Ten reasons the iPhone is not the new Polaroid

March 3, 2009

In no particular order, why the iPhone is not the new Polaroid …

1 – The Polaroid camera, and specifically the SX-70 were the high point in US camera production. The SX-70 was the most complex mechanical camera to be made in the US – ever.
The iPhone isn’t made in America, and to be honest it isn’t the greatest bit of tech ever.

A family portrait

2 – The SX-70 was technological marvel, that brought instant, high quality photography to the masses at a budget price.
The iPhone isn’t really a budget item, and the contract costs are just a little bit more (sic) than a few packs of film a month.

3 – Polaroid cameras are a joy to handle and use, their design makes you want to use them, their foibles make you love them more.
Well the iPhone’s just that – a phone.

4 – Polaroid cameras were in production from 1948 to 2001, that’s some 53 years. The iPhone has a way to go before it catches up on that!

5 – Polaroids are fun. Pull out a Polaroid camera and people will pose, smile and just feel good, especially when they watch the print appear as if by magic.
The iPhone’s just another gadget, and everyone’s got enough of those.

6 – OutKast featured Polaroid in the song Hey Ya. I’ve never heard anyone singing “shake it like an iPhone”.



7 – Polaroids are art, just look at the work of Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe or Ansel Adams.

8 – Polaroids are analogue; iPhones are digital!

9 – The Polaroids are many and varied, from the Automatc 100, the SX-70, the SLR 680 and Spectras, to the 600se or the wonderful 20×24 behemoth used by Neil Slavin.
There’s one iPhone, yes you can get it in different colours or a different harddrive, but basically there’s only one iPhone.

10 – A Polaroid camera is built to last. My oldest one, an Automatic 100 is 45 years-old and it works perfectly, don’t think the same will be said of a 45 year-old iPhone.

Now you might think this is anti-iPhone, well it is in part, but only when people say it’s the new Polaroid. It’s not and it never will be!



  1. amen!

    • Indeed, and long may it be just so.

  2. interesting…

    the iphone can actually handled email, gps, video recorder, still photos, browsing on the web, music player, stream music and video from stations across the world, let me look at my calendar, help put me to sleep, wake me up, get real time weather and radar updates, live news updates, sms, instant online status updates to all my friends, educate my kids, give me live sports scores, play gobs of games, track real time flight information, record audio, calculate a tip, be a flashlight, be a level, watch movies and my favorite tv shows and oh, yes, it’s a phone to.

    …and you just compare it to a polaroid? that’s interesting.

    • … and so on and so forth and it does it all very well too (so I’m told) but it doesn’t have the soul or heart of a Polaroid camera.
      The iPhone just doesn’t speak the same language or exude the same charm that an SX-70 does.
      And using a real Polaroid camera is a pleasure, where as taking photos on most digital cameras soon turns into a chore.

      Of course if you add the rest of the iPhone’s repertoire into the mix, it does take a bit of beating, but in a year or two the iPhone will be consigned to a drawer and a new toy will have taken its place, but the Polaroid camera will still be there, clicking away. Doing what it does best – making people happy, and all with no fuss or complaint.

  3. A couple more…

    11) With a Polaroid, you have a photograph in your hand in minutes, if not seconds — something tangible. Not so with an iPhone.

    12) Every shot taken with a Polaroid camera is one-of-a-kind.

    BTW, thanks for following me on Twitter (shellygrrl).

  4. Thanks for the extra reasons – I’m sure there are many, many more. And Twitter, well all us Polaroid peeps have to stick together.

  5. I find it so odd that people make this comparison. It’s like comparing apples and oranges!

  6. It is an odd comparison, they are very different mediums and ideas, but people keep saying it, and when they do, I refer them here to remind them why.

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