a $600 price tag make this one for a niche market only.

Motorola SLVR R7: Again, it looks and feels great but “its midrange features, sluggish music-player performance, and the limitations on the iTunes usability are big distractions.”

Motorola PEBL V6:The general consensus seems to be that the PEBL is adequate if not underwhelming in the functionality department – but it is akin to the RAZR in terms of style.

Intel Suede Laptops: This is only in the concept phase but seriously, suede…on a laptop?

Voodoo’s Gold Plated PC: $14,000 will certainly earn you some cool points.

JVC Alneo XA-series Audio Players: Compared to jewelery by JVC.

Elite Modeling Agency Cellphones: Designed for women who “live for fashion.”

Obviously, this is only a small sample of products intended to sell premium style for premium prices – but they are representative of a rapidly growing trend.

The question is, have we officially entered the era of designer technology – and are we willing to pay the price for it?

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, the product pictured above is the Mobiblu DAH 1500i. Tragically, the photo depicts a great little device that is being horribly misused.

Posted by Sean

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