Get Ready for a Thinner iPhone

Get Ready for a Thinner iPhone

It seems like Apple’s long-term design dream for its iPhones and iPads—to create some kind of magic pane of glass—are inching toward reality. The screens on Apple’s iPhones keep getting bigger as the bezels shrink. Now, we have word that Apple is truly stressing the thinness of its devices after showcasing its slim-as-hell iPad Pro 2024. The iPhone 16 might not look so thin, but next year’s iPhone 17 could really put emphasis on a slender chassis.

Apple had to do a lot of interesting engineering to get that latest iPad Pro to be its thinnest product since the iPod Nano. The company needed to rejigger the battery and reinvent the shell so that it wasn’t going to experience any bendgate issues like back with the iPhone 6 Plus. According to an anonymous source talking to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Cupertino, California tech giant is planning a very thin iPhone 17. Just how thin? Well, the iPad Pro with M4 at 13 inches was 5.1 mm. The iPhone 15 Pro, by comparison, is 8.25 mm. The new iPad is so thin it’s just a hair’s breadth wider than its singular USB-C port. A new iPhone would need to shave some considerable bulk to get it down to that size.

But Gurman said Apple’s up to the challenge. It’s not just iPhones, either. The company reportedly wants its MacBook Pros and Apple Watches also to start getting slim as well. The current MacBook Air is .45 inches thick, while the most recent Pro is .61 inches. The current Series 9 watches are all 10.7 mm.

The Series 9 update didn’t include much in the way of anything truly new, save for the double tap feature, but now Apple seems to have size on the mind. Late on Sunday, Apple supply chain analyst Ming Chi Kuo reported the Apple Watch Series 10 would have a new variety of watch face sizes and a thinned-down design. Seeming to confirm Gurman’s claims, Kuo said the next Apple Watch will have a choice between 45 mm and 49 mm watch faces, and it will still look thinner than before.

According to the analyst’s report, the Apple Watch Ultra may look pretty much the same. Even so, bigger watch faces seem to be the name of the game, especially with big dogs like Samsung barking at Apple’s door with the rumored Galaxy Watch Ultra.

It looks as if this was always been the company’s design goal. Remember when we all thought the next iPhone would have low-profile “taptic” controls rather than any pronounced buttons? Apple reportedly had to cancel those plans after a fair bit of internal debate about accessibility and usefulness, but it still points to the company’s entire philosophy.

If Apple could create a single pane of glass that would work as your phone while incorporating as much of its walled garden inside, it would. Until then, we’ll keep seeing the screens getting bigger and the frames getting smaller.

Learn more about the recent WWDC 2024 event here.

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