The story line in 2001: A Space Odyssey contains a moment where mankind discovers a large magnetic anomaly on the moon. This anomaly is centered on a large object that had been deliberately buried millions of years in the past. When the sun strikes the monolith, for the first time in ages, it suddenly transmits an intense radio signal. The monolith was a solar powered alarm, designed to notify its inventors when (if) the inhabitants of the Earth gained the technological ability and intellectual curiosity to find the device and dig it up.
In the story, the monolith, and the others that appear, all share the same physical description, though with varying sizes. All of them are featureless, black and have sides whose dimensions form a ratio of 1:4:9 - the squares of the first three integers.
A few posts ago, I ruminated on the iPad and how it was very similar to the pad-looking thing that Bowman and Poole watched TV on aboard the Discovery.
Now that we've all gotten a good look at the iPhone 4, I'm struck by how it too bears similarity to something in the movie - in this case, the monolith itself.
It's only a superficial similarity. The dimensions of the phone are not really 1x4x9. In fact, the phone is slightly too thin compared to the monolith. At it's 4.5 inch height, it should be half an inch thick instead of 0.37 inches. And at 2.31 inches wide it is slightly wider than the 2 inches that would make it like the monolith. That's leaving aside the stainless steel strip running around the thin edge full of buttons and ports, and the big home button on the front.
Still, I think anyone who is a fan of the movie who gets an iPhone 4 should for sure get a black one...