If you’ve paid attention to marketing materials that feature a phone, I’m sure you’ve noticed the default smartphone is the ever ubiquitous iPhone. Perhaps this is because Apple does a great job in creating hype around said phone, which then raises consumer awareness. How many people can say that they know what the HTC ThunderBolt looks like, or even the Blackberry Torch? The graphic designer wants to use what will be easily legible, something that will communicate instantly. Since people are familiar with the iPhone look, a designer will be more apt to use it.
Sometimes, there also seems to be a misconception of what a smartphone is. “Does it have the apps?” Everyone knows Apple has the App Store, but Android Market launched the in same year, 2008, and Blackberry App World has existed since 2009. If the designer assumes that the misconception holds true, they will cater towards it, meeting the expectations of the target market, which only reinforces the idea.
Perhaps this isn’t the reason, though. If you were to search for public domain images of a smartphone (preferably something in a format that is easy to edit, i.e. vector), most of the higher quality illustrations you’ll find will be iPhones. Designers don’t always have the time or skill to illustrate a realistic smartphone, so it’s much easier to just grab one of these, pop your screen shot into it and place into the layout. This brings up another point: the iPhone and iPod can take screen shots, something which Android and Blackberry can’t easily do (unless your phone is rooted, but that’s something we won’t get into). A designer could mock up a fake screen, but, again, they may not have the time or the skill to pump it out.
Any one of these reasons helps create the strangle hold on marketing materials that the iPhone has. Perhaps Google will release screen capturing as a base function in one of the upcoming Android OS updates, but I’m not holding my breath.