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Designing an iPhone stand in a day

iPhone Stand

The problem with Apple’s product

As with many other design projects, we start with identifying an area for improvement. With the iPhone stand that Apple offer, I think it’s just way too flimsy and lightweight. My iPhone 6S has a recommended retail price of £539. A stand is like it’s home. A place for it to live when I’m not using it. Presenting it upright. Tall and proud. For an object costing more than half a grand, this ‘home’ better convey quality.

In many instances, weight can convey quality – but in this case it may also improve usability.

One thing I found with the Apple stand was that, due to it being so lightweight, you can’t just pick your phone straight out without pushing the stand down to the table with your other hand. Unlike the phone, this isn’t very elegant. It ‘sticks’ and you have to break it away.

 

iPhone Stand

Existing iPhone stand by Apple. Plastic. Lightweight.

iPhone Stand

It ‘sticks’ when you lift it out.

My (heavy) iPhone stand design

I decided to design and make a stand to solve the issue. I used Aluminium and Corian, which is a very dense material by DuPont with a high quality, smooth finish. It’s stain resistant, hard-wearing and any scratches can be buffed out easily so it looks great for a long time. See below:

 

iPhone Stand

No complex surfaces. Simple rounded rectangle, like the iPhone itself.

iPhone Stand

iPhone stand CAD model in SolidWorks.

iPhone Stand

Drawings before heading to the workshop.

iPhone Stand

CNC Milling.

iPhone Stand

Final part before finishing with wet & dry.

iPhone Stand

Final product. Aluminium base with Corian upper.

iPhone Stand

Heavy. Quality. Improved usability.

Design: a re-iterative process

Design isn’t linear. It’s re-iterative. This is Version 1. My first bash at an iPhone stand (designed in a day, remember!).

After making this first model and evaluating the design, I made some more notes and observations for potential improvements:

  1. Home Button – I use it at work and it sits next to my keyboard. The phone can sit deep within the slot in the top, meaning that it can be quite difficult to press the Home button when in the stand. If I want to check the time, I can just hit the Power button on the side – but better access to the Home button is one area that could be explored.
  2. Landscape Orientation – This doesn’t happen often because I use the stand at work, but if I wanted to watch a video with the phone held landscape, this can’t be done in my current design because of the slot in the top surface. The slot means it can only be held in portrait orientation. If the slot ran all the way to the edge, it could hold a phone in landscape (but it would disturb the form).
  3. Thickness – I wanted the stand to be substantial. Or as I would say, ‘beefy’. However, for Version 2 I would spend time looking to reduce the thickness slightly whilst still possessing the weight required to easily lift the iPhone out.

 

So, those are my immediate thoughts since making the model. If you have any attributes or features that you would add or find important from your own use of these products, then drop a message below. Better still, if you’ve designed and made your own stand – Tweet me over a photo @nick_chubb.

 

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5 thoughts on “Designing an iPhone stand in a day”

  1. Keshna
     ·  Reply

    What is the little hole slot for shown in the aluminum? It looks as though the white base is solid and flat.

    • nickchubb
       ·  Reply

      Hi Keshna,

      Thanks for the comment. There is a small channel cut out in the bottom of the aluminium, slightly wider than the diameter of an Apple power cable. This channel leads to the slot you are talking about. The white Corian upper then has a matching slot to allow the charger to feed through.

  2. Mehnaz Aydemir
     ·  Reply

    Amazing work.. For the home button problem I would have a back angle that is higher than the face and the phone can lean on the angle..in the mean time front of the slot can be angled down or have a slight cut out to access home button..

    • Nick Chubb
       ·  Reply

      Thanks for your comment Mehnaz.

  3. Mehnaz Aydemir
     ·  Reply

    Another option is the stand can be designed for a side attached version instead of bottom sitting

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© 2017 Nick Chubb | Industrial Designer. All rights reserved.