Is the Motorola Droid ugly?
Is it possible that, despite many wonderful features, the new smartphone will not be able to capture consumers' imagination because it doesn't look quite cool enough?
Humans are essentially post-rationalizers.
We go off into the world and do things and then work out reasons why we've done them in order to create some sense of, well, order in the mess that we continually create. We claim that the reasons we have for doing as we do are good. But how good are they really?
Which is why I wonder what will happen when people come face to face with Verizon's new Motorola Droid.
I have been staring at. I have scoured the Web for pieces of footage. To the point at which I have even watched the only tech reporter in Indiana, yes, Indiana, to have successfully wrapped his fingers around it describe in some detail what advantages it might have over the iPhone. (I have embedded this lovely piece of film.)
The gentleman talks about power and megapixels. He talks about memory and search and operating systems. But there is one thing he fails to mention, something I fear may be vitally important. He doesn't say that it's pretty.
Perhaps it's my sense that we humans are, in the depths of our being, not merely post-rationalizers but terribly superficial. However, I'm concerned that the Droid isn't cute.
I know you'll tell me phones aren't supposed to be cute. They're supposed to be fabulously functional devices that liberate you from your daily grind.
And I will tell you that if the iPhone wasn't such a fabulously pretty little thing, they wouldn't even sell a tenth of the number they have.
I will also whisper that the Droid talked revolution in its initial ad--.
Yet it doesn't look revolutionary. Just as Che and Fidel had to have beards in order to lead revolts, shouldn't a revolutionary phone look a little less like, well, other phones?
These are merely fears. Images often lie. Perhaps, when one espies this new device and takes it into one's palms, they will sweat uncontrollably as it radiates a charm that has not yet been exposed by lenses.
Yet right now the Droid feels utilitarian rather than breakthrough. It seems to have all the sex appeal of a middle manager.
It's not necessarily right that the world should be this way. But humans are who we are--ridiculously susceptible to the surface pleasure.
And satisfying that pleasure can, ironically, often be the hardest trick of all.