Apple CEO Tim Cook just announced a new series of larger iPhone models, and the products are already being criticized by some women who claim the phones have a sexist design.
On Wednesday, Cook announced that the company would be expanding their iPhone X line with three new phones. While the smallest of these products, the iPhone XS, has a 5.8-inch screen, the largest, the iPhone XS Max has a whopping 6.5-inch screen, making it Apple’s largest iPhone ever.
Additionally, the company also announced that they would be discontinuing their iPhone SE, which had a 4-inch screen.
Numerous women have directed criticism towards Apple’s announcements, arguing that the news designs are more suited towards men, who tend to have larger hands than women.
In response to the news, Zeynep Tufekci, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tweeted: ” ‘Welcome to the big screens’ says Apple and women like me with small hands who need the most secure phone for safety reasons are stuck with something they can’t hold and constantly risk dropping. Company that designs $5 billion headquarters without a childcare center for the win.”
“Agree with iPhone too big for women’s hands- I had to have steroid injections this year for RSI,” another fan wrote, likely referencing a repetitive strain injury.
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Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist activist who claims to have suffered from a repetitive strain injury from using an iPhone model with a 5.5-inch screen, told The Independent that the company “consistently fails to remember that women are 50 percent of the population.”
“I’m not saying Apple is being evil and deliberately setting out to design phones that injure women by being too big for the average female hand,” she continued, adding, “but that doesn’t mean it’s ok.”
Sophie Walker, the leader of the U.K.’s Women’s Equality Party, added in an interview with The Telegraph that the problem likely stems from the lack of female leadership in the company.
“Apple’s U.K. Head Quarters has a gender pay gap of 24 per cent, and men’s bonuses are 57 per cent higher than women’s. So do I think the boys at the top consider women when making design decisions? No I don’t,” she remarked. “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,” she added.
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For the time being, the company is still selling its iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 lines, both of which have significantly smaller screens than their new offerings.
The iPhone 7 and 8 both have 4.7-inch screens, while the plus model in both lines sports a 5.5-inch screen.
Despite the complaints over the new designs, the phones are all available for preorder, and according to USA Today, the iPhone XS is already selling out — which means future prospective buyers are having to hop on a waiting list.