Skip to main content

The Half-finished iPhone

Neither attractive nor pleasant to hold, this needs a case.

When the iPhone 6 was announced you could barely move across the internet for people eulogising its build quality and premium materials. They were wrong and the more I use one the more that becomes apparent.

First of all, let's be clear, the iPhone is a great handset that manages to fix the biggest single complaint that Apple have faced for the last three years: its screen size.

However, the iPhone 6 has a major failing: it feels like half a phone, the innards of a device awaiting the installation of the final shell. When you pop the back cover off a Nokia Lumia and are left holding the screen and innards that's what the iPhone 6 is. Apple has made it so thin and out of such a 'premium' material that it ends up feeling unpleasant to hold in the hand. Without a case I could not bring myself to use an iPhone 6 on a daily basis, it is a tactile dead zone.

Install Apple's leather cover for the iPhone - or any of a number of third party alternatives - and that sensation changes completely. The balance of the phone in the hand is improved, the grip and the feel at the contact points immeasurably better and it is aesthetically more pleasing.

As someone who really doesn't like putting phones in cases the iPhone 6 is a troubling device to use everyday. However the truth is that the iPhone isn't complete without a case and Apple's leather cover really does complete the design.

In many ways it reminds me of the classic coach builders of yore. Rolls Royce, Bentley, Alfa Romeo and Lancia would build a chassis and install the mechanical bits to create a functioning car, which would then be sent to the customer's coach builder of choice who would install a body matching that customer's preference.

So rather than complaining about the iPhone's lack of completeness, I should be applauding the ability to create a custom iPhone that isn't the same as everyone else's. 


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…