iPhone 6 (uSwitch 002)

Shortly after Apple released the iPhone 5s in September 2013, KGI Securities’ Ming Chi-Kuo speculated that a future larger-screened iPhone won’t go beyond five inches for Apple, in the analyst’s own words, would be foolish to abandon its “unwavering principle of one hand use”.

A year earlier, Apple for the first time publicly articulated its philosophy in an iPhone 5 television commercial dubbed ‘Thumb’, which pictures a user comfortably operating the four-inch device using only their thumb.

So, what engineering and design feats might the handset employ in order to make it suitable for one-handed use? Read on for the full reveal…

Long-established parts leaker Sonny Dickson teamed up with uSwitch Tech (which itself leaked several claimed iPhone 6 components) to offer a viable explanation.

In addition to the skinnier side bezels seen on many suspected iPhone 6 front display assembly photos, Apple may have minimized the screen area that isn’t easily reachable by shrinking the bottom portion where the Touch ID-enabled Home button is located.

The basis for the claim are claimed photos of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, seen top of post and below, which were sourced by uSwitch Tech and Dickson himself.

iPhone 6 (uSwitch 001)

The publication writes:

This ostensibly minor change should mean that much more of the display is accessible, while allowing Apple to incorporate a larger screen without making the iPhone itself much larger.

In keeping with earlier leaks, the photos also once again show that Apple has used much smaller bezels (the area at the side of the screen) this time too. This will also have helped the tech giant to fit the iPhone 6 with larger screens while keeping the phone’s pocket-friendly dimensions.

For those wondering, the ‘6G’ code on the vacuum-packed screens is apparently a naming convention Chinese factories use to label Apple parts.

I’m not sure that the included images help make the case for the one-handed-use argument. Furthermore, it’s worth remembering that Dickson has been wrong before so you should take this with a pinch of salt.

Check out Apple’s ‘Thumb’ iPhone 5 commercial below.


For what it’s worth, the Japanese magazine Mac Fan claimed back in October of last year that the iPhone 6 would mark the first phablet-class device optimized for one-handed use.

According to the story, one of the engineering tricks involves shrinking down the bezels, as per numerous part leaks. Moreover, Apple would indeed actively advertise the iPhone 6 as being suited for one-handed use, the report added.

A recent video, seen below, purportedly showing off a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 front panel does indeed appear to suggest the possibility of one-handed use.

Apple has certainly adhered to its principle thus far.

The iPhone 5/5s/5c devices feature a four-inch screen that’s taller but not wider compared to the iPhone 4/4s. This has made a larger four-inch screen possible while still allowing for easy one-handed operation.

Do you care about being able to operate the next iPhone with one hand?

  • Glenn DolFan Baptista

    Does it matter if I’m left handed ? Jk lol

    • Christopher

      Matter of fact, I found something that matters(I’m also left handed), not the screen, but the speakers, it doesn’t work the way apple wants them to, to use your hand as something to echo on(try your right hand and you’ll know what I’m talking about), and thats only on the current smaller iPhone, imagine what would happen if the speaker was even further from your(left) hand.

      • samball sam

        Not only that, I’m having trouble reaching the top left corner with my thumb. It’s quite a hassle to reach the back button every time.

      • Alborz

        most applications offer swipe from edge to go back. that’s one of the ways apple is tackling the larger screen on iPhone 5. it is indeed harder to reach the back button on the 4″ screen size.

      • David Fabian

        I wish more app developers would put a priority on implementing the back gesture. I use and test hundreds of apps, and it’s surprising how many still don’t implement this important usability feature, it’s always something I mention when giving feedback to developers. Given the expanded screen sizes, I think apple should make the back gesture a *requirement* for third party apps in iOS 8.

      • raulortiz318

        It would be smart for Apple to do that. In some cases, it wouldn’t work, like in games and certain apps, but the majority of apps can and should use it. I feel like they were prepping users for a larger device by giving them a year head start to get used to the swipe back gesture in iOS 7.

      • Jonathan

        Well, yesterday was national left handed day believe it or not.

  • Valinor

    I tried the thumb thingie on my iphone 5. That guy has one flexible thumb. :S I have re-adjust the iphone to hit the bottom corners….

  • Do you care about being able to operate the next iPhone with one hand?

    Of course I do. I can’t speak for everyone but I’m pretty sure most people want to be able to easily navigate their mobile phone rather than have to constantly adjust it up, down, side-to-side, diagonally (you get the picture)?

    The only exception to the above that I can possibly think of is people that want a larger screen for viewing movies, people whose eyesight might not be the best so want a larger screen to display text and images larger and people that don’t want a tablet, but do want a tablet, but don’t actually want to have a tablet and a smartphone so instead buy a phablet.

    • @dongiuj

      Apple should care after it was trying to look good about an advert repeatedly broadcasted banging on about one-handed use.
      Personally, I have slightly small hands but deal with my galaxy S3 just fine. The iPhone 6 will be fine too, IMO.

  • Jake Rogers

    Hmm, the bezels still seem way too big. Sonny Dickonson had some excellent mockups before which showed a much smaller top bezel (meaning different thickness vs the bottom bezel because the home button is taller than the mic + front camera). However most of the comments were bashing the design for looking just like a samsung galaxy. This is infuriating, Apple can’t use space efficiently because samsung did it first?!? Unbelievable. Also, all the legit looking leaks showed basically unchanged bezels. The iPhone 6 could have fit a 4.7″ screen on the iPhone 5s body but nope, its proportionally larger and thus will be unnecessarily unwieldy. Not crazily so, just unnecessarily so.

    • Mohammed

      I totally agree with you.
      The bezels in the pictures above is still too damn big ,if they really want you to be able to use it with one hand,then the picture above better be fake.
      Look at this one ,it shows a much smaller bezel than the picture above .

      • Mohammed

        Here is it.

      • raulortiz318

        I’m hoping MKBHD had the real thing!

  • siddique

    Yes ofcurse the time when u drive or u r bZy in

    • grumpyfuzz

      yea guys! let’s use our phone while we’re driving!

  • R4

    Yeah It might not feel like a big thing but being able to use a phone with one hand is very useful. Ahem.

    • R4

      You know nothin Jon Snow.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    Nothing revolutionary or haven’t been seen before, the Moto x had/has a 4.7″ screen and is roughly the same size as the i5/5s. LG G2/G3 phones have the largest screen to size ratio. Unfortunately Apple is trailing behind in this area.

    • raulortiz318

      Neither of those phones have a Touch ID home button.

  • I can see the 4.7 being one handed but I’m not too sure about that supposed 5.5.
    I don’t really care though I’m more comfortable using two hands just to keep a grip on the device.

  • Jose Antonio Gomez


  • CAS

    To me, being able to use my phone with one hand is a priority, that’s why I don’t own a huge galaxy phone, if the iPhone 6 allows me to keep using my phone with one hand (without using some stupid mode like the galaxy) I will be happy to upgrade

  • coejam

    They tried bigger screen without frame, in that case one hand use is possible.
    There is impossible if he try with bigger screen including frame.

  • Jamessmooth

    Don’t care about one handed operation. Just give me dat 5.5!

  • We finally see some parts from the 5.5in phone, more specifically the charging port. For comparison the 4.7in port is the other pic.

  • Matt

    I don’t care if it’s suited for one hand use, I just don’t want it to be one foot tall

  • “For what it’s worth, the Japanese magazine Mac Fan claimed back in October of last year that the iPhone 6 would mark the first phablet-class device optimized for one-handed use.

    According to the story, one of the engineering tricks involves shrinking down the bezels, as per numerous part leaks.”

    Uhm, the Galaxy line has been offering that for a while now with added software optimization to make 1 handed use simple. Nothing new and exclusive to Apple, but it’s good to see the iPhone too will be operatable with 1 hand.

    • Kurt

      Yes a quick swipe in and out from the right side will shrink the screen size to a 4″ phone when in need to use the phone one handed. I prefer using two hands, one holding the phone and the other the s-pen. But to each his own. I don’t care so much for phones as I do for Tablets, probably gonna buy Surface pro 3 soon

  • jay

    I own a 5,1 inch phone and have no problem to use it with one hand. However there are some gestures on ios that are better. I think apple will make again a nice piece of hardware that sells like crazy. Still believe that people will still find something that is not right