September 19, 2014 was a dark day. It was a little rainy, my mother was in town and stealing my weekend, and a whole lot of iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses were coming into the office for benchmarking and review. The one bright spot was that my own iPhone would be arriving that same day, and finally replacing the water-logged iPhone 5 I’d been using for months. I ripped off the plastic wrapping and pried off the cardboard lid and finally wrapped my hands around a phone that would ultimately ruin the lives of every single person who has tiny hands or tiny pockets.
OK. OK, maybe it didn’t ruin our lives. It’s definitely taken a chunk out of my wallet. The curves in the glass front seem prone to breaking and I’ve had to take multiple trips to the Apple Store to pay to fix it. But the real struggle (totally a first world kind) hasn’t been the exorbitant repair fees. It’s been the bloody size of the thing.
On paper the size difference between the iPhone 5 and the 6 doesn’t seem too bad. The former is 4.87 inches by 2.31 inches and the latter is 5.44 inches by 2.64 inches. That’s only half an inch in one direction and a third of an inch in the other. Plenty of guys would say that’s no big deal.
It is a very big deal.
Women have notoriously tiny and barely effective pockets and the iPhone 6 and 6s jut garishly out of it — telling all the world that you’ve spent a lot of money on a terrible phone. It’s worst in the back pocket, where it’s subject to Bendgate. You can never, ever sit down with this thing in your back pocket. At least not without worrying about snapping your phone in two with your ass.
Worse than the pocket horror is the miserable experience of using it with tiny baby hands.
I’ve got those. I’m nearly 5'8, but I have the hands of a woman who’s just 5'0 tall. People gasp when they compare their hands to mine. Even my siblings join in on the fun. “We’re not afraid of your tiny baby fists,” they joke.
The 6/6s is just too damn big for my hands. Like I can’t even wrap my hand all the way around it. And my adductor pollicis muscle (that meaty one below the thumb) strains if I try to operate it with one hand for too long. I also can’t actually operate it with one hand. Not without sliding the phone up and down so I can reach every button.
It’s just tedious enough — annoying enough — to frustrate.
So yeah, I’m excited about the iPhone SE and it’s return to the size God Steve Jobs intended a smartphone to be. OK, not technically. Jobs famously thought anything bigger than a 3.5 inch screen was folly and Apple only got around that by waiting for Jobs to be too busy dying to stop them.
But a small phone is great. It’s acknowledging that people with tiny hands, like me and that tangerine piñata, exist and we deserve phones just like the rest of you willow-fingered types. Thanks for pulling us out of the baby-fingered phone ghetto Apple. We deserve phones just as powerful as the rest of you, but in a size befitting our minuscule digits, and now on March 31 we’ll finally have one.