October 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM by Dr. Drang
With iOS 5 out today and the embargo on 4S reviews lifted, I suspect the weeklong blog argument about whether the iPhone’s screen is too small or just right is over. And when the interest in a topic has waned, that’s when I finally get around to blogging about it.
I was surprised by three omissions from the arguments on the “just right” side. First, when the iPhone came out, it seemed big, not small. Yes, it was thin, but it was awfully wide. Only Blackberrys were comparable in width, and they were considered business tools, not personal phones. You sacrificed some convenience to be able to get emails from your boss while you were on vacation.
Second, there seemed to be no consideration of a woman’s point of view. Women’s hands are smaller on the average, so the “thumb reach” argument is even more important for them. Also, most women don’t carry their phone around in their jeans pocket, they carry it in a purse. And if you think that means it’s easier for them to have a larger phone, you haven’t spent much time around women or their purses.
Finally, remember when Tim Cook talked about how iPhone sales should be compared to the sales of all mobile phones, not just smartphones? Most mobile phones are small, and Apple wants to convert all those dumbphone users to the iPhone. It makes sense to give them a phone that isn’t too much bigger than what they’re already comfortable with.