With Jony Ive gone, Apple is finally willing to make products thicker so they work better

The 100Wh battery on the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the largest ever in a notebook and delivers up to 11 hours of battery life.
The 100Wh battery on the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the largest ever in a notebook and delivers up to 11 hours of battery life.

“Apple is finally putting function over form,” Todd Haselton writes for CNBC. “Under Jony Ive, Apple seemed obsessed with creating really thin devices but, at least if you consider the previous butterfly keyboards, at the cost of function.”

Apple has started to make its products thicker in an effort to give people what they want: functionality over form. This is a good thing. There are two recent examples: this year’s iPhones and the new 16-inch MacBook Pro.

This is a theory, but it seems this may be that there are some design changes being made after the departure of Apple’s former chief design officer Jony Ive. Ive was known for creating gorgeous products but, sometimes as we’ve seen with the older MacBook keyboard, perhaps at the cost of functionality. Form over function, as they say.

I’m not knocking Ive or his ability to create great products. Just look at the iPhones over the past several years along with the iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods. You name it, he had a hand in it. But sometimes there were just parts of those products that seemed to be flawed because the products were too thin…

This year, Apple put a huge focus on battery life because it knows that’s one of top things people want from their phones (along with great cameras). As a result of the larger battery, this year’s iPhone 11 is slightly fatter at 8.3-mm thick. It’s barely noticeable but shows that Apple knows people are willing to sacrifice on thinness for a phone that lasts all day… Apple also focused on battery life in its new laptop. It lasts an hour longer than last year’s model and charges fully in just 2.5 hours. That’s partly because Apple was able to increase the battery size, something that likely contributed to the larger and heavier form factor.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Jony Ive helped turn Apple into what it is today. Yes, by the end of his time at Apple, he got a little weird and seemed more than a little bored/distracted, but his myriad contributions to Apple over many years cannot be overstated!

That said, while being right nearly all the time is a tremendous cross to bear, we gladly carry this burden for you as always:

The law of diminishing returns can also be applied to industrial design. Apple’s eternal quest for thinness eventually runs into issues such as bulging camera assemblies, battery capacity, strength (breakability), etc. – is Apple’s quest for thinness now bordering on the quixotic?

So, is it “you can never be too thin” or is it “thin enough is thin enough?”MacDailyNews, December 21, 2015

What’d be wrong with slightly thicker iPhone with more battery life and a flush camera assembly? — MacDailyNews, December 21, 2015

Hey, Jony: Enough with the thin.

Everything is thin enough. Sometimes too thin. Thinner isn’t the answer to everything, nor is thinness intrinsic to good design. We’d gladly take a bit more robustness and battery life over more unnecessary thinness, thanks.MacDailyNews, June 25, 2018

If Apple made an iPhone model that was the smartphone equivalent of the Panasonic Toughbook — thick, heavy, full of battery, and virtually indestructible — they’d never be able to make enough of them.MacDailyNews, November 2, 2018


  1. Scene from upcoming “Johnny Apple” movie: Johnny Ive announces retirement. Shakes hands with design team. He walks out the door . . . Everyone loosens their belt, “Man, I can breathe now.” Lead designer adds 3mm of thickness to new MacBook Pro 16 design — “OK everyone, we’re done! Let’s grab a beer”

  2. Maybe Apple will bring back the headphone jack to the iPhone. 😉 I recently upgraded from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 11 Pro. It’s a great phone but that I need an adaptor to listen to music while charging and an adaptor to plug in a 3rd party headphone bugs me a LOT. – And I do not want to buy bluetooth headphones. If I had the option of having an iPhone 11 Pro with a headphone jack, I would gladly pay $100 extra, no kidding. I seem to be able to live the notch and the missing Touch ID but the missing headphone jack bothers me every single day. – I must be the only one.

    1. I’d have to agree, at least for this rumored lower-cost new iPhone model with a Home button (that looks like replacement for iPhone 8). People who want a lower-cost iPhone typically don’t want to spend $150-250 on AirPods. They’ll want nice-sounding relatively inexpensive wired headphones from a 3rd party, if they don’t like EarPods. And they have standard headphones plugs. If this rumored new lower-cost iPhone has a Home button, also give it back the headphones jack too. Apple’s recently updated (A10) iPod touch kept its headphones jack.

      1. And what about those with very expensive, very high quality headphones and other audio equipment? Throw them away and buy all over again just because Apple is corralling them?

        As for the moron followers, they save a penny, so they follow. Some, not all.
        My samsung gs10+ still has it.

  3. Old Jony did help Apple a lot, but dagnabbedit if there isn’t such a thing as too thin and too small! The human body will not adapt to fit all that smallness. Remember the song with the words, “…arms that barely lift a spoon. Everyone’s going to the moon.” Many arms these days can lift nothing but a spoon! I like light and small, but I LOVE being able to easily change RAM and drives!! And look at iPhones. They’re getting bigger. Anyway, I like choices, but for me, Apple messed up by all this soldering of RAM.

  4. As an iMac user I’d like them to increase the thickness of these computer models. My 2010 model is still going strong but I don’t expect nearly that amount of longevity for my 2015 model.

  5. One of Jonny Ive’s worst mistakes was multifaceted:

    He “caged” the Mac dock. Before Ive entered the picture, the dock was an item of BEAUTY. Uncage the dock, as it was in Snow Leopard, on its reflective floor.
    He screwed up the Mac’s folders. He tried to “square” them, when the previous folders had some “character.” The Mac ALWAYS had character, and it should have character TODAY!
    I don’t know if this one’s an Ive disaster, but Apple stopped the nesting of folders within folders within folders. Bring this capability or trait back, as it was in Snow Leopard.

    With the above mistakes or Ive disasters, the original Mac lost its identity and character.

    Bring back the “look and feel” of Snow Leopard, which almost EVERYONE agrees is the best Mac OS of all. And let’s render it “Mac OS,” instead of the diminished “macOS.” What’s with these lower case titles. I understand iOS, but NOT “macOS.” It should be “Mac OS.” If it weren’t for the Mac, there would be no iPhone, no iPad. They were derived from the Mac. So keep its name CAPITALIZED, as it should be. What an insult to the Mac, which is the center of Apple’s products. it’d repertoire … NOT the iPhone, but the Mac.

    Bring back the PIRATE spirit, as the original Mac Team flew!

    The Mac was GROUNDBREAKING, but the iPhone was derivative!

  6. I can remember, back in the day and also in the not too distant past, that MDN’s editorial staff activity campaigned for Sir Jonathan Paul “Jony” Ive to become the CEO of Apple and NOT Tim Cook. In fact, MDN seemed to go out of its way to lambast Tim Cook’s leadership at most opportunities.

    I know admitting a mistake is hard, MDN, but it is a cross that I will be happy to bear for you. Very Big Grin.

  7. Agree with most sentiments here. Also glad tone deaf industrial design artist Jony Ive is out to pasture.

    His Top Five product screwups (arguably):

    Number 1: The round Mac Pro was designed by ego for design awards ego and his epic screwup. It was not designed for Pro users in mind to easily upgrade components and expansion. Ive’s legendary mistake, but after six years it was finally corrected, thank the maker.

    Number 2: Killing off Mac monitors for Pros. Possibly Cook had an iPad hand in this, I don’t know. But after six years it was finally corrected, thank the maker.

    Number 3: The butterfly keyboard. But after many years it was finally corrected, thank the maker.

    Number 4: The Mac OS, not subservient macOS, that lost the intuitive GUI interface. Jony broke it and it pales in comparison to the Mac OS GOLD STANDARD — Snow Leopard. We hope and pray to the maker to this day, please fix this major screwup.

    Number 5: iOS icons dumbed down, flattened and made indiscernible with the release of iOS 7 created a firestorm that burns to this day. We hope and pray to the maker to this day, please fix this major screwup.

    Some other notables: The loss of the headphone jack on some products, not others, much like the iPhone naming debacle — INCONSISTENT. The thinness iPhone obsession that yielded poor battery life compared to rivals and unsightly bump camera design that inspired cases more like bras to hold the bulging cameras. Da Notch. Hideous obtrusive GUI design that tramples over content and assaults the eye to this day. ☹️

    Certainly there are others, but these disappoint me the most.

    The good news is Apple has righted some wrongs starting with the stunning NEW Mac Pro and fingers crossed, they do more.

    Onward and Upward!… 🤗

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