Apple Finally Made a Thicker Device, They Never Do That!

Posted by Matt Birchler
β€” 2 min read

Something I've heard again and again in the new MacBook Pro reviews is something like:

Apple actually made their device thicker, they never do that!

I get the instinct to say that, but I think it rang odd to me this time because I felt this was like the 10th time that this line was in reviews for a new Apple product, so I decied to look into how often in the past 5-ish years Apple had made a new version of a product thicker than the device it was replacing. Here's what I found.


Obviously the 2016 MacBook Pros were thinner than their predecessors, but what about since then? I found 3 instances before these new MacBook Pros where the deivces got thicker since then.

  1. 2020 MacBook Air (0.61 to 0.63 inches)
  2. 2020 13” MacBook Pro (0.59 to 0.61 inches)
  3. 2019 16” MacBook Pro (0.61 to 0.64 inches)

Basically, everything since the 2019 MacBook Pro has been thicker than the model it replaced. We're talking 0.02-0.03 inches here, but the 14" Pro is the same thickness as the 13" it replaces, and the new 16" Pro is 0.02 inches thicker than the 2019 Pro it replaces, so this doesn't seem out of the ordinary.


iPhones basically got thinner every 2 models for years, but that changed with the iPhone 8.

  1. iPhone 8 (0.28 to 0.29 inches)
  2. iPhone XR (0.29 to 0.33 inches)
  3. iPhone 11 Pro (0.30 to 0.32 inches)
  4. iPhone 13 Pro (0.29 to 0.30 inches)

So the cheaper iPhones got thicker with the 8 and then again with the XR, but have since shrunk down. The high end iPhone held steady from the X to XS, but got thicker with the 11 Pro, slightly thinner again with the 12 Pro, and then back to thicker with the 13 Pro (same for the Max models).


And finally, I found 2 instances with the iPad getting thicker, although admittedly the iPad basically always gets thinner (to the point that the 2018 iPad Pros were the thinnest devices, including iPod Touches, iOS deivices Apple had ever made).

  1. 2021 iPad Mini (0.24 to 0.25 inches)
  2. 2021 iPad Pro 12.9” (0.23 to 0.25 inches)


It 100% is fair to say that Apple devices don't always get thicker, but a few things come to consider when talking about these new MacBook Pros:

  1. The 14" model is the same thickness as the 13" model it replaces.
  2. The 16" model is indeed thicker, but it's at least the 10th major Apple computer (aka laptop, phone, or tablet) to get thicker since 2017, so "omg they finally made a product thicker" isn't quite as accurate as it may have been 5 years ago.