How Thin is Too Thin: Are The New Apple iPhones and iPads Too Thin?

Written By Darren Seys - October 20, 2014

2014 wouldn’t be complete without another Apple product announcement accompanied with another sassy critique (the last Apple critique of the year – I promise!). This time, the world’s attention has shifted from the iPhone 6 to the brand new Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. Once again, Apple lures us into a technology-feeding frenzy where everyone in society suddenly becomes a Veruca Salt: we want the newest iPad, and we want it right now! However, instead of introducing an array of fabulous new features that add value and utility to the iPad, the new iPads emphasize just one feature: its thinness. Although it’s hard to argue against a thinner product, some people just can’t handle having nice things as we’ve seen recently with the iPhone 6. For example, there was #BendGate, where people who sat on their iPhone 6s noticed they were bending (gee who saw that one coming!). Then there was #HairGate, where consumers said the glass of the iPhone 6 was pulling out their hair (honesty people it’s like 3 strands, let it go). But these flaws, not had with past iPhone models, do shed light on the greater issue on hand: While lighter and faster technology is the goal, it seems product quality may be taking a hit. Is customer satisfaction Apple’s goal, or are they just out to stay ahead of the competition?

At a statuesque 5’2” with baby hands, the new iPhone 6 is too big for my grasp. This size of the new iPhone, in addition to not needing a new phone, ultimately played a role in my decision to not get the new iPhone. Additionally, the phone feels so thin that it could slip out of my hands at any moment, leading me to possess a constant fear of dropping it. What is the point of having the new iPhone if I’m terrified to use it anywhere other than in a room with padded floors and walls? Why couldn’t Apple have kept the size of the iPhone 5/5C/5S and made that thinner or lighter? At this rate, should Apple continue to make every succession of iPhones larger and thinner than the previous, they are going to size-out an entire market of baby-handed people, young and old, alike!

In all seriousness, Apple has an obsession with going thinner and lighter than both itself and its competitors. Why? Because most people are not going to say “no” to a lighter and thinner device (except me because I’m a baby-handed rebel). Apple’s claim to fame on the new iPad is that it is the thinnest and lightest tablet in the world. The iPad Air 2 is 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the fourth-generation iPad model, and 18% thinner than the previous Air model. What does this do for you? Nothing except lighten the load in your purse or backpack by a few ounces. Thanks, Apple – you truly are focusing on the important functional characteristics that consumers take into mind when purchasing a tablet (not). Furthermore, the shock value of thinner products has diminished over the past few years: everybody’s doing it, but how thin can you go before we are all texting on cell phones that are as thin as paper? It just isn’t practical. Apple needs to readjust its focus to improving and developing new features for the iPad, rather than competing in the rat race for the thinnest tablet.

It’s enough with the Trimspa for iPad, Apple. Instead of wasting money trimming edges and weight off of the iPad Air, Apple should have spent their money working to fix certain flaws and adding value to the product through new working features. For example, iPad’s 10-hour battery life has been standard since its introduction in 2010. While 10 hours of battery life were fantastic in 2010, it is now 2014. Don’t you think after five generations of iPad we could exceed the 10-hour mark by now? Additionally, Apple should have developed features that add value to Apple’s products. While Apple introduced one of the first tablets, they lack many standard features that their competition has, such as split-screen sharing applications, an Apple stylus-type pen, and increased RAM. Sure, there’s probably an app solution for some of these, but what *if* Apple could make these features standard instead? Imagine if Apple could save all of us lazy people the time and trouble of downloading 3rd party apps! What a crazy thought!

In short, unless you are truly in need of a new iPad, there is no reason to run out to grab this device. While Apple possesses an extremely impressive ability to market itself and its products, the reality is that its product releases for 2014 have been nothing short of lackluster. Here’s to a more innovative and interesting 2015, guys!

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