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Apple Seems to Think Steve Jobs’s Wonderful iPhone Was Too Small

Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone 4 in San Francisco on June 7, 2010
Steve Jobs introduces the iPhone 4 in San Francisco on June 7, 2010Photograph by Ryan Anson/AFP via Getty Images

When Steve Jobs introduced the very first iPhone, he said, “We’ve designed something wonderful for your hand, just wonderful.” That was a phone with a 3.5-inch screen, a small enough to be held and operated with the fingers on one hand. He insisted that the company had designed the perfectly proportioned gadget, even as rivals running Google’s Android operating system began rolling out bigger phones. “You can’t get your hand around it,” Jobs harrumphed over the inferior products. “No one’s going to buy that.”

Is it tech-god sacrilege to pronounce him wrong on that score? Samsung Electronics is doing quite well selling its oversize phones, thank you very much. And now Apple is expected to introduce its iPhone 6 in two bigger sizes, with screens of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. Mark Gurman at 9to5 Mac reminded us of the amazing Apple campaign that asserted it got the proper width right the first time around. Even as recently as the iPhone 5, with its half-inch-larger screen, the company insisted that its persistently slender width was “just common sense,” as a user can drag a thumb from one corner diagonally across to the farthest corner. Anything larger would require two thumbs.