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Did the plastic iPhone5 fail?

Published March 6, 2014 at 8:37 am

The ads for the lightweight iPhone 5 emphasize a new aspect of its design: plastic. Specifically, a video posted last year shows bright, Easter egg-colored plastic finish added to the case in a smooth manner that suggests something liquid and dynamic.

Another spot featured an interview with Jony Ive, senior Vice President of Design, who emphasized the size of the display and the unique combinations of materials it represents, all said to be done with precision.

But the plastic content, the very thing that was a selling point in some instances, has been cited by some critics as a failing for the company. James Billington, writing for Australian source, says that these benefits have proven to be a bit superficial for the device so far in the face of its subpar performance in the market.

“Most of all it was for Apple to target a new market,” he writes. “It certainly has added some color to the Apple stores, but for execs at the company it has left them a bit red-faced after an underwhelming reception and poor sales figures.”

Ken Segall, who used to work for Apple, has also drawn some attention for a recent blog post he wrote in which he asserted that Apple pushed the plastic aspect too much in the product’s marketing. Billington cites Segall as well.

Although not every source has proclaimed Apple’s venture as a total wash, it’s worth noting that, as Segall says, “creativity can be a double-edged sword.”

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