Why I returned my iPhone 6

“Apple’s latest phone just doesn’t work for me,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “The only reason is its size. My iPhone is a very personal device, one that I carry with me most of the time… I used the iPhone 6 for a week; I went back to the iPhone 5s on Friday, to see if I really liked it better. And I did.”

“This may be because of its familiarity; it’s a comfortable size. I can hold it comfortably in one hand, and do most of what I need with just one hand,” McElhearn writes. “The iPhone 6, however, felt alien, as though it was just not the right size for my hand. Granted, iPhones have always been smaller (I don’t consider the taller display of the iPhone 5 and 5s to be that different from previous models), so the iPhone 6 was very new. But it just wasn’t right for me.”

“This will be the first time I’ve kept an iPhone for two years. I’ll certainly upgrade next year, to the iPhone 6s or 7, whichever model they release. I may not have a choice next year, and may have to choose a larger iPhone,” McElhearn writes. “But I think with the number of people who still want a smaller model, Apple is likely to offer three sizes with the next iPhone. We’ll know in a year.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Why I returned my iPhone 6 Plus – September 29, 2014

Apple posts new how-to guide: Switching from Android phone to iPhone – September 16, 2014

DxOMark reviews iPhone 6/Plus: ‘Apple sets gold standard for smartphone image quality’ – September 23, 2014
Ars Technica reviews Apple iPhone 6/Plus: There’s a lot more going on here than just big displays – September 23, 2014
Camera test: Apple’s iPhone 6 still won’t beat a DSLR (but it’s close) – September 22, 2014
iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus tested at Disneyland: ‘So badass’ – September 17, 2014
Re/code reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 6 Plus: ‘A statement phone,’ not a ‘plastic toy’ – September 17, 2014
Megapixels mean nothing: Apple iPhone 6 trounces Samsung Galaxy S5 in camera shootout – September 17, 2014
The Telegraph reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 6 Plus: ‘It’s peerless’ – September 17, 2014
TechCrunch reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 6: ‘The best smartphone available’ – September 17, 2014
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 6/Plus: ‘Smartphone stars’ – September 17, 2014
Walt Mossberg reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 6: ‘The best smartphone on the market’ – September 16, 2014
The Wall Street Journal reviews Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 6: ‘The best smartphone you can buy’ – September 16, 2014
Macworld reviews 64-bit iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Bigger is better (in the right hands) – September 16, 2014


  1. This might sound ridiculous. But Id love to see Apple come out with the first gen iPhone shell with all the latest internals. A retro iPhone, if you will. Personally I think they’d sell tons.

    1. I pre-ordered the iPhone 6, receive it the first day, and returned it three days later for the same reasons as the author of the article. I’ve had an iPhone since day one of the original. I was really excited after seeing the keynote. Once I got the iPhone 6 in my hands I was quite disappointed. I’m hoping that Apple offers a 3.5 inch screen next year. I love the way the original iPhone feels in my hand.

        1. I have huge problems with apps on iPhone 6. 90% of apps are made for iPhone 5/S and now that have layout interface on 4.7″ (Ugly as hell), It will take a year to adjust ……
          Hardware is great

    2. yeah, no kidding, i use a 5 but still have my old 3gs, not sure why, exactly, but i haul it out every once in a great while and recharge it, sweep thru the old photos and might even listen to a song or two.

      it has a nice comfortable feel in the hand…. and yes the battery potential would be awesome.

    1. He’s been a journalist in the Mac World for decades and is known as the “iTunes” guy. He also has written a series of books on how to operate Mac and iOS devices.

      Myself I will likely be fine with the new size. But for one-handed use the 3.5 inch will always be the best for me.

    2. Because he has a blog that’s kinda named after him, and he’s written a couple of books. That’s how news works now. (And notice I didn’t put ” ” around the word news.)

  2. I jumped from a 4S to a 6. There’s no way I’d go back to a smaller display. There are certainly use cases that are more difficult with a single hand on the larger screen, but the sacrifice is worth it to me. Once more apps are updated for the 4.7/5.5 screens, it will only be better.

    1. Just got the six. I’m a big guy, so the size of the 6 is perfect. I didn’t look at the 6+, that size to me is ridiculous. The primary reason I wanted a larger device is for when I use it as a GPS when driving. The larger screen will definitely make it easier to read while navigating.

    2. I picked up the 6 and 6S in my local Apple Store (I currently have a 5S). I’ll get the 6 and thought it felt great in my hand. Loved the curved edges, which reminded me of the original iPhone I had.

      My son, who’s 6’4″ 230 lb 17 year old future college football player, loves the 6 Plus and that’s what we’re ordering for him. But he has huge hands, so it works great for him.

      I see Apple replacing the 5S with a 6S next year in the 4″ form factor.

      I also wish Apple would stop chasing thinness so hard and add a couple of mm for a thicker, longer-lasting battery. That would be the ultimate Android killer feature — A phone that is still thinner than an Android phone but has twice the battery life. Now that is a spec fight consumers will relate to!

      1. You are not the first but where do you get the iPhone 6S nomenclature? What device are you talking about? If it is the other 6 , it is 6 Plus. Later in the article you talk about a future 6S but what did you pick in your local Apple Store?

        1. He clearly meant 6 Plus in the first sentence. But he already had the next generation iPhone on his mind and typed 6s.

          Anyway, I agree with the folks who believe that there should be three sizes of iPhone at the 4, 4.7, and 5.5″ display sizes. I believe that Apple will review the sales figures for the 5s, 6, and 6 Plus and realize that the 4″ form factor has a lot of appeal going forward.

  3. Thanks so much for writing this article! The whole world was waiting to hear what you thought about the new iPhone. Please tell us more equally important and interesting stuff, like what kind of dogs you like. Thank again.

      1. The thing is. So much work was put into creating an interface that could be usable on such a small screen. The original iPhone screen. And it worked wonderfully. Apple gave in to android user excuses. Not to android users. Or to iPhone users. Android users are cheap but nobody wants to say. I use android because I’m poor or cheap. They make up excuses like android gives me the freedom to choose. A bigger screen. Customized ui options. Whatever. Point is. No android user or any user understands a user interface like apple. They also don’t understand how increasing the size makes that experience inelegant. How holding a screen that is only a little larger makes you contort your hand. To struggle to reach things. Yes you can double tap the home button. But damn. It’s hard to hold the phone now and actually hit the home button. Even the 5s was harder to hold and reach things than it was on the 4. Chasing screen size seems like such a compromise in principle for Apple. Would love to know what Ive really thinks about the changes in form. Because the original size. The original form was the function. It was designed to be a certain size for a reason. And that reason had nothing to do with “androids are bigger. People want bigger”. People aren’t professionals. People don’t know what they want until they either have something they didn’t know they needed. Or lose something they didn’t know was already perfect. Right now. I’m regretting the loss of my 5s. Maybe even my 4s.

        1. You don’t have to sell me I prefer the small ones. But I also know that like wrists, hands come in different sizes. I think iPhone can afford to speciate into different design niches for different purposes.

          One with a bigger battery, one with a larger camera lens, one with a built in storage spot a Bluetooth headset. Etc

        2. Beautiful designs are artwork and belong on a wall. A phone is a functional device. Having said that, I completely understand that different people expect different functions from their phones. We have GOT to stop seeing Apple as a company that produces art. It is a company whose goal is to make a profit. That means satisfying demand and, yes, doung so as artfully as possible. Some users such as myself are willing to sacrifice one-hand use for multi-functionality. And we aren’t all of the age that we can easily see the small fonts and we’d rather not have to zoom every page to read it. Is it not possible that Apple decided to broaden its customer base? I read so many articles disparaging Samsung – I don’t like them either – but the moment Apple does something to make those Samsung users feel welcome in the Apple world, so many Apple users demand that Apple not change anything to be more what those users are looking for. We want THEM to change their demands. We want them to understand our phones are art in our pockets. No, I prefer capitalism where companies start with guiding principles and tweak things that don’t contradict those principles. And in my view, as long as Apple makes the artful small version of the phone that is u functional to some of us, we should all be happy that Apple is making a version of the phone that you may see as spit in the face of Steve Jobs with the intent of putting Samsung out of the phone business. In essence, Apple has not replaced so far; that have merely added to their line of phones. Consumers like choice and I think it’s a good thing for Apple and the Apple die-hards. Welcome to all of you former Samsung users. Come and experience a phone that doesn’t see you as a target for commercials but as a consumer of high-quality devices. While you’re here, check out the iPad and Mac devices that you can also use to make and receive phone calls. And it’s all so easy to set up. Just turn it on and answer a few questions. That’s just how Apple does it. Plug it in and it just works. Oh, and busy the way, while here in our house, you’ll also experience a privacy that an Android device has never provided you. Enjoy you Apple art or functional device, whatever version you choose.

          1. Apples goal has always been to make the greatest products that create profit. Not profit at the expense of their own greatness. You are totally wrong.

            I held a four today. Holding that phone, I was reminded how comfortable it is to hold. And how easily reachable things are. So many things wrong with what you wrote.

            Hold a 5 and a 6 side beside and pay attention to how far away the 6 has to be to equal the size of the 5s display. Not very far. In other words. Screen size is always relative to the distance from your face. All negligible. But physical size. Even small difference change the way you interact with the device. I feel clumsy with this thing. Like I can’t hold it. like something is wrong with my hands. Sadly. I know it’s the size of the device that’s off.

          2. God created me with two hands. i realize through accident or birth defect not everyone is so blessed.

            i have never used my 4S with one hand; neither will i use my 6S with one hand. as a result, i don’t anticipate any ‘function’ problems.

            my main wish is to acquire the damn thing!

  4. Kirkville. Yet another blogger writing from the basement at his parent’s house.

    I am supposed to take this bozo’s blather chapter and verse, and assume that just because he published a blog that this makes him an expert, someone possessed with magical knowledge beyond our comprehension.


    A blogger is little more than a punk with a keyboard and a rant. His words are no better than my own comments. Yet, publishing under a self-appointed masthead makes him some sort of self-important high priest. It’s a cheap way to be a pundit. A blogger can write whatever they want without having to defend what they say, back up their worthless rant with empirical testing or evidence on which to base their worthless assertions.

    MDN: please, please, please stop this garbage. If you’re trying to get us all pissed off, congrats. Mission accomplished. You got your clicks. But if you want my respect, publish something that matters, instead of generating more clickthroughs to the 30-something loser who wrote this worthless piece of drivel. Thanks for turning my Monday morning from a good day into a bad one. If I want worthless trash, I’ll entertain myself with the latest lies from Business Insider or BGR.

    1. I am glad that MDN prints articles like this so I can make an informed decision before committing to an expensive purchase. I would be really hacked off if they only printed stories from one side. I respect other people’s opinions, even if I might disagree on what is essentially a matter of taste. In this case, they are offering the opinion of a respected Apple-beat journalist (often derided as a fanboy) with a history of giving good advice. That’s why I am interested in his opinions and utterly uninterested in those of people I don’t know… like you.

      1. Am I really “often derided as a fanboy?” I’ve not heard that often. I’m quite critical of Apple, when they deserve criticism. But, whatever…

        Other than that, thanks. I recall the day when opinions weren’t trashed reflexively, and when consumers valued opinions in helping them choose whether or not something is worth buying. My opinion is my own, but it’s one that may or may not interest people who haven’t gotten an iPhone 6 yet, or who haven’t decided whether the size works for them.

    2. Thanks for your kind words. It’s always good to know that I have fans.

      Actually, the article that MDN links to is a follow-up to an article I wrote for Macworld; not exactly a blog. And I don’t live in a basement; I live in a barn. Just saying…

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