An interesting article on Core77 made me think about Apple's unique design relationship with aftermarket vendors. http://www.core77.com/blog/object_culture/aftermarket_designers_seem_to_love_undoing_apples_minimalism_17419.asp
Here's what I wrote:
The design aesthetic for Apple devices intentionally invites customization and this is part of the reason for their salability. Ford was an autocrat who famously said purchasers could have their automobile "in any color as long as it was black", but he made his sales because of his price. Apple products never make their sales on price. They make them through miraculous UI and appealing to the senses of a wide range of users.
Everyone can learn to use the iPhone 4 (including my 60's technophobe mother) and everyone can morph it into the product that makes them comfortable. Minimalism? No problem. Super safe? Add an Otterbox. Pink? Worn on the neck? At the gym? On a plane? Everyone likes green eggs and ham once they try it and they don't go back to other products because they can turn it into the product they would have designed easily. It's brilliant and it makes money.
Now I have some issues with the censoriousness of the App Store but we've shown that we'll live with anything for the illusion of safety (what was your last airport experience like?) so it's not surprising that in the long run it doesn't matter to most of us. Bravo Apple! Love it or hate it, there's no one else like it.
-- Post From My iPhone (no less)