I didn’t think I’d ever get excited about an iPad stand. But the Yohann, designed by Swiss architect Berend Frenzel, ticks all of my boxes. First up, it’s a thing of beauty, with an incredibly simple but clever — why didn’t I think of that — design. It’s also highly functional, in terms of viewing angles and positions. And it’s European-made.
Two versions are currently being crowd funded on Kickstarter. One manufactured with a glassfiber-reinforcedpolymer body covered with a high-end “piano” lacquer finish, and a second handcrafted wooden version, made in Germany and Italy, respectively.
However, the most impressive thing is the way Frenzel has managed to take something so simple and make it so functional, allowing the one piece stand to house an iPad in three discrete viewing angles — from upright to a much more lean-back angle — in both landscape and portrait mode, as well as enabling it to be used resting on soft surfaces, such as your lap or bed.
As Jonathan “Jony” Ive once said, “true simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absences of clutter or ornamentation. It’s about bringing order to complexity.” And, dare I say it, the zen-like Yohann looks to have achieved this in spades and is a product the Apple design chief himself might well be proud of.
With that said, the Yohann is (like many of Apple’s own products) premium-priced. The glassfiber-reinforcedpolymer and lacquer-finished version is currently available at $69 for early Kickstarter backers (the cheapest option has already gone). And, likewise, the various wood versions start from $129. The former fit the iPad 2/3/4/Air, while the latter adds the iPad mini, too.
That higher pricing is, in part, attributed to being manufactured locally, “under european working conditions and ecological standards and [in the case of the wood version] made from sustainably grown regional wood types.” There’s also a patent pending in the U.S. and China, presumably to fend off inevitable cheaper knock-offs.