Apple criticized by left-handed org over iPhone 4

The Left-Handers Club suggests that with the iPhone 4's alleged left-handed issues, Apple should hire some left-handed designers.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

If you have an iPhone 4 and have been left hanging because you were hanging left, might I offer you some words of comfort? There is an organization for people like you. And the organization is not happy with Apple.

According to the Telegraph, the Left-Handers Club, which numbers some 90,000 members, claims Apple is "discriminating" against those whose left hand is their chosen one.

Lauren Milsom, who runs the Left-Handers Club, told the Telegraph: "I would strongly suggest that Steve Jobs employs left-handers in his design and testing team in future, and urgently address this issue to ensure the phone is fit for purpose."

Oh, in case you had not been accosted by a southpaw on this issue, it concerns the fact that the iPhone 4 seems not to be ideally designed for those who clutch their phones in their left hands.

Have you been left hanging? CC Khurt/Flickr

Indeed, the mere clutching of the phone in that hand might cause a loss in reception. Apple seems to have suggested that perhaps users might think of holding it another way.

Perhaps there are those for whom designing a robotic arm (right-handed) just for the purpose might seem like too much effort. But the Left-Handers Club insists that Apple should have declared itself at fault and not left lefties in the lurch.

"Clearly more testing is needed to be certain this is the case, but if so, left-handed potential customers need to be warned that the phone will not work for them, until it can be redesigned to remedy the fault,'' Milsom told the Telegraph.

It is, indeed, possible that Apple employs absolutely no left-handed people in its design department. Though somehow I find it unlikely.

If America can have enjoyed eight presidents who were left-handed (yes, Messrs. Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Obama were or are all lefties), one might have thought that one or two of the left-handed minority might have passed an Apple interview process.

You could put a very fine band of lefties together in Billy Corgan, Phil Collins, Kurt Cobain, Tony Iommi, David Byrne, and Robert Plant. And still have Paul McCartney making the coffee and ready to step in if someone went down with exhaustion of one kind or another.

So surely Apple has plenty of lefties who will stand up and offer a "Please, sir!" while waving their favorite hands in the air.

Perhaps it really is the case that Apple thinks phones just look better in right hands, a sentiment with which I cannot help but agree. Or could it be that there really isn't any consistency in the way people hold their phones?

Is it really true that everyone who is left-handed holds the phone in his or her left hand? Or vice versa? Are there some who might, in fact, have trained their less able hands to hold the phone while their more able hands do things like dialing, texting, and nose-picking?

If one embraces that logic with both hands, then the iPhone 4 might actually make things better for left-handers.

However, it would be nice if Apple were to wheel out some of its internal left-handers just to show the left-handed lobby how they're dealing with the issue. You see, left-handers are very special people. According to the Left-Handers Club, they see better under water, reach puberty earlier than righties, and one in four of the Apollo astronauts was left-handed.

But here is by far the most important fact that should make everyone pause for left-handed thought: The Left-Handers club tells us that four of the five original designers of the Macintosh computer were left-handed.