If you're an iPhone user with small hands, Apple is slowly turning its back on you. It's not you, it's them.
That's because the devices keep getting bigger, and the tech giant is slowly but surely axing its smaller models.
Apple's newest and biggest phones, the iPhones XS, XS Max, and Xr range in height from 143.6mm to 157.5mm.
Apple's smaller budget phone — and fan favourite for people with small hands — the iPhone SE, released in March 2016, in comparison is only 123.8mm. It may not seem like a lot, but those two or three centimetres make all the difference.
The company's new "budget" phone (it's still over $1,000 here in Canada), the XR, spells the end of the SE. Unfortunately, it's bigger than the iPhone XS.
Apple's decision to retire the SE, combined with its insistence on continuously increasing screen sizes has many people with small hands crying foul.
Since in general, women have smaller hands than men, they're feeling particularly slighted by the phones that won't stop growing, which makes them harder to use, hold and carry.
"Women like me with small hands who need the most secure phone for safety reasons are stuck with something they can't hold and constantly risk dropping," Zeynep Tufekci, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tweeted after Apple announced their new line of devices. "Some people like the bigger phones. Fine. Keep an alternative for the rest of us."
In 2016, Tufekci wrote a Medium blog post about the struggles of having small hands and growing phones after she tried to film protestors being tear-gassed in Turkey and was unable to hold her phone above her head with one hand.
"Increasingly, on the latest versions of the kinds of phones I want to use, I cannot type one-handed. I cannot take a picture one-handed. I can barely scroll one-handed—not very well, though. I can't unlock my phone one-handed. I can't even turn on my phone one-handed as my fingers cannot securely wrap around the phone while I push a button with a finger."
Activist Caroline Criado Perez told The Telegraph she developed a repetitive strain injury in her hand using the iPhone 6. Her pain subsided when she switched to the now-discontinued iPhone SE.
"I have to make a choice between making an upgrade to the only phone that fits my hand before they discontinue it — soon there will be no iPhone that fits the average woman's hand size — even though the technology is two years out of date," she said.
Women's clothing is also notorious for either having tiny pockets or having none at all, which also makes storing a phone the size of your face a little difficult.
A study by The Pudding in August said that 100 per cent of men's pockets can fit an iPhone X (and thus, the new XS), but only 40 per cent of women's pockets can. While once might challenge the scientific rigour of this study, the spirit of its results rings true.
Smartphones growing isn't a new trend. Samsung's Galaxy phones are also enormous. And concerns around iPhone sizing have been, um, growing for years. The original iPhone was 115 mm. By 2014, the iPhone 6 had grown to 138 mm, and The Atlantic was already wondering if they were too big for women's hands.
Next to the new phones, the 6 looks positively tiny.
The magazine speculates the increased phone size is a two-way tactic. Firstly, a bigger phone costs more , which creates more profit. More importantly, it requires two hands to use, which the Atlantic suggests is so that users find it harder to look away from their screens.
Apple, and many designers who make software for iPhones, are now relying on that extra screen space when they create new apps for the phone, which makes it unlikely that Apple will return to the days of smaller devices, a USAToday article explains. None of its competitors are likely to either.
"None of these phones feel good when holding them up to your head to make phone calls, but who uses a smartphone for that?" Avi Greengart, a GlobalData analyst, told the outlet.
Kind of makes you miss the days when tech companies were racing to make cellphones smaller instead of bigger.
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