What the iPhone SE means for the future of Apple design

IDG.TV | Mar 22, 2016

The 4-inch iPhone SE marks the first time Apple has created a product based on customer feedback.

The people have spoken, and for the very first time Apple seems to have been listening. A smaller iPhone SE is finally here — totally changing the design rules for future iPhones.

All week my friends have been texting me nonstop asking me when they’ll be able to get their stubby little fingers on the new 4-inch iPhone. That day has finally come, Apple unveiled the iPhone SE yesterday, and it’s got all the latest features, including Live Photos, Apple Pay, and 4K recording And it’s the cheapest iPhone Apple has ever released. Just $399 for the 16-gig model. Basically, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

This is a turning point for Apple and their stubborn design philosophy. Unlike Android phones, which literally come in different flavors, the iPhone has almost always been a singular product. Every year there has been just one. It wasn’t until 2014 with the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus that Apple loosened up those rules and gave us two sizes, but even then it wasn’t as if we got to choose between a small iPhone and a large iPhone. Apple upped both sizes dramatically and our only choices were to go big or go bigger.

Steve Jobs was notorious for not really caring about what customers wanted. He followed that famous Henry Ford quote when the car maker said, “If I would have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Now that approach may have made sense for Apple when it was developing the first iPhone, and that mentality certainly made Apple an innovative force to be reckoned with. But now that the iPhone is almost ten years old, I think its about time Apple puts the future of iPhone design in our hands.

In the last two years, if you asked iPhone users what they wanted most from the new models, a lot of people would have said a smaller phone. And this week, that's exactly what we got. Now that we know Apple is listening, let’s all ask for a waterproof display so I can keep texting even while taking bath.