The iPod touch doesn't have a light sensor because it's 'too thin'

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|10.16.12

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The iPod touch doesn't have a light sensor because it's 'too thin'

Kevin Tofel over at GigaOm stepped into the sunlight this past week (a dangerous endeavor for any blogger, let me tell you), and found out something strange about his new iPod touch: It doesn't have an autobrightness function. That's because it doesn't have a light sensor at all, apparently: There's only a manual setting for the brightness, and when Tofel went to Apple's product page for the new iPod touch, he confirmed that there's no light sensor listed in the various features of the device. While older iPod touch models do have the light sensor function, this current model apparently does not.

Why not? An iDownloadBlog reader named Raghid Harake emailed Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller to ask him that very question, and he got the answer that the device is just too thin. Schiller confirmed again that the device doesn't have a built-in light sensor, and reported that the design makes the whole thing too thin to fit one in. Indeed, Apple lost more than a millimeter in the latest iPod touch design, and part of that space means losing the light sensor.

Was the trade-off worth it? For Apple, apparently so. While some users might be surprised when their iPod touch doesn't automatically brighten up or down when moving into different ambient light situations, Apple decided that feature wasn't as important as slimming the device down. Do you agree?

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