Phil Schiller: New iPod touch “too thin” for ambient light sensor

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When Apple announced the brand-new iPhone 5, it also released a set of new iPods: new iPod touches and nanos. The touch is incredibly thin – in fact, it’s just 0.24-inches thick – but with the loss of body and weight came the loss of another piece of hardware: the ambient light sensor.

For those who don’t know, ambient light sensors are what allow devices to automatically adjust display backlighting depending on the light of the room around it – i.e., ambient light. Since the new iPod touch is so thin, Apple simply wasn’t able to fit the sensor inside.

This lack of hardware was first noted by curious users who looked on Apple’s Tech Specs page for the new iPod touch – and noticed that the ambient light sensor wasn’t listed. Raghid Harake, after noticing the lack of an auto-brightness setting on his new iPod touch, sent Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller an email, questioning the executive about the noticeable lack of a feature. Schiller’s response:

Hi Raghid,

Thank you for purchasing a new iPod touch. It is a remarkable device! The 5th generation iPod touch does not have a built-in automatic light sensor (it’s just too thin!)


Apple has always been a “form-over-function” company, and the latest model of iPod touch is just a perfect example of that. I personally don’t have automatic brightness turned on for any of my devices, but I can understand how, for some people, it’s a glaring loss that just isn’t acceptable for a $300 device.

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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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