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You wouldn't like a bigger battery in your iPhone, says Apple's Ive

Technically Incorrect: Apple's head of design says in an interview that there are emotional reasons why the iPhone needs regular recharging.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Jony Ive thinks deeply about design. He thinks deeply that you wouldn't like a heavier iPhone. Vanity Fair/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Admit it, you've cursed at your iPhone once or twice.

Just when you needed it most, it left you. Or, rather, its battery did. It left you standing in the middle of a bar, embarrassingly unable to post an Instagram image of your latest purple designer drink.

The iPhone battery's relatively short endurance is one of those relationship characteristics that lovers put up with and hope to enjoy moaning about.

Honestly, darling, it lasts just three hours most days. What can I do?"

Apple design chief Jony Ive sympathizes with your plight. Not at all, really.

In an interview with the Financial Times, he was asked whether a longer lasting battery might be a boon to the human/iPhone love story.

He reportedly answered with a logic that goes as follows: You love your iPhone because it's so gorgeous and light. The fact that it's so gorgeous and light means you use it more. The fact that you use it more means your battery runs out more often.

Conversely, if Apple inserted a bigger battery, the phone would be heavier. You would therefore not feel as much affection toward it. You would find it cumbersome. Or, in Ive's words, less "compelling." You would therefore not use it so much. And therefore Apple might make less money. (Yes, I inserted that last sentence as a mere stimulus-response musing.)

Some might find Ive's logic expresses what they see as Apple's overly pretentious attitude toward design.

On the other hand, humans tend to be driven by irrationalities. Even if we're aware of them, we're not often stable enough to subvert them with fine, rational decision-making.

I wonder if Apple suddenly released a heavier iPhone there would be an outcry that designer purses were being overloaded and that the pockets of $300 jeans were suddenly enduring torn seams.

I wonder also whether Apple would merely tell people they were storing it wrong.

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