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.
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?