I was part of a design team responsible for the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro in my role as Senior Industrial Designer at Sony Ericsson Creative Design Center.
Arguably the largest paradigm shift in the mobile phone industry happened when Apple's iPhone
was launched early 2007. Apple had decided to focus on the user experience and perfect the product before they released it to the market. Sony Ericsson had used touch technology for many years, but Apple was the first to utilize touch in a user-friendly way. Apple also had the benefit of already having a solid and very popular eco-system already established through iPod and iTunes.
The iPhone took Sony Ericsson and other competitors by complete surprise and suddenly the megapixel and gigabyte race was over. Now the race was on to create a great user experience through a large touch display, downloadable applications, music and video streaming and so on.That was the background when we in 2008 started creating the 2010 portfolio.
First step for Sony Ericsson was to focus on the use of Google’s Android platform. All the core products (Xperia products) for 2010 were planned with this brand new platform and we needed to create a unique and signature design to communicate this new effort and new start for Sony Ericsson. We created a strong design story, based on ‘Human Curvature‘ and ‘Precision by Tension‘ starting with the high-end model X10
, launched early 2010.
The X10 Mini Pro
and its little brother, the X10 Mini
, was born out of the wish to create a really unique product with a unique size and footprint. I was responsible for the X10 Mini Pro design from the beginning and it was hard to maintain a good balance between thickness and footprint. We wanted to maintain a unique footprint size but thickness is always critical. The overall shape with the symmetrical top and bottom curve indicate the horizontal use and that there’s a qwerty keypad that slides out. The softly sculpted backside, what we call the human curvature, makes it very comfortable and tactile in the hand. The seamless front window is shaped by the tensioned curvature and gives the precision by tension.
The X10 Mini Pro is a product that really makes it easier to communicate. Compact size, very user-friendly four-corner user interface on the 2.6″ display and a very good full-qwerty keypad.
2010 was a turning point for Sony Ericsson. A new, focused platform strategy together with a very strong design story played a part to get Sony Ericsson back in black by the end of the year after very tough time.