There's One Big Problem With The New iPhone (If You're A Woman)

Natalie Gil

The new iPhone Xs Max is the biggest yet from Apple with its 6.5-inch screen, which is all very well for those with big hands, but the rest of us – particularly women – will run the risk of a shattered screen every time we use it one-handed.

This hasn't gone unnoticed, and Apple is facing a backlash for making phones that are too large to fit in the average woman's hand. The tech giant also recently revealed that it would be discontinuing its 4-inch iPhone SE, which drew ire online.

People have been calling out the company on Twitter for failing to take women's bodies (and needs more broadly) into account. The average female hand is an inch shorter and and almost half an inch less wide than a male hand.

Even campaigners and politicians have joined the chorus of dissatisfaction. Sophie Walker, the leader of the Women's Equality party, said a disregard for women's needs was a thread that ran throughout Apple and described the male-dominated company as "obsessed with size".

She told The Telegraph: "Apple's UK Head Quarters has a gender pay gap of 24%, and men's bonuses are 57% higher than women's. So do I think the boys at the top consider women when making design decisions? No I don't.

"Until companies like Apple have women represented equally at senior levels – as in all areas of business, politics and the public sector, women's needs are an afterthought. The boys at Apple are obviously obsessed with size but sometimes performance matters too."

Feminist campaigner Caroline Criado Perez, who was behind the introduction of a Millicent Fawcett statue in Parliament Square and the Jane Austen £10 note, said she had repetitive strain injury (RSI) from having an iPhone 6, which stopped when she switched to an iPhone SE.

"It genuinely does affect women's hand health – women do buy more iPhones than men – it just baffles me that Apple doesn't design with our bodies in mind," she told The Telegraph. "We should be furious about this, we are paying just as much money for it as men for a product that doesn't work as well for us."

Jess Phillips, the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, also said women's needs were frequently ignored in design and technology development. "The default standard is always that which suits a man. Companies have got to get better at recognising that their idea of normal should account for all their customers."

Sam Smethers, the chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said women's lives would improve if companies took their needs into consideration more often. "Whether it be services, products or the world of work, if we started in a different place with things designed by women for women we would improve women's lives & we would all benefit."

Apple has yet to comment on the issue.

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