Does the iPhone really need to get thinner?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| July 28, 2011

Since the initial release of the iPhone back in 2007, the device has gone through plenty of physical revisions. The original iPhone doesn’t look much like the iPhone 4, save for the fact they’re both adorned by a large 3.5-inch touchscreen. Sure, they’re slabs, but a slab can take on plenty of different forms given enough artistic love. The similarities between the iPhone and the iPod Touch seem to be getting closer and closer, especially if these latest rumors and leaks are right. But, does the iPhone really need to get thinner?

As of right now, the current generation iPod Touch and the iPhone 4 don’t look much alike. The former of the two looks more like a straight forward consumer device, while the latter looks almost business-like. The iPod Touch is super thin, while the iPhone 4’s thinness was praised due to the fact that it’s a smartphone. Basically, with the exception of that same sized touchscreen, the two devices aren’t all that similar. Oh, with the exception of the same mobile OS, iOS 4, of course.

New rumors and leaks suggest that Apple may be getting ready to move the iPhone into a more of an iPod Touch body, pushing “thin” ahead of anything else. Obviously having a thin device is something that the majority of consumers are aching for. No one wants a thick phone in their pocket or bag, taking up space. So going thinner is an easy way to make sure that everyone is happy. Unless, of course, you get so thin that the device doesn’t even feel “real” anymore.

Specifically, when I hold the iPhone 4 now, I’m pleasantly surprised by the fact that it is thin, but there’s still enough weight there to prove that a phone is in my hand, and not a toy. On the flip-side, the iPod Touch is something that when I hold, I’m not much of a fan. It’s just too thin, and that may mean that it’s a lot easier to break. Simply put, the iPod Touch, despite its high price tag and similar aspects to the iPhone, feels like a toy.

I think Apple finds themselves in a precarious situation at this point. At any given moment before the launch of an iPhone, there’s plenty of rumor and speculation going around about what the device will look like and feature. It’s no different this time around, but the rumors regarding the physical look of the device are generally all over the place. Some believe that it will be just another iPhone 4, similar in just about every way, with the exception of a few key element changes, like to the frame. Still, others believe that there’s going to be quite a drastic change, and will feature a tapered design, much like the iPod Touch. There’s no telling which of the two will be true, but I think that many fans out there are already getting ready for one particular model versus another. If Apple doesn’t deliver a particular style, some folks may just move on to something else entirely (or just keep the phone they have now).

So where do you stand on the proposed new iPhone? Are you one of the fans of the new tapered, iPod Touch-like design? Or are you hoping that Apple sticks to the more iPhone 4-like appearance, with some more minor changes in tow? And, if you’ve got your hopes set on one style, will you switch to a new phone and mobile OS if Apple doesn’t deliver what you’re expecting? Let me know in the comments below.

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