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Apple's iPhone also brought new UI/UX ideas and people that grow up with these phones/desktops now and judge everything by that standard vs. what was considered "working" way back when. Android and Microsoft helped too. This industry shifts fast, so it's really no surprise people come to hate the older stuff by looks alone.

As someone who wrote code for two mobile handsets for two different companies in the referenced time frame, I would say there was a noticeable lack of innovation in the handset business.

Except, perhaps, in Japan - where mobile handsets were way ahead in terms of design and features as compared with the U.S.

Which, I think, can also be explained by the fact that the handsets in Japan were marketed to the end users as opposed to the U.S. where the buyers were the network operators.

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