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iPhone Screen UX

It’s a familiar story: you step out of the car and your cellphone immediately falls out of your pocket. Time freezes and you swear your heart stops in that instant. You’re instantly running through options in your head – how quickly can you get to a store to fix the phone? Worst case scenario, how long might you have to survive sans phone? Because you know, even before the phone hits the ground, that the screen will be cracked, scratched, or completely shattered. Why? Because, like millions of people worldwide,  you own an iPhone. And the iPhone screens always break. It’s just a question of when and how badly. Will you still be able to scroll through emails and open the QWERTY keyboard to respond to a text? Or are you getting glass shards embedded in your fingertips every time you swipe up?

I have a question for Apple, one that is on everybody’s mind: Why won’t you fix the screen? With the much anticipated official unveil of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus on September 7, 2016,  and its numerous hardware upgrades, why can’t this design fix be addressed? It’s been nearly a decade (the first iPhone came out in June 2007), and no fix to the screen issue has been offered. Not for lack of changes though! From 3G, 4G, retina display, backlit HD cameras, fingerprint sensors, and more, Apple is not adverse to change.

I’m actually a newly converted iPhone user (and sticking with the 4S, thank you vey much) but after seeing friend after friend go through the drama of fixing a cracked screen I immediately bought a heavy duty phone case to protect the delicate screen as best I can. I also do my best to keep the phone safely put away when it’s not in use, keeping it away from pants pockets and table ledges.

And sure, the latest iPhone is water and dust resistant, has stereo speakers, and has a brand new camera but the screen still hasn’t been updated. The iPhone might be faster and thinner than before but it still features that dang Gorilla Glass. It’s time to prioritize UX over aesthetics, am I right? And it all starts with the delicate screen to increase the shelf life.

In their quest for the thinnest product on the market, Apple has created a ridiculously fragile phone. Why so fragile? I don’t have a good answer to that. To make you realize how precious the product is? Perhaps but then how come Apple designs their products to be replaced so frequently? How about durability for a change, like Samsung, Motorola and other phone companies have? Sure, Apple is likely making loads of money on screen repairs alone, but is enough to justify not addressing what just might be the biggest complaint iPhone users have?

I’ve come across more and more articles this year written by people who either have or are seriously considering switching to an Android, after years of using Apple’s phone. And sure, sometimes it has to do with the quality of Android app but the design and user experience is also a factor. What do you think? I can’t be the only one who finds the shattering screens an issue!

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