Phat plastic: What everyone wants in a smartphone


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Take a moment to look at your stupid iPhone, sitting there being all stupid. Surely we can all agree it is a very flawed device that no one should own. No one could argue with that.

Yes, Fast Company’s Mark Wilson is back yet again to tell us how badly Apple sucks. What would we do without him?

Enjoy our devices in peace and quiet? Yes, that does sound nice. No, there is no way we can arrange that. Sorry.

“Why Won't Apple Fix The iPhone's One Huge Design Flaw?” (Tip o’ the antlers to SamT.)

Hey, the Macalope went to high school with a Hugh Dezineflaw.


Sigh, OK, Mark. We came all this way, so… What is it?

The iPhone [7] will still have a glass screen that will shatter if you drop it wrong.

Wilson understands the tradeoff here, noting that more durable screens exist but are either plastic or thicker. Still, he wants Apple to do something so he’s asking for one of two things:

1. An iPhone that doesn’t feel as good or is thicker.

2. Magic.

Apple won’t do the former and can’t do the latter.

Nooo, it really can’t do the latter, no matter what you’ve heard.

The company has made all kinds of improvements to the iPhone over the years, all of which seem to make Wilson mad because Apple prioritized them over the very easy solution of making the screen out of pure transparent aluminum and shipping customers a replacement iPhone every 40 femtoseconds when the screen evaporates because it can’t hold its molecular structure any longer than that. Easy peasy. But Apple won’t do it. Sad.

A magnetometer measures the Earth’s magnetic field to point you in the right direction, and a gyroscopic sensor can measure the device’s pitch, roll, and yaw.

Boat terms. Can you name them all?

Speaking of boat terms, Wilson doesn’t mention the improvements Apple quietly made to the interior components of the iPhone to make them more water-resistant. No, the iPhone is not waterproof, but here’s an instance of the company improving iPhone durability and not even saying a word about it.

But none of these problems is as devastating as the one problem we already knew about: the screen, that delicate, delicate screen.

Made of naught but the gossamer wings of faeries ’tis. One dare not look at it too hard for fear it shall wither to ash.

Apple has prioritized the iPhone's aesthetics over UX, and tens of millions of iPhone users suffer as a result.

Ugh, using this really nice device every day is such a burden.

Apple sure knows how to sell a product. But does it get how to build one?


According to SquareTrade, 25% of iPhone users have broken their screen at some point…

That’s a link to a two-year-old study by SquareTrade, a company in the business of selling warranties. Which is a valuable service, you should probably have some kind of warranty on your iPhone whether it’s from Apple or a third-party like SquareTrade, but it’s unclear if their results refer to users’ current iPhone or just an iPhone they once owned. If only a quarter of people have ever cracked an iPhone screen ever, that’s probably pretty good.

The problem may be that we, as consumers, haven’t complained loudly enough about their shattering iPhone screens.

Quick! To the Open-Letter-To-Tim-Cook machine!

Apple's fetish for fragility…

Yes, it’s a fetish for fragility, not design. Mmm-hmm. Indeed.

…isn't just a laughable oversight on an otherwise well-designed product.

It’s also a stick we can use to beat Apple over the head! Because surely no other premium smartphones have screens that are less than indestructible because no other manufacturer would make such a laughable-

“Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and Gorilla Glass 5 scratch quite easily.”

Huh, well will you look at that article the Macalope found quickly when trying to find another smartphone made with Gorilla Glass which is not at all hard because most of them are. The funny thing about that is the reason Gorilla Glass 5 scratches more easily is because it’s softer to make it more shatter-resistant.


Other than the fact that Gorilla Glass 5 only just came out. It’s a mystery.

It actually makes the iPhone a failure when it's pulled from an Apple Store to face the rigors of real-world UX.

The iPhone: The failure that 50 million people every quarter keep buying into for some reason. Why do they keep making poor choices? Probably marketing. Couldn’t be they like the feel of the thing. It certainly isn’t that.

Keep waiting for people to see the light and go all-in for phat plastic phones, Mark. Should happen any day now.

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