What the heck is iPod-like about this? The iMac G5 may have been lurking in somebody’s subconscious, but that would be only slightly more apposite. This kind of feminised domestic white goods styling is too ubiquitous to attribute, though Philips Design under Stefano Marzano would be a good start. My Bosch kettle looks like it. The green accent is very 2001 (the year, not the movie) but in no way reminiscent of Apple. Neither Jonathan Ive nor his predecessors (chiefly Hartmut Esslinger) would have touched the cheap, soft, shiny white finish with a bargepole. Ross Lovegrove might be a tenuous link, but I’m clutching at straws.
If ‘iPod-style’ (or ‘Apple-like’, or ‘Ive-ish’) has become the new ‘designer’ – a lazy adjective signifying something overpriced, self-indulgent and appealing more in form than function – it’s a poor reward for Apple, which has developed a very particular kind of design language closely integrated with world-leading functionality and usability. What’s notable here is that aping Apple is not obligatory. The success of the iPod has encouraged other manufacturers to invest in design, yet this hasn’t resulted in sameyness. A good thing easily smooshed by lazy writing.