I just came back from the Apple Store after checking out the iPhone 5. Let me talk about the good stuff first. I was amazed by how much lighter the it felt in my hand compared to my iPhone 4. It was snappy too, especially the camera. And I don’t need to talk about all the other features that have been dissected by the tons of other blogs out there, because this is about something else.
I was mainly to marvel at the production quality of the iPhone, because watching Jony Ive describe the lengths Apple goes to mass produce these phones is always exciting. I remember the iPhone 4 feeling like an awesome timepiece when I first held it. So I was surprised when I was flipping the iPhone 5 in my palms repeatedly, when I felt that one of the faces rubbed slightly differently on the edges. Upon looking at both faces, it looks like the back of the iPhone is flush with the side chamfers, but the front glass actually juts out slightly, but my a noticeable millimeter or so. The tingling in my spine disappeared; the more I looked at it, the more it bothered me. You can see it in the photo above, but you notice it a lot more on the white iPhone where the side band is stainless steel, and the glass is on white. I’m no industrial designer and I’m not saying that both sides must be flush, because of some kind of design philosophy that I might not know. But it doesn’t feel right. When I pointed it to my brothers and some friends, they said they hadn’t noticed it, but the moment they did, they were disappointed too. It didn’t feel like the precision timepiece that you expected that it was upon first look. Kind of like when you see a fake Rolex from 20 inches away and it looks pretty good, but then you look up close and suddenly one little flaw makes the whole thing fall apart.
Now I know everyone must be tired of people asking “Would this have happened if Jobs was around”, sure it is annoying when it comes to a lot of questions about Apple in general. But remember, Jobs halted production of the original iPhone because he didn’t like the way the glass was inset into the aluminum case. Ive said that he was embarrassed that Jobs had to make that observation once it was pointed out. Jobs also halted production of the iPad to make the edges more scoop able. So I will still ask, would Jobs have let this fly? Hell no!