To understand anything about how Apple innovates and builds its products, you must first understand how Steve Jobs looked at the world. As nasty and brusque as he was known to be with colleagues and underlings, he was at his core a Zen Buddhist, who valued simplicity not only in his personal life, but in technology. For him, the key to successful industrial design was making something look sleek, simple, and unintimidating. In fact, he adhered so strictly to that design-first directive, that he would approve the look and size of a device first, and only then task Apple’s hardware engineers with finding a way to make it run.
This, when you think about it, is crazy -- like opting for a tiny sports car when you’re expecting twins. But you don’t get to be Steve Jobs or Apple by being safe or conventional, and hell, Apple’s built itself into a trillion-dollar global company, so who’s to say he was wrong?