Notch fever: Sweeping the Android world


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Who’s got notch fever?! Everyone! Sadly.

Writing for The Verge, Vlad Savov says “Bad iPhone notches are happening to good Android phones.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Michael and 5cat.)

Well, are these really “good” phones, Vlad? Phones are not like dogs. They’re not all good. Some of them are bad phones.

MWC 2018 will go down in history as the launch platform for a mass of iPhone X notch copycats, each of them more hastily and sloppily assembled than the next.

Yes, last year’s LOL-worthy iPhone element is this year’s aesthetic, even if it isn’t even necessary and isn’t implemented correctly.

No effort is being made to emulate the complex Face ID system that resides inside Apple’s notch; companies like Noa and Ulefone are in such a hurry to get their iPhone lookalike on the market that they haven’t even customized their software to account for the new shape of the screen.

Well, the Macalope guesses this answers the question BGR’s Zach Epstein asked back in January: “Is the era of copying Apple’s every move finally over for Android phone makers?”

No, it isn’t, Zach. If anything it’s gotten dumber.

…the problem with these notched screens on Android phones is that they’re purely cosmetic.

Surely this is some kind of “natural evolution” of design and all phones will naturally go, uh, through an awkward, teenage phase where… er… they suddenly sprout notches… and, well, rest assured this has nothing to do with Apple having done it.

“Some people will say it’s copying Apple,” said Marcel Campos, Asus’ global head of marketing, “but we cannot get away from what users want. You have to follow the trends.”

The trends that were, yes, popularized by Apple. Clearly none of these companies’ mothers ever asked them “If Apple jumped off a bridge, would you jump off, too?!” Which is maybe good because their moms would have had heart attacks when they all stared back at them with their empty eyes and said “Yes, without question.”

Not everyone is having it, though. Writing for Gizmodo, Sam Rutherford says that “After Just 6 Months, the Phone Notch Is Already Deeply Uncool.”

Rutherford would like you to remember that Apple was not the first to ship a phone with a notch! Andy Rubin’s Essential did it first!

When Essential debuted the first-ever notched display on the PH-1, it was a bold, divisive statement about smartphone design.

And, as reward, dozens of people bought that phone.

…conflating the inclusion of a notch with phone makers copying Apple seems a bit flawed.

Part of Rutherford’s point is that you can’t say they’re “copying Apple” because they’re doing it so badly. But it’s not like Asus, Noa, Ulefone, Leagoo, Doogee, and Sleem (the Macalope may have made up one of those names, see if you can figure out which one!) are doing it badly for any other reason than “Apple did it.”

The Macalope is not a notch fan, for sure, but most iPhone X owners will tell you you don’t even notice it after a while. Which would make it even more perplexing why these perpetual knock-off artists (disclaimer: actual artistry not involved) are mindlessly trying to copy it except for the fact that the buying decision happens first.

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