In my June posting on thin style over ergonomics (Breaking News: iPhone 22 to Double as Razor) I extrapolated that the iPhone would be as thin as a Schick razor by 2029. But Apple has revved up its sharpening stones faster than I thought and accelerated the decrease from 5% to 18%. This changes my model dramatically. If this accelerated rate of thinning (sharpening?) continues, Apple iPhones will be able to slice your finger off in 2026. In that year the iPhone 19 will be .45mm thick compared to a Schick Stainless blade at .40mm. I’ll save hundreds of dollars a year on shaving! The device pays for itself.
As engadget reports, the iPhone 5 is “a glass and aluminum two-tone affair and, at 7.6mm it’s a full 18 percent thinner than the 4S”. This rapidly accelerates the movement from thin to really thin to dangerous. Pretty soon you won’t just have to turn off your mobile devices on a plane, you’ll have to check them in your luggage along with your switchblade and box cutters to prevent them from being used as a weapon.
Seriously, there is clearly a logical endpoint to this trend: zero mm. But realistically it’s thicker than that since it isn’t comfortable to hold a pane of glass. For cars, auto makers craft models in clay. I’m sure handheld device manufacturers craft models purely for aesthetics and feel in the hand as well that can be any thickness since there are no electronics inside. So what’s the final answer – how thin a slice of aluminum and glass can be created before it is no longer comfortable to hold between your palm and fingers? If the rubber case put around it is supposed to supply the desired handfeel, then why the obsession with how thin the device inside it is? Aside from fitting in pockets and bags (in which a few millimeters can’t make too much difference), is there any reason to focus on thinness anymore?