The ridiculously small iPhone 3GS
Back in the early days of the iPhone, it was a fairly small device that easily fit in a shirt pocket or jeans pocket. Today, the power of the iPhone and the demands we make of it virtually require a larger display. So how do we carry it?
Personally, I have always used a belt holster for my iPhone. Back when I had an iPhone with a 3.5-inch display, the belt holster was a small leather affair, almost no bigger than the ones used by many in Colorado for a pocket knife.
As time went on, my belt holsters got bigger. My iPhone 6 still fits in my current belt holster, but not when the Rokform Sport case is on. My current belt holster is 5.25 inches long, but if I want even a modest case on the iPhone 6, the belt holster will need to be much larger.
Yesterday, I reviewed the OtterBox Defender case for the iPhone 6, and it includes a belt holster. The who thing is like an aircraft carrier on my waist—6 inches long and a total of 9 ounces. My wife took one look at it and asked if I really planned to go out in public with that kind of gear.
The solution for most people who don't want to wear a nerdy belt holster is to put the iPhone in a pocket. Lately, we've seen how risky it is to sit on a modern smartphone from any maker, and I've always been concerned myself that I'd plop into the car and the iPhone's display would crack.
For others, the front pocket is a good choice. The problem there for me is that I keep my wallet in one front pocket and keys in the other. Neither front pocket is a good choices for me, and I'm looking forward to the day when I no longer have to carry a leather wallet around. But, for now, it's not happening.
That's about it except for corner cases. Joggers with armbands is one. Wearing cargo pants isn't always an option. Business people have that nice inside suit coat pocket, but the iPhone can easily slide out when the suit coat is set aside in a meeting or a restaurant in warm weather.
Lately, I have been joking about starting a Kickstarter Project to develop a leather shoulder holster. It'll be for the iPhone 6 Plus and be model number 007.
The Vision of Steve Jobs
I remember when Steve Job insisted that the original iPhone must fit nicely in a dress shirt pocket. I also remember being at lunch, on the EDGE network, and watching a simple webpage take an eternity to load. Nowadays, the iPhone 6 is some 80+ times faster than the original iPhone, we have LTE, and we demand the ability to navigate with maps, watch movies, and check Doppler weather radar. The iPhone is the modern, essential Tricorder.
It's natural to demand more and get more as the technology improves, but we still haven't figured out how to carry these iPhones without bending them, dropping them, losing them or cracking the display.
The SciFi dream: a curved smartphone on the wrist.
Perhaps, now we know why Apple dragged its feet on phablets. There is some wisdom in having a small, compact smartphone. But modern users need, indeed demand, larger displays.
We got what we asked for. Now someone needs to think seriously about how both men and women can carry an iPhone without nerdy belt holsters (we don't all wear belts) or without the risk of sitting on it or bending it. Or dropping it. Or losing it.
Perhaps that scifi concept of the curved display wrapped around our wrist is where we need to get to. The EmoPulse Smile may not be the ultimate answer, but it might be a start. Personally, I can't wait.
EmoPulse Smile. Smartphone on the wrist. Is it a start or dead end?