Feeds

Xperia Pureness: The oddest mobile phone ever?

The Strategy Boutique meets Feature backlash for Sony Ericsson

Boost IT visibility and business value

Sony Ericsson has designed what may be the strangest phone ever. It certainly challenges the last ten years of conventional wisdom in phone design.

The Xperia Pureness is a real curiosity. Functionality is as unabashedly as rock-bottom basic as you can get on a contemporary phone. It makes calls and texts, has a music player and a radio. And that's it. The design is similarly minimal, with a monochrome LCD built on a translucent background. That translucent screen is the big gimmick.

The translucent LCD display - from behind

But the design has seen the Strategy Boutique doing overtime. The Pureness "reflects the purity of water and offers a sense of calmness when not in use," according to the blurb. Even stranger, in the arty product shots, you can't really see the phone. This is the clearest of the bunch - in the others, the model may as well be holding a cigarette packet.

Ancient phones that do little other than talk and text - but do talk and text very well - have been surprisingly enduring. As I noted here, the Nokia's 6310 business phone still commands a premium, after a decade. (The last model is now over six years old.) It might be the best phone ever made. You could argue that Nokia's midrange mainstay, the 6300, is popular for the same reasons - and all evidence of a consumer resistance to mostly useless (and unused) features.

The conventional wisdom of phone design is very conservative. It states that phones will gradually become more sophisticated, adding features. But designers shouldn't try to do anything unusual or clever with the basic candybar design. By all means, do a candybar with expensive materials - just keep it familiar, or the public won't like it.

This one does that, and it may be too clever to be a hit. Sony Ericsson is doing a low-key roll-out for this phone, because they don't want too many people laughing at them at once acknowledging that it's a fashion niche. But maybe it's onto something.

The official promo pic: User and phone barely visible. Well done chaps

If this is simply too odd for the market, I hope it isn't the last attempt to fulfil the demand for the basics done with some style. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.