The Times of the New York variety ran this article on a toothbrush today, and there are some very interesting points brought up. Most notably this:
Will anyone ever liken the Sonic Complete to Cézanne’s favorite mountain? Not likely. But why has Braun squandered its design credentials? The explanation is the same as for every other company that has lost them.
Once those companies were at the forefront of dazzling new technologies, which were translated by crack engineers and gifted designers — backed by gutsy management — into equally dazzling products that enabled the rest of us to do something new, or to do something better. And now they’re not. Maybe technology moved on, or they lost something special: their engineering edge, a great designer like Mr. Rams, managerial chutzpah, whatever.
That’s what happened to Braun and other once-hot brands, like Sony and Bang & Olufsen, and could eventually happen to Apple. And that’s why the Sonic Complete’s stylistic shortcomings seem so very, very sad.
I’ll hate on Apple all day if I have to, but you have to admit for the last few years they’ve been rock solid in terms of maintaining their aesthetic. I mean, absolutely beautiful products top to bottom. But will there come a day when they merge with another company to build something as wacky as an electric toothbrush? Are there currently other brands doing this and we are witnessing their downfall?