What is wrong with today’s crop of iPhone X models? They are beautiful, fast, and do far more than even Steve Jobs realized when it was launched a dozen years ago. iPhone displays are better than most personal computers. The camera can shoot 4K video and photos rival DSLRs.
Apple’s latest trio– iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max– raise the bar in every respect, including price.
So, what’s wrong? What’s the iPhone’s most serious problem?
I went with iPhone XS because it’s the smallest of today’s new iPhones and it’s still too big. Of the crop of new models, iPhone XS comes with a huge 5.8-inch display vs. iPhone 7’s 4.7-inch display. iPhone SE, a favorite, had a 4-inch display.
My iPhones need to fulfill two basic requirements as an iPhone. Fit in my hand and fit in my pocket. iPhone XS is worse than iPhone 7 which is worse than iPhone SE.
One can argue that the men who design and engineer Apple’s most valuable product have forgotten that about half the sales go to women. In general, we have smaller hands and tighter pants than our counterparts.
What’s the deal with iPhone’s massive size? Why can’t Apple make an iPhone that will fit into a single hand?
They say football is a game of inches. iPhones are products where an inch matters. For example, iPhone XS is 5.65-inches tall and 2.79-inches wide. By contrast, iPhone 8 is just 5.45-inches high and 2.65-inches wide.
Not much difference, right? iPhone 8 is slightly bigger than iPhone 7, which is substantially bigger– at less than an inch– than iPhone SE– 4.87-inches by 2.31-inches– the last iPhone that would easily fit into my hand and pocket.
When it comes to iPhone dimensions, Apple has a major problem.
It’s not just the company’s obvious sexist attitude toward product design, it’s also about money. Among a very few items, Apple seems to differentiate iPhone models by display and storage amounts. You pay more for better OLED displays than an LCD display. You pay more for additional storage.
Yet, iPhone SE sold for hundreds less than iPhone XS or iPhone XR, so overall product size can be a differentiator, too.
What’s Apple’s iPhone design problem?
iPhones are designed for men more than women. Many of us cannot hold an iPhone and use it with a single hand, and too often what we wear is dictated by the iPhone’s growing size.
That’s wrong. That’s sexist. Apple needs to fix that problem. A 4-inch iPhone Xe would go a long way toward easing our collective pains in the butt pocket.