Is Apple ashamed of the iPhone 6’s protruding camera lens?

“The iPhone 6 is the first iPhone with a camera lens that instead of being flush with the back of the devices slightly protrudes instead,” John Brownlee reports for Cult of Mac. “It was a necessary design trade-off, allowing Jony Ive’s team of designers to cram the advanced optics into the iPhone 6 necessary to make it the best smartphone camera ever.”

“But that doesn’t change the fact that Apple usually likes clean lines in its product designs. And that protruding camera lens, when viewing the iPhone 6 in profile, turns an otherwise clean line into an unsightly bulge,” Brownlee reports. “Apple can’t stand that bulge, so the company is going to the unprecedented length of using clever lighting and photography to hide it in its marketing materials.”

Read more in the full article here.

Ben Brooks writes for The Brooks Review, “I looked through Apple’s site on the iPhone 6 and interestingly the bump isn’t hidden most of the time, but it is always hidden in profile. When you look at the iPhone in profile the honest way to show the phone is with the bump, but take a look (from Apple’s site)…”

iPhone 6 camera

iPhone 6 camera

Read more in the full article here.

“I think this is a place where Apple has shown their hand at just how motivated they are to keep progressing the camera technology in their phones,” Shawn Blanc blogs. “Their engineering team has made a phone so thin that they physically can’t pack the lens and sensor into it.”

“With the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, they’ve chosen to make the camera as good as they can make it, even if it causes the lens to slightly protrude,” Blanc writes. “As much as Apple is known for their design and good taste, let it never be said that they will chose form over function when it comes to the most important features.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

57 Comments

  1. This is the ONLY gripe I have with the iPhone 6/ 6 plus. I completely get why they did it and understand that they “had” to do it, but I still don’t like it. And it won’t stop me from upgrading to a 6 either. I just wish it didn’t have to be this way.

    I am tempted to suggest that maybe they shouldn’t have made the phone so thin, but I suspect that it was a foregone conclusion that the phone had to be this thin in order to make it feel like it wasn’t such a huge phone and to try to minimize how big it looks.

      1. It’s all about product differentiation and competitive advantage.

        One of Apple’s competitive advantages is their top notch engineering. Squeezing increasing levels of functionality and performance into ever smaller packages is quite a feat of engineering.

        Ultimately, it is much harder for a Samsung to copy the iPhone 6’s current design and dimensions than it would have been for them to copy a thicker iPhone with a flush camera lens and larger battery.

      2. That’s not his lithium batteries are designed. You can just add a millimetre or two and BOOM get larger capacity…. Well without it going BOOM in other much less desirable ways, that is.

        1. A thicker phone also means more materials required to make the phone and adds weight. So, would a sliver of battery add enough capacity to outweigh the extra cost and weight?

      3. Exactly my thoughts. Make the case 1 or 2 mm thicker, hardly anyone would notice in real world use, and — BONUS — you get an extra 6 hours of talk/web/video use time.

        It might even be cheaper to manufacture a slightly thicker device, despite adding more battery capacity.

        They made that mistake with the iPod Shuffle….remember the 3rd or 4th generation Shuffle? The one that was so tiny that there was no room for BUTTONS on it, so they were all on the headphone cable???

        I knew that was a bad design decision as soon as a I saw it (though the engineering *was* impressive!), and sure enough, a year later they brought back the old design.

        Smaller/thinner products are not always better.

    1. Who says they had to do it? What if it’s on purpose to stop the camera lens from scratching via the protective bulge… The camera lens on iPhones gets easily scuffed simply because it’s flush with the back of the phone.

          1. Coins scratch sapphire??? In what world? Sand? No. The Mohs scale of Sapphire is 9. Nothing softer can scratch it. Typical sand runs 5.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. That’s way softer. If you could find some micro diamonds in that sand. . . maybe. Coins. Nickel’s Mohs hardness is 3.8, Copper is 3, Zinc is 2.5, as is Silver. So none of those metals can scratch Sapphire. Maybe you should tune in more FOX-TV.

          1. Since Apple is apparently not using sapphire on this generation of iPhones the point is moot, but adf, what are you going to scratch it with? Are you going to stuff Diamonds, Moissanite (Silicon Carbide), Fullerite, or Boron Nitride in your pocket with your sapphire iPhone when they finally do release it? Those are the four substances capable of scratching sapphire. . . of course two of them have only been synthesized in microscopic quantities in the laboratories, so I don’t think you’ll need worry about Fullerite and Boron Nitride.

            Really, it’s only Fandroids who claim it is remotely scratchable.

            1. “Since Apple is apparently not using sapphire on this generation of iPhones”

              They are and have for some time used sapphire for the lens and for the home button on Touch ID enabled devices. If the lens gets scratched by a non-diamond material, I would like to see the non-diamond material that scratched it 🙂

              BTW, this is true for ALL sapphire on all devices, including the Android devices that use sapphire.

            2. That’s true. I was referencing use as a screen material. You can scratch sapphire with a synthetic gem called Moissanite. Look it up. Mohs hardness of 9.4. It’s a pure form of Silicon Carbide made by Charles &Colvard. A round brilliant cut 1 carat Moissanite will run you around $200 or so. It has 2.4 times the fire of a natural diamond, but sparkles with more color since it is birefringent. Larger sizes are available up to 10 carat or so ($6,000.00 per stone of that size). In a fire, the diamonds will burn, but the moissanites will be ok, surviving temperatures up to about 4,950° F whereas a diamond is toast at 1,320° F.

    1. Exactly.

      Love iPhones, but I HATE scratching them or denting them..

      So I always buy at least a basic case/sleeve.
      Ordered a spigen case from amazon over the weekend, should have it Wednesday. Odds are I will buy another case at some point (when I can actually hold it prior to purchase) but the spigen case will do until then.

      So the lens doesn’t really bother me, but yeah.. The face that it isn’t flush is a little “non apple”

      Which makes you wonder, those videos we saw last week or so.. Could actually be real iPhones.

    1. There is nothing much to keep eye on.

      Optics continues to be thick and multi-layers for more than hundred years already.

      To improve quality, Apple had to increase quantity of lenses (from four to five), not to decrease it.

  2. As a professional-ish (freelance) photographer, I really appreciate the attention and decisions Apple has made.

    Photography boiled to its essence is the capture of light by sensors and glass. At any given technology level, all other things being equal, the bigger the sensor/glass combination, the better, the downsides being the size, and the processor/memory required to capture the image.

    I consider this bump to be a great and welcome compromise, and might even bring attention to its quality.

    1. If you actually take the product shot from the opposite side from the camera like they do you will not see the protruding lens due to perspective. I don’t see a side view from the camera side which would show it.

      1. I don’t think it would be that literal, but they would have extra depth above other components as well, so could have possibly reconfigured the space to allow for increased battery capacity. Most of the time battery life is fine, I get home on about 30% and charge it, but if I’ve used GPS a lot, played a game or watched video it drains far faster.
        Increased battery life would be more attractive than reduced thickness.

      2. iPhone’s battery is like 2 mm thick. So adding 1 mm would make more than 1.5 bigger battery.

        However, weight of iPhone would also increase — from 129 grams to 150 or so. Battery is the heaviest part of the phone.

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