Why are Apple so obsessed with thinner phones?

UKapple73

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 13, 2014
285
264
I am buying an ip6+, but can't help wondering why apple didn't decrease the bezel size, ok the bottom one is fixed due to the touchID, but the top one?? It must be due to them wanting it thinner again. But why?? Was the 5s too thick? 7.5mm is way thin enough. Wish they would either reduce bezels & keep 7.5mm or increase battery & keep 7.5mm
This drive for thinner & thinner is holding back the design
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,832
30,349
Boston
Because they are a company that is obsessed with thinness. Just look at the iMac and how thin they made that. Its their design philosophy.
 

Izauze

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2013
394
214
I agree that we're starting to get to the point of diminishing returns. Even with the same battery life, I simply don't want a phone any thinner than this one. It has less than zero appeal to me.

The bezel though his due to Apples design philosophy, which depends on symmetry between the top and bottom. And as you mentioned, the bottom is limited by the home button. I believe this is something that must be addressed soon. It's simply laughable that the Plus will stay that tall for future generations.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,430
4,436
It is Apple who is obsessed, not people.

They'd rather be obsessed with thin watches.
 

Ayr

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2014
266
0
It's an engineering challenge. I like it.

Personally I would prefer the focus to be on weight. I'd love a sub 100 grams iP6+.

I could get uber-geeky over that.
 

eoblaed

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2010
2,402
1,805
I am buying an ip6+, but can't help wondering why apple didn't decrease the bezel size, ok the bottom one is fixed due to the touchID, but the top one?? It must be due to them wanting it thinner again. But why?? Was the 5s too thick? 7.5mm is way thin enough. Wish they would either reduce bezels & keep 7.5mm or increase battery & keep 7.5mm
This drive for thinner & thinner is holding back the design
(emphasis mine)

Not so. The drive for thinner is all about design. It forces new and better and more creative ways of building the technology. Part of the decreasing thickness over the years has come from better screen design which is directly driven by the desire for thinner phones.

I, for one, love the thinness. I can understand that others may not appreciate it as much, which is fine. But make mine thin!
 

yep-sure

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2012
495
562
Melbourne, Australia
(emphasis mine)

Not so. The drive for thinner is all about design. It forces new and better and more creative ways of building the technology. Part of the decreasing thickness over the years has come from better screen design which is directly driven by the desire for thinner phones.

I, for one, love the thinness. I can understand that others may not appreciate it as much, which is fine. But make mine thin!
I don't think anyone is against thinness, moreso that thinness is seen to be a priority over things an iPhone user needs, like good battery life.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,430
4,436
I prefer a phone to be a tiny bit thicker, but having a removable battery.
 

iMacDragon

macrumors 68000
Oct 18, 2008
1,692
277
UK
They seem to like symmetry, so I doubt will be seeing a design anytime soon with different amount of bezel at either end.
 

kalsta

macrumors 68000
May 17, 2010
1,537
153
Australia
The bezel though his due to Apples design philosophy, which depends on symmetry between the top and bottom. And as you mentioned, the bottom is limited by the home button. I believe this is something that must be addressed soon. It's simply laughable that the Plus will stay that tall for future generations.
And the width isn't laughable too? It's just a very big, silly phone. But since usage stats tell us people are using these things less and less as actual phones, I guess it's understandable.

As for the home button, don't expect it to go anywhere soon. 1. It's simple. People get it. It's probably the most iconic part of the iPhone hardware. 2. It now doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which one feels is a long-term strategy, not a passing fad.

Was the 5s too thick? 7.5mm is way thin enough. Wish they would either reduce bezels & keep 7.5mm or increase battery & keep 7.5mm
You're not alone in wanting battery life over thinness. Yes, it's a shame Apple has different priorities. As it is, one can choose the 6 Plus to get better battery life, but those of us who want a sensibly sized phone are stuck with the lower capacity battery.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,430
4,436
And the width isn't laughable too? It's just a very big, silly phone. But since usage stats tell us people are using these things less and less as actual phones, I guess it's understandable.

As for the home button, don't expect it to go anywhere soon. 1. It's simple. People get it. It's probably the most iconic part of the iPhone hardware. 2. It now doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which one feels is a long-term strategy, not a passing fad.



You're not alone in wanting battery life over thinness. Yes, it's a shame Apple has different priorities. As it is, one can choose the 6 Plus to get better battery life, but those of us who want a sensibly sized phone are stuck with the lower capacity battery.
A home button is not needed, so they should integrate the fingerprint scanner into the touchscreen.
 

McBeats

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2007
727
5
erf
Can't help but agree with this. They really don't need to make it thinner so much as they need longer battery life. My opinion of course, but practicality it makes sense. I know I'm not alone here.
 

Puonti

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2011
789
319
On the topic of bezels, my guess is Apple will keep the symmetry until they are able to cover the entire face of the phone with a display surrounded by a thin bezel on all sides.

For that they'll need the capability to use screen pixels as a camera sensor (already hinted at in a patent application I believe) and part of the screen assembly itself as an earpiece speaker. Part of the screen surface would also need to be designated as an always-on Touch ID sensor, which is probably the hardest part. You don't want that part of the screen to look different quality-wise when the display is on and the phone's being used, but it needs to be easy to locate when the rest of the screen is off. Hiding a microphone and ambient light sensor in a thin bezel is trivial.
 

Sheza

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2010
1,724
1,228
Guys, it's time to stop pushing for unrealistic thinness in phones.

This was the standard 10 years ago:


Stop phone anorexia.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
8,310
11,451
When I started carrying my iPhone in a wallet case that holds two credit cards and my driver's license and a couple of bills, I started wishing the 5s were at least half the thickness it is now...without sacrificing battery capacity of course. It would be a neat feat if they could come out with a viable iphone with credit card thickness meant to be carried in the wallet along with cash and cards, while we all wait for all merchants and governments to accept mobile devices as vehicles for payment and identification...assuming that ever happens at all. By viable I mean it can carry a charge through a day of use. We are really constrained at this point by battery technology.

Apple is trying to come up with a mobile device or tandem devices that will carry all of our pertinent information and will be one(s) we can comfortably wear/carry on us at all times while having a display large enough to be enjoyable to use. A device like that is going to need to be thin and light, be it the watch or an iPhone or both working in tandem. I'm hoping for foldable/flexible at some point in the not too distant future because the length and width of the 6plus is really pushing the trade off between usability vs. Portability.

So I don't think their decisions are based purely on aesthetics. They're going somewhere with this focus on thinness. And it's a goal I appreciate. But perhaps they are producing some undesirable compromises (protruding camera, poor battery life, awkward dimensions) while dealing with current constraints in component technologies and architecture.
 

Cryates

macrumors 68020
Nov 19, 2013
2,433
2,797
Chattanooga, TN
Apple knows what their customer base wants and the majority of the base want a useable size. They knew that to keep customers happy with the increase in size, the phone would need to be thin so they would be easier to hold. I'm personally ecstatic that the 6+ is 7.1mm because it's even thinner than my 5S thus should make it easier to hold than if it was 8mm+ like the Note 3.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,430
4,436
Apple does not care what people want, they do whatever THEY want knowing that fanbois will buy it anyway.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,430
4,436
Everything Apple does with iOS is driven on the idea of improving the user experience and delivering the best user experience.
And that's why so many people complain about iOS 7 and they force you to downgrade to it if you want to reset the phone?