Theses are the nuances of Apple design showing long-term genius.
First, Apple choosing the elemental shape of a circle as the home button which best matches the shape of the input device - our fingertip. Second, Apple prioritizing that users should be able to reach as much of the iPhone screen as possible with their thumb using only one hand.
The minute even Samsung, who copies Apple more than anyone, deviates in the slightest from Apple design choices – like the shape of their home button, or size of their screens – the consequence has ripple effects and things start to degrade.
These are the designs "most" companies choose when left to their usual instincts. These are the mistakes we used to just accept as the normal trade-offs with technology. These are the clumsy choices that Apple has an instinct for shaving away and proving technology can be more natural and intimate and delightful.
This is why Apple defends and patents even the most elemental parts of their design. It seems so simple an obvious when Apple makes certain choices, that it understandably feels un-patentable. But when you repeatedly see how easily other companies veer off into bad design choices, we are reminded that Apple does bring to the market a unique design wisdom and genius that is not commonplace.