Campaigners said they were ‘furious’ the tech giant was not making products with women in mind after it announced it would discontinue the smallest iPhone model, the SE.
The screen width of the new iPhone XS models range from 5.8in to 6.5in – all considerably bigger than the SE, which has a screen size of 4in.
After announcing the launch of its new range on Wednesday, four other iPhone models were removed from Apple’s website. These included the iPhone SE.
It is not known whether Apple will release another small model to replace the SE.
Critics quickly pointed out the larger models would be more difficult for women to use because the average female hand is an inch narrower than the average man’s.
Caroline Criado Perez, the feminist campaigner behind the Millicent Fawcett statue in Parliament Square, said: ‘I genuinely have RSI [repetitive strain injury] from having an iPhone 6, and it went as soon as I switched to an iPhone SE.
‘It genuinely does affect women’s hand health – women do buy more iPhones than men – it just baffles me that Apple doesn’t design with our bodies in mind.
‘We should be furious about this, we are paying just as much money for it as men for a product that doesn’t work as well for us.’
Jess Phillips, the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, said companies tended to design products with men, not women, in mind.
She told the Daily Telegraph: ‘In so much design and technology development the default standard is always that which suits a man. Companies have got to get better at recognising that their idea of normal should account for all their customers.’ Others said the lack of women in senior positions at Apple could lead to such biases.
Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said: ‘Apple’s UK headquarters has a gender pay gap of 24 per cent, and men’s bonuses are 57 per cent higher than women’s. So do I think the boys at the top consider women when making design decisions? No.’
‘Until companies like Apple have women represented equally at senior levels – as in all areas of business, politics and the public sector – women’s needs are an after-thought.’
Sam Smethers, of women’s rights organisation the Fawcett Society, said: ‘If we started in a different place with things designed by women for women we would improve women’s lives and we would all benefit.’ A spokesman for Apple was contacted for comment.