New Tech in Hand

I wrote about staying up late to order the iPhone 6.  Then I wrote about the computer issues that Apple and AT&T had in processing my order.  But today, I have the iPhone 6 in hand and I have my initial reaction.  I have purchased every version of the iPhone except one, and this one feels different to me.

With every previous iPhone, opening the box and holding the phone for the first time was a very special moment.  My first reaction was always “Wow – this phone is wonderful!”  I knew from the first moment that I held each iPhone that I would enjoy using it.

With the iPhone 6, my first reaction was  “Wow – this phone is big!”  I knew that the iPhone 6 would be larger than the iPhone 5s, and I had printed out the templates showing the size of the two new Apple phones.  I had even held Android phones with 4.7″ screens owned by misguided friends.  But even with all of that, I was not ready for the size of the phone.

Any phone is very personal – perhaps the most personal of all forms of technology.  We each use our phone to do specific things, and we each like to use them in specific ways.  Since the original iPhone, I have used my phone with just my left hand, operating it by reaching everywhere on the screen with the thumb of my left hand.  The sole exception to that was when using the iPhone to write, when I would hold the phone with both hands and type with both thumbs.

With the iPhone 6, my preferred way to use an iPhone no longer works.  In order to hold the iPhone 6 in my left hand and reach everywhere on the screen with my left thumb, I will need a prosthetic extension on the end of that thumb to make it about an inch longer.  Perhaps there is a product here – thumb extenders!

It is possible that I will ultimately become glad that my new iPhone forced me to change how I use my phone.  Possible, but doubtful.  I believe that the best  forms of technology adapt to the user, not force the user to adapt to the technology.  When I mentioned to my daughter during dinner tonight that I was not happy with the size of the new iPhone, she helpfully offered to take the new phone and “let” me keep my old iPhone 5s.  As sweet as that offer may be, I do want to the capabilities of the new phone – I very much want to use Apple Pay.

I think that Apple is missing a significant market opportunity by not making a version of its flagship phone – aith the styling of the iPhone 6 and the capabilities of the iPhone 6 – but in the smaller form factor.  I would have been happier with a 4″ iPhone 6 than with the 4.7″ version that I have.

When a friend called me today, I told him that he was participating in the first call that I made holding a pop tart to my head.  He, one of those misguided souls who went for larger phones several years ago, welcomed me to the dark side.

It’s a good thing I didn’t get the iPhone 6 Plus.



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