There's at least one thing that hardware manufacturers are inspired by: making so much money that they have to sell more phones to make room in the warehouse for a fleet of Bentleys. But the Galaxy Nexus enjoys a design that's fairly unique, between its curved construction and its deliberately spartan layout. So what was the inspiration behind the shape? If you said "taking a Galaxy S II and bending it like a Pringles chip," you'd only be half right: according to the company design blog, the curved shape is meant to recall the outline of a floating magnolia flower petal.
Designers TaeJoong Kim and GiYoung Lee extrapolated on the process that went into the hardware design of the Galaxy Nexus. "All the design projects I’m working on take cues from nature," says Kim. Previous projects in the Galaxy line were designed to look like sports cars, but the subtle curves and flowing lines of the Nexus is meant to imply a more organic origin. The emphasized curve is meant for comfort both when speaking on the phone and "putting the phone in the back pocket of skintight jeans.”
Material and color can be at least as indicative of a phone's purpose as its shape. Metallic varnish around the edge is designed to give the phone a classy feel (but presumably not as classy as, you know, actual metal) with a softer plastic for the back cover allowing it to provide a better grip and flexibility for removal. “The Nexus is the result of great teamwork and cooperation,” said Lee. “It was great to see different departments work together for the same goal."
[via Android and Me]