5 problems a 5-inch iPhone solves for Apple

5 problems a 5-inch iPhone solves for Apple

I've been writing about a 5-inch iPhone 6 for well over a year now, but most of it has been long-form, exploring the market potential, screen resolution options, interface scaling issues, and why it all matters. This is the opposite of that. This is 5 simple reasons why a 5-inch iPhone 6 does exactly what Apple needs it to: solves problems, mainstreams technology, makes for a better product, and ultimately makes our lives better.

  1. It gives Apple a share of the lucrative over 4-inch phone market. That's where Samsung et. all make their money and Apple currently makes precisely zero. Adding a big screen iPhone 6 not only gives Apple access to that premium customer base, it takes money away from their competitors.

  2. It eliminates size alone as a differentiator. Since the North American market is subsidized, it's the equivalent to walking into Best Buy and seeing all TVs, from 50-to 120-inches, for $200 or less on-contract. Adding a big screen iPhone 6 forces the competition back to areas where Apple's strong, like experience and ecosystem.

  3. It makes the iPhone more functional as a primary computing platform. Some people don't want to have to carry around — or simply can't afford — multiple devices. They need a phone, but they want something closer in size to a tablet. Adding a big screen iPhone 6 fills that gap.

  4. It makes the iPhone more accessible. Whether it involves eyesight or motor skills, a larger screen can support larger interface elements, including type and images. Adding a big screen iPhone 6 makes the technology easier to use.

  5. It allows software to become more sophisticated. One-handed-ease-of-use can be handled by gesture navigation and dynamic interface, but 1136x640 is a fixed constraint. Adding a big screen iPhone 6 opens the platform up for the future.

Apple says their goal is to solve problems and to make technology more mainstream. To make better products that improve their customer's lives. They don't just want to sell more iPhones — they're avoiding the high-volume, low margin market like the plague — they want to sell better iPhones to more people and increase the overall value of their ecosystem. That makes them more profitable, makes us happier, and ensures our mutually beneficial relationship lasts as long as possible.

That's why one size simply doesn't fit all. Apple has had at least two sizes of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iPod, and iPad on the market, and in most cases have for years. That allows them to hit the biggest addressable market possible with the smallest product lines possible. Phones are no different.

Just like 2011 when the iPhone finally hit Verizon, the problem a 5-inch iPhone solves is choice. Right now people have to choose between the iPhone and a big screen not-iPhone. With a 5-inch iPhone 6, we'll no longer have to choose.

We'll be able to have both.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 127 comments. Add yours.

brianfagioli says:

I am a big Android user that is possibly switching to iOS for a phone platform. A bigger screen may push me over the edge.

Illustrator Joe says:

For me it isn't just about the screen size, but how the device utilizes it. If you just take ios7 and blow it up to the 5 inch screen size, then that doesn't do it for me. We shall wait and see.

Michael Scrip says:

Yeah... hopefully a larger iPhone will be able to display things "differently" instead of just "bigger"

Does a website look different on a 4.3" phone versus a 5.5" phone? Or apps? I've never paid attention to two different devices side-by-side like that.

I actually wouldn't have a problem if a bigger iPhone was simply a blown up screen... but I'm guessing Apple will work their magic in other ways.

I'm most excited about a bigger keyboard on a bigger iPhone. My thumbs aren't fat... but they cover most of the keyboard when I type!

Illustrator Joe says:

You definitely see more on a larger phone. See a Web page on 4.3 in phone screen and compare it to say the Note 3. More of the site will definitely be displayed. Of course it is different based on device. Apps can be a bit trickier, all depends on the developer. I have no doubt Apple would adjust things for the larger screen size and optimize it accordingly. Should be interesting to see exactly how they handle the task.

ಠ益ಠ

healthk10 says:

Bigger screen can bring better & pretty App functionality.

Black-Eagle says:

I'm mostly a Microsoft guy, but I would love a 5 inch iPhone. Many of my friends have opted for android phones and even windows phones just because of screen size. Usability of apps and their easier to type on. I could still get to most of my Microsoft and Google apps on the iPhone. 5 inch screen would be a game changer.

Jabid21 says:

Agreed, my last iPhone was iPhone 3G which I ditched for HTC HD2 (one of the first, if not the first 4.3 inch screen in the market) over 3 years ago. HD2 was a giant at the time. Later, I flashed android and windows phone on that phone and loved both OS. Then I ended up with two devices last year; HTC One X and Lumia 920 which I swap the sim out every now and then. I might be tempted to make another go at the iPhone if the screen size grows up, but iOS7's UI is a little cartoonish for me, if only there were interchangeable themes.

Premium1 says:

Bigger screen allows for more content and I feel apple wants a piece of the larger screen pie, and would really break sales records with that. I know of a few people waiting for an iPhone until it had a larger screen.

Easy-G says:

I feel some of what you're saying having picked up a BlackBerry Z30. Coming from a 4.2" Z10, the extra screen real estate helps to bridge the void between a phone that is too small to 'game' on and a tablet that is too expensive for media consumption alone.

Haven't rumors been circulating about a 4.5" iPhone? I agree that the one handed usefulness on larger screens can be made up for with a more intelligently designed UI. I just feel that one handed typing is, for the average user, dependent largely on screen width - a difficult problem to tackle with Apple's typically conservative approach to UI. 4.5" seems like the maximum comfort/size tradeoff level for most hands, IMHO.

Gossamer60 says:

Another problem I can see a 5-inch iPhone solving would be battery life. Think about it bigger iPhone bigger battery.

vinorum says:

Nope, bigger iphone means bigger screen, thus, more battery drainage

Rene Ritchie says:

It could mean either, depending on how thin Apple goes.

I'd like more battery and a longer z-index on the camera, personally.

Marvin Uche says:

Do we really heed a thinner iPhone? Its current thickness is perfect.I think the only problem with the iPhone is the battery life and if a bigger iPhone will solve that problem then i am up for it.

BenGrieve33 says:

it's sad that IMO (one of) the worlds greatest devices (it's certainly totally changed and improved my life) is (so severely) limited by (of of) the worlds most basic 'devices', the 'simple' battery (sorry to all those who have spent a lifetime developing them)

i have to charge once or twice a day, trickle charging my phone (in the house and car) pretty much continuously to be able to use my phone from morning till night...

if i had a say (which i don't and never will LOL) i would get Apple to invest some of that (A LOT of that) MOUNTAIN of money they have "just sitting in a bank account" on SERIOUSLY developing battery technology, it seems SO OBVIOUS; i don't see a cable constantly attached to their phone in ANY of their adverts ... ;-)))

but then again (if the did) maybe we would end up with scenarios like in that Tom Cruise film (i really liked) called 'Knight and Day' - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1013743/

kevinbhayes says:

Yes, but the relationship isn't necessarily proportional. Look how much better an iPad's battery life is than an iPhone.

TheRewardisCheese says:

Yes, bigger screen equates to more battery use, however, not just a bigger battery, but power management coding is a huge factory here as well. If power management is coded properly, battery drainage can be quite minimal in both daily usage, and standby.

I have had every iphone since 2007 when the 4GB version was actually available. The best battery life I have had with any iphone is the 5S. I use my phone a lot, all day, for all kinds of media, games, email, and phone calls. I charge my battery every night out of habit, and from the start of my day at 6am to the end at 1130pm, I still have about 50% or more.

However with that said, once battery technology catches up with the rest of technology, then we will see, even with the worst offenders of poor battery life, a significant change equating to extremely long and well managed battery life.

Didier Ouzaid says:

You use your 5s extensively from 6am to 11.30pm and use 50% of battery at the most?

I must really be doing smth wrong despite ALL the battery management tips I've read. Or I have seriously deficient understanding of the word 'extensively'.

Joseph Johnson4 says:

That is a bold faced lie. Lol.

The 5s has a slightly better battery than the 5. When I wake up at 5 am and take phone off the charger by the time I get in the car at 6:20 it's at 85%. If I listen to music while I'm working my battery will be at 20% by 10am (if it doesn't shut off at 33% first)
I'm constantly recharging my phone AND the battery pack attached to it.

The ONLY reason I'm considering jumping ship and buying a G Flex 2 or something similar is because of battery life. Apple never makes SIGNIFICANT improvement on battery life with any of their products and I'm sick of it.

I've had an iPhone since the 4 and if they don't give me something bigger than 4.7 then I'm done. I don't see how they will fit 10 more hours of battery life into a phone that's .4 millimeters larger than it's predecessor.

Signed, disgruntled apple user

TellowKrinkle says:

The 5S's battery life may not be good, but it isn't that bad. You should consider taking yours into the apple store.
An hour and a half after taking my 5S off of the charger, it's at 96%, and that includes listening to a podcast during my half hour bus ride. I bought an external battery pack with my phone, but the only times I've had to use it were when I forgot to charge my phone the night before or if I played games for a few hours during the day. Usually, it's between 20% and 50% when it goes back on the charger at night.

Premium1 says:

That is why I hope they quit with the "race to paper thin" and beef up the battery. No reason they couldn't make it 8mm and pack a huge battery in there. Samsung and LG can do it, Apple of all people should be able to. I do not think people will complain if it is a mm thicker and has a huge battery, battery life is one of the biggest complaints people have with iPhones.

TheRewardisCheese says:

I wholeheartedly agree with the slim wars. Just my opinion, but slimmest does not always equate to the best, or better. I personally like to know my phone is in my hand, and not feel like I will snap it in half.

williamsbh76 says:

Yeah me too! I appreciate a thinner tablet but quite honesty I miss the thickness of the iPhone 4/4s. I would even like a phone a little thicker to make it easier to hold plus battery life!

la55iter says:

Wouldn't a wider iPhone (e.g. 5 inch iPhone 6) solve the same issue, without the extra bulk and weight of a thicker iPhone?

williamsbh76 says:

I think it would to some degree but I still think it needs to be slightly thicker. I had a Galaxy Note 2 as a work phone and without the case on it I couldn't hold it without feeling like I was about to drop it. Just too thin and the coating was very slick too. I keep my 4s as a back up and even though I only had it a year and it was my first iphone it felt more comfortable to hold without a case. I had a 5 and now a 5s and after a year and a half I still can't get used to slimmer and lighter. I'm a big guy with big hands so I guess I just don't mind bigger and heavier.

mckillio says:

I really think the iphone 5 should have been wider than it is, keeping the same screen ratio as the 3.5" models. It would have made app conversion easier and gotten Apple more customers until a larger version came out. 5" is probably too big for me but 4.2"-4.5" would be perfect.

Jim Gramze says:

Yes, the older aspect was superior to the HD ratio. Make the screen bigger but with the older 4S dimensions, and keep retina obviously. 16x9 is only best for watching HD video. I don't watch much video on my iPhone.

gagetbOy says:

agreed if they keep the 3:2 aspect ratio they could just increase the resolution from 960x640 to 1.5x = 1440x960 (384ppi at 4.5 inches) and if they keep the bezels to a minimum that would make it less wide than the htc one

Becjr says:

I've been wavering lately on the idea of a larger iPhone screen... I still stand by my belief that a mobile phone should be as compact as possible to be as transportable as possible, however, for some reason I am entertaining the prospect of a larger iPhone 6... Maybe because I'm certain I'll be upgrading this go 'round? Maybe.

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PeterForint says:

A larger screen for a higher price may be too much for the market. A larger screen iPhone 6 for the same price might have more appeal. And a larger footprint would potentially have a larger battery.

Premium1 says:

It shouldn't be anymore than current prices. Look at other large screened devices, they are no more than the current "smaller devices were.

Rene Ritchie says:

Apple can often make a case for higher value at higher price points. Depends what they offer.

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Premium1 says:

Yeah but most average consumers aren't going to pay $300 for 16gb when others charge less for more storage. Yes apple is considered "premium" but not everyone is going to run out if they really jack the prices up when they are so used to the pricing apple has used for years. Plus it's not like the parts all the sudden make the devices cost that much more

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allensize04 says:

I really need a big screen for the type of work I do. If there is no "big screen" iPhone. I will be making the switch to Android...please don't make me do that........

vinny jr says:

Owning both the iPhone 5S and the Note 3, love them both. I am a contractor and the Note 3 along with that beautiful S-Pen is just priceless. Use it constantly. To me it makes the Note 3 the best hand held device made. You can do just so much more with it. Saying that I also really love the 5S, to me the sweet spot on the iPhone would be something like 4.7, large enough to be able to enjoy video content and small enough to be pocketable. Not everyone uses or wants a device with a S-Pen, the 4-7 inch screen to me is the sweet spot. Great article Renee

SockRolid says:

My "iPhone 6" wish list (in order of decreasing likelihood IMHO):

- 4.7" to 4.9" screen
- Nearly the same overall size (possible if bezel width is reduced)
- 1920 x 1080 resolution
- OLED display technology for better battery life
- As thin as current iPod touch (down from 7.6mm to 6.1mm or 0.24 inch)
- Synthetic sapphire front panel and rear antenna panels
- Liquidmetal back
- Standard equipment bluetooth earbuds

I think there's about a 0.1% chance that Apple will do all of that in the "iPhone 6."
But the first three items are almost guaranteed. Even the 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Premium1 says:

Eh don't go thinner. The phones already need a case because of being so thin. Id take larger battery >>> super thin anyday

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freediverx says:

SockRolid wrote:

- 1920 x 1080 resolution

The 5S has a resolution of 1136 X 640 which Apple markets as a "retina" display. What's the point of increasing resolution by 50% - beyond what the human eye can discern at normal viewing distances - given the potential impact to battery life, performance and cost?

- OLED display technology for better battery life

OLED is inferior in terms of both color reproduction and power consumption. It is the equivalent of BestBuy turning up the saturation on all their display TVs to make the displays appear more "vibrant", while the user will later need to tone it down to get realistic skin tones. Samsung attempts to address this by giving users a way to switch between different color profiles for different uses - which is a ridiculously clunky solution Apple would never go for.

The main reason other phones offer better battery life is because they're bigger and have larger batteries, and because Samsung turns down the maximum brightness on their OLED displays, which makes them harder to read in bright surroundings. The relation between device size and battery life is not linear, as you can see by comparing battery life between an iPad and an iPhone.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/148266-apple-ceo-blasts-oleds-as-in...

It's easier for a company like Samsung to produce a chunky phone with a large battery than it is for them to try to match Apple's advanced design and manufacturing techniques to squeeze good performance out of a super slim device.

- Standard equipment bluetooth earbuds

This would dramatically increase the base purchase price for a feature many people don't want or need. Wireless headsets are a nice concept but having to constantly charge yet another device is a deal breaker for many.

stale_bread says:

I always supported the smaller screen sizes ever since Android phones started becoming 4" and larger, then after getting an iPhone 5 I realized even it wasn't big enough.

Armada says:

As long as Apple doesn't forget that there are people like me who like a smaller phone. Every other OEM seems to have forgotten...

Rene Ritchie says:

I'm not sure they've forgotten so much as they're hard to make and compete against Apple.

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rewNATION says:

i'd love to see a 4.5 - 5 inch screen on an iphone. everyone i know that doesn't have an iphone has a screen bigger than 4 inches. it's the norm nowadays

uwatto says:

I would love a larger Iphone but I hope it doesn't happen, I will never get me hands on the iphone 6 because of all the android users switching to IOS ; )

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counterculture says:

I wonder if that will be the iPhone C's area of coverage: provide a larger phone et. al iPhone 6 and above while the C equivalents provide the color and a smaller screen? This would fall in line with the varying sizes of other Apple products. But I can't see Apple releasing size variants of both whole numbers (i.e 6, 6 mini, 6S, 6S mini, 7, 7 mini, 7S, 7S mini etc.) and C's (i.e. 6C, 6C mini, 7C, 7C mini, etc.)

Just seems to be a lot of unnecessary work and I predict shortages all around.

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ReedMA says:

My guess would be a 4" iPhone air and a 5" iPhone pro. They may ditch the numbers altogether. It's starting to get out of hand. They have been going with air/pro with everything else, why not the iPhone too?

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counterculture says:

Yeah that would sound a LOT better than iPhone 6 mini haha. But I still wonder how they are going to incorporate the C line. I feel that it will be short-lived if it's only going to be the current version with a splash of color.

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Gary Compson says:

Yeah, I've been thinking the same thing lately.

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counterculture says:

Guess only time will tell.

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TriggaMan99XboxLive says:

What about this thought::
Beats Phone = 5.5"-android cover with official iOS 8 UI [or a completely new OS ] (a stab straight to android, android is free open source Apple has every right as any developer but the can use iOS over it, it technically not an iPhone but an all new direction of a new rebranding)
iPhone C = Classic 4" screen (5&5s style)
iPhone 6 = New 4.7" screen

SockRolid says:

Now let's talk "iPhone 6" pricing. The current iPhone 5S is selling better than Apple expected, and not just the rock-bottom 16GB configuration. What does that tell you? Yup. Apple could nudge the pricing of the high-end model up a bit. They might ship two models this year: a "5SC" with mostly the same specs as the 2013 iPhone 5S, and a larger-screen "6" with the latest 2014 specs. The 2014 iPhone lineup could look something like this:

"iPhone 5SC" with 4.0" LCD screen: 16GB ($99) and 32GB ($199).
"iPhone 6" with 4.8" (OLED?) screen: 32GB ($299), 64GB ($399), and 128GB ($499).

What's that? You say you want a "free" iPhone? Well maybe Apple could continue producing the 2012 iPhone 5 as their "free" model, at 16GB only.

So what would be the differentiator between the old "free" iPhone 5 and the new "iPhone 5SC"? Why would anyone want to buy the "5CS" for $99 instead of getting the "free" 5? It might be a mobile payment system. Apple could require Touch ID for their mobile payment system, and the iPhone 5 doesn't have Touch ID. (And I think Apple could revolutionize mobile payments any time they feel like it. All the components are now in place, from Touch ID authentication to the "secure enclave" in the A7 chip to iBeacons in stores to EasyPay in the Apple Store app for self-checkout with purchase through iTunes accounts. But I digress.)

All of this would enable Apple to cover iPhone price points from $0 to $499.
Me? I'd get the 64GB "iPhone 6" (the sweet-spot above the base model).

Premium1 says:

I wish apple would make 32gb the minimum but I think they will keep a 16gb of the new model for those "light users"

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Taz89 says:

Yh wish 32gb was the new minimum for flagships, it's not much to ask for when your spending £500+ on a device 32gb should be what you get.. Especially today with games easily above a 1gb and sometimes 3gb.. It's annoying when we know that going from 16gb to 32gb is a few quids but yet some charge £100 to go from 16 to 32gb.. I know there's making money but sometimes it's pure greed especially when the difference is like a 1000%

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Analog Spirit says:

If Apple make an iPhone with a 5" screen, I'd be totally fine with it as long as the overall size doesn't get too big and unwieldy and the battery life is solid. My personal sweet spot with phones is between 4.5" and 5". So anywhere within that range would be fine with me.

DaMaRa1109 says:

This is well over due. Can't wait for the day !!

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blyths says:

Samsung *et al.* make their money
Style tip - no charge ;)

Carioca32 says:

Although I agree with the analisys presented, it is at least ironic to see talks of a 5" iPhone in 2014 after all the flak Dell took with the 5" Streak in 2010. I remember how ridiculed Michael Dell was when the press leaked his picture with a pre-production Streak. Can we call a 5" iPhone a phablet too?

Rene Ritchie says:

Phablet is fair game! And, timing is everything, right?

F0REVERY0UNG- says:

I just hope that they keep the small handed people in consideration. I had a Galaxy S4 and it was uncomfortably large for my hands. I had to get the iPhone 5s and it fits my hands perfectly.

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Rene Ritchie says:

Having two iPhones, 4- and 5-inch makes as much sense as two iPads, 7.9 and 9.7, two MBA, two MBP, two iMacs, etc.

ajc5 says:

Are you thinking that the two iPhones would have comparable internals, like with the iPads, or would the 5 or 6 inch iPhone be the flagship "iPhone 6", with a less powerful new model or last year's 5s being the 4 inch version? I'm in the "prefer a smaller phone" camp, and while I'm all for those that want a bigger screen having an iOS option, I hope that doesn't mean that I'll need to get a gimped phone when I upgrade later this year.

uncleotto says:

THIS. Only I don't have small hands. My huge hands much prefer the current iPhone size. If Apple continues to offer top of the line features in a 4" size, I don't mind if all you less serious users play around with big screen toy iPhones ;-)

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kidkb1 says:

I suppose I have small hands too. I held my cousin's galaxy once and I couldn't reach keys to the far right with the right thumb. Being forced to use two thumbs to text would be a real drag. As long as there's a 4 inch option I'm cool!

crazygonzo says:

I agree that they should offer their iPhone in two size versions, I don't think they should go as large as a 5" inch display is (especially with the home button that adds a lot of bezel) but a 4.5" screen would give people a decent choice option. For those big phone lovers that like all in one approach 5" inches would probably be a dream come true, though it's a huge device it still won't replace a tablet (if someone has a need for a tablet) but for those that don't want a tablet it's a phone taken to the max. I want a bigger iPad pro that replaces my MacBook Air so I understand their desire for all in one.

kilcher says:

I hope you're right. I would camp out overnight for a larger iPhone.

As for the "bigger display means more battery drain" argument... I've been saying this for a long time. Make two phones - a smaller and a larger - with the exception of screen size they'd be the same, use the extra space in the larger phone for a larger battery.

Problem solved. Everyone happy.

boobsandbacon says:

Please at least make two flagships or don't go all Samsung big. I'll be upgrading more than likely but I like to be able to hold my phone in one hand easily.
Would like a little width as pressing the change keyboard button when I want to change to numbers is an annoying problem with this Japanese keyboard.

Plazmic Flame says:

Maybe it is just me but anytime there is an article about the iPhone 6, there is never any talk about the potential for a larger battery. Why is this?

Am I the only one that wants all-day (or at least 12 hours) battery life from my iPhone? I'm more speaking to the power users. Anyone that uses their iPhone for productivity knows that constantly using it, even on and off drains it substantially, especially if you add in LTE, Bluetooth, wifi, GPS/Location Services, etc. I'd really like to see Apple make a phablet that goes head-to-head with the Note 2/3 in terms of battery life. I really don't want to switch to Samsung-TouchWiz for battery life like I've observed so many do.

Premium1 says:

+1 give me all day battery life, even if it was a mm or two thicker, because the current battery leaves much to be desired.

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akdj says:

I've got both. iPhone 5s and Note 3. Love em both too! Is love to see a 5" iPhone BUT, in my near six months with both their battery 'life' is almost identical! The size, brightness and graphics power necessary to drive the display cancels out the 3,200 mA/h power in the Note 3. Anand has run pretty exhaustive tests on the iPhones and Sammys. The iPhones are 'right up there' or a bit better than the life of the Note 3/GS 4. Like the construction gentleman earlier, I've come to rely a LOT on the N3 with its stylus, drawing and quick sketch setups ans pre production notes (we are a mobile audio and video production company)--- credit cards and signatures from clients (they get a kick out of the 'S' pen too. I also owned the Note 1 and the Xoom is still around here somewhere. My biggest problem is the app selection on Android in comparison. As an iOS user since day one and Android a year later, things haven't changed much in four years. What I NEED is there, typically built into TouchWiz (much more refined this time around but still suffering 'feature creep' --- but the 'lag' associated with 2.xx-3.xx to ICS and 4.3 --- no Kit Kat yet, though it's fast as hell). My only computers are Macs these days and IMHO, Google's apps many times on iOS actually run 'better' on my iPhone than the powerhouse note. Other than choosing a stock browser, I'm not sore iOS has any other 'down' side for me. Android on the other hand needs to attract more developers. It's cool to have competition though. Without Samsung we may be discussing a HiDPI display 'coming soon...' Ala iPhone 4;)
Battery life though....again, with the two flagships I've found to be almost identical...I've got the Mophie on my iPhone but unless I'm tethering, I'm fine too with consistent use, twelve hours a day!
J

jamie says:

I went from a 4s to a nexus 5. I have big hands and the screen size of the N5 is perfect for me. I will only look at Apple again if they make a 5" phone.

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DYLANHABKIRK says:

This is a great post.

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iLoveiStuff says:

Rene, I think the argument of the iPhone business model following Apple's current Mac business is a valid one. MBA offers two distinct sizes, same with MBP and iMac. They each appeal to a different type of consumer. 13" MBP appeals to the mainstream consumer, whereas the 15" is a monstrosity meant for power users. A smaller size enables Apple to hit a lower price point for mainstream, where as the pro's who do more, need more - and are generally willing to pay more - are offered the more premium specs and sizes. For a premium, of course.

Which makes me doubt that Apple would release a power user product - with a larger screen, and a premium price - but offer a lower resolution. How does Apple market that? I'd more want to believe Apple would change the resolution to offer the same (or better) pixel density. This will also allow screen real estate to increase as well - making (my) argument that current large screens on other platforms do not utilize the larger screens to their potential. They only make things more visible to users with sight issues.

daniebello says:

I want a 4.5 inch iPhone, but I feel like a 5 inch iPhone would shut the competition up.

kpageisgreat says:

I for one hope it doesn't shut up the competition and just makes the competition step up their game and vice versa.

lucky8919 says:

I don't like too much big phones. I hope they keep a reasonable size, after all is a phone. Not a tablet!

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counterculture says:

I guess the only thing I would be concerned for is them widening the phone. Not much, but some to where it doesn't look nor feel like a smaller tv remote.

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swest47 says:

I have used the iPhone since it first came out and currently own an iPhone 5. Three weeks ago I switched to a 5" screen GS4. If Apple introduces a 5" or larger phone this fall I will be back. Until then it's a 5" GS4 for me.

iDisturbia says:

And ....
.
.
6 problems a 6-inch iPhone solves for Apple

By Rene Ritchie, Wednesday, Feb 5, 2015 a 1:07 pm
.
.
.
7 problems a 7-inch iPhone solves for Apple

By Rene Ritchie, Wednesday, Feb 5, 2016 a 1:07 pm
.
.
.
Yep! For the record, I'm perfectly happy with my ... err... iPhone size!

P.S. FWIW, you guys realize that we / Apple don't want to match iPhone size to iPad, right? Or else, same that happened to iPod .... you know what I mean. Wall Street doesn't know what the heck they keep rambling but we ...?

Iocane Powder says:

Rene, I think your second point is the most salient long-term. It seems to tie into that Clarity article you did. When the size factor is leveled then it is easier for people to see how the experience across different systems varies and provides Apple the ability to shine.

Personally I am still holding out for the Apple Tardis phone that is larger on the inside than the outside. Hold it in your hand, yet the display is as big as a drive-in theatre.

Gazoobee says:

These are all good reasons, but I disagree that Apple needs to have a bigger phone in the first place.

The large phones that really sell, are "phablets" and the reason people like them large (seemingly), is because it's like a full computer in their pocket. In other words, the consumers that use these phablets, don't tend to use iPads or Android tablets because they are treating the phone like a personal portable "do-it-all" computer. They don't need a tablet, they use their phone for everything.

For this reason, I still believe that Apple would do better to make a smaller iPad mini, than a larger iPhone. All of their real productivity software, all of their "real" computer software is on the iPad, not the iPhone. A slightly smaller iPad mini, perhaps with a stylus as well, is the correct "answer" to phablets.

jpolk84 says:

It gives Apple a better differentiator between models. 5S becomes the C and the 6 becomes the 5S. Right now the fingerprint reader and colors are the primary differentiators.

SpicerJr says:

You nailed it for me, Rene!! I'm legally blind and NEED the 5" iPhone 6!! Of course I know how to use all the accessibility features, but why use Zoom if I don't have to on a 5" iPhone! Please make my dream come true, Apple! :)

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samirsshah says:

4.7" if only the new iPhone 6 is sold and iPhone 5S is discontinued. 5" if both iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S are available for purchase. iPhone 6 HAS TO BE AT LEAST 1080p better 1440p or even 2160p, and 16:9 aspect ratio. And it HAS TO HAVE 4K (2160p)video recording and playback. The more screen looks like a printed paper the better, small point size (8 points and lower) text really looks better and better as you go to more resolution.

asuperstarr says:

Great read! The move could be beneficial.

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kpageisgreat says:

I have the Note 3 and love it. I also get an iPhone every other new iteration so I am curious to how large a new iPhone could be.

At this point, I'm more interested in how iOS8 and a larger screen could mesh together. Some new gestures and tricks incorporated in iOS8 w/ a larger screen will be ideal.

1dreambuilder says:

Still not sure how adding an 5" iPhone to apples line up helps apple. Wouldn't this lower ipad sales? Unless of course increasing iPhone sales would be more lucrative. All I know is if a 5" iPhone comes out I may not need an ipad mini which for now is next on my list.

Michael Scrip says:

-- "5" iPhone... Wouldn't this lower ipad sales?" --

Have you seen a 5" phone next to an iPad mini?

A 5" phone may be large... but it's not a replacement for a tablet. Take a look:

http://mobiledevicesize.com/compare/#274,386,133;1

raja maha says:

Till now, Apple and Apple fans were criticising Android phones for being too big. How come suddenly Apple realised that their fans have big hands? Till now Apple said Apple fans have small hands. Big phones will not be comfortable in the Apple fan hands. Why Apple wants to copy Android phones?

Fishfam4 says:

If the iPhone 6/Air/Pro/Whatever isn't at least 4.5 inches, I may seriously consider buying a Nexus 5 or Galaxy Note 4. (I upgrade in December, the Note 4 is probably released in September) That's saying a lot, as I hate Android, plus all my apps/documents are on iOS. But my iPhones (3GS And 4) are way too small, and my parent's 5s only feel a bit better. (5.7"+ on the Note may be overkill, though.)

martinr80233 says:

I had the iPhone 5, but just had to get a phone with a bigger screen. If the next iPhone has a screen 4.7" or bigger I'll be going back to iPhone for sure!

Mr Geek says:

I love 5 inch iPhone screen. I hope apple release it on september. A 1200p screen resolution is sweet.

LozBlanko says:

Perhaps on a larger screen format, Apple could somehow make the software keyboard adapt on-screen for one-handed typing.

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alshraify says:

A 5" iPhone, better camera and camera UI, more gesture based navigation and a larger battery without the need of going crazy thin! A much better all-in-all iOS/UI.. Then, for those who prefer a smaller screen, an upgraded version of the 5S should do it, maybe an upscale to 4.2/3" at max, just dont ditch the smaller sized screens apple!

Price wise, the newer 5S or its alternative could get the 5C price point, and the 5" could stay at the 5S or +$100 price tag, rise up the hardly-called competition!

tunmise osinubi says:

I'm a HUGE android user up until last week when I ditched my Nexus4 and copped the 5s. Mostly cos I wanted to try a new platform and I'm also a huge fan of IOS7. There are some things I miss on android, but the screen size isn't one of em. Infact, holding the nexus4 a few days ago, the whole thing just felt humongous. I think apple should stay away from the "my phone is bigger than yours" game. I mean look at the LG G2. It's ridiculous. They should keep the current screen size and focus on the important things!

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Didier Ouzaid says:

For me that's gonna be the only deciding factor. And it (Apple has none of the 5'+ market share) is a metrics worth considering now that almost all high end phones are 4.7'+.

In my opinion, this year is the year Apple will let us know if they are really committed to a bigger screen: the 5 cycle is over, 5 inch phones have found an audience that appears to be here to stay, technology is here as well to make the experience enjoyable (not to mention Apple's mastery when it comes to UI). No excuse. If they dont make the move, which I can respect, they'll just tell us that 4.5' is the way to go and that we'll have to make the most of it.

Personally I've been holding on changing my phone since the iPhone 4s, but I have to do it this year. If they dont make a 5' phone happen, then I'll switch to Android. No bitterness, just acknowledging their strategy and making my own choice.

s2by10 says:

Do you think the 5-inch phone will reduce sales of their iPad line? I currently have an iPhone 5 and iPad 3. If I had a 5-inch phone, I would use my iPad even less than I already do.

jpro757 says:

I think all 5 points are exactly right. See alot of the ppl that comment including myself we really like phones and like new tech. I mean we spend time to register a account and we log in daily. See from the average person I mean your mom, your co worker, friend, family member. There are only two phones on the market. A Iphone and something else with a bigger screen. People will either choose Iphone or try the bigger screen phones. The features and ecosystem are the next itmes on a persons check list. When Apple goes to the larger phone the screen size will immediately be taken out of the check list and the selling poitns will be the ease of use and ecosystem. I think Apple has a great ecosystem and you can learn a iphone very quickly compared to the very junky s line phones( I have a S4 it was just much got too lost but they do have features I liked). So like the article said it puts the ball back in their court and Apple leading the mobile space. Just wait and see the galaxy gear and pebble watches will not see a true saturation of the market until Iwatch is everywhere. Then it will rest on the fan boys to argue which product is better.

cc3d says:

Android just does the large screen wrong for me (except for the Note) I want a larger screen with the same size icons, not a large screen with blown up icons. I want more screen realestate!

delanscott says:

I care more about portability. The current size is perfect for on the go. If you can't see what you are doing on the screen your eyes are worse than mine, and I am legally blind. I do think there are people who want bigger but add another size don't eliminate what we have

nickfire20 says:

Well i hope they keep the 4" screen, i already think it's too big, but def would not buy anything bigger EVER!

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nickfire20 says:

I've been saying it all along, they need to have 2 options for the new phone, standard and extended battery. The way it stands now you are suppose to be able to get 10hrs out of your iphone. I get about 3!!! They need to build an optional 30 or 40hr option, and given that percentage, one may be able to get a full day out of it!!

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erikbock says:

Part of going to that size screen Apple is going to have to work on the UI. Yes gesture can handle some of the one hand issues but will not handle all of them. Even on the iPhone 5/5s/5c the dialer is almost impossible to use one handed in iOS7. If you have to delete a number forget about it. That is why I went to OneTouch Dialer. It has it's limitation but at least I can easily dial a number that is not in my contacts.

Jessica Pak Barajas says:

And how about longer battery life and projection

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victor tran1 says:

i have both own android and apple products i first had a 3gs poor battery nicely thrown in jean pockets switch to sammy s4 kinda bulky and hot in the pockets upgrade to note2 cannot fit in front jeans so i used the rear pockets get hot after 20min or so upgrade to htc one nice but still cannot fit well still using back pockets ...final upgrade to iphone 5 sits well in front jeans pockets good but not perfect battery life...like i say a phone should not be used as a tv or a computer i personally use my iphone for texting, and talking, gps and hotspot home tethering which i cheated t-mobile for 5years now and they cannot stop me watsoever so basically i hack every phone to get the tethering free and i used my computer to surf the web so some might understand what every individual device are used for you want something allinone try building it yourself

felface says:

I am a die hard apple fan but if apple makes the iPhone 6 larger then i will seriously start looking elsewhere I don't care about having a chunkier ui (in fact I'm dead set against it) if I can't easily fit my iPhone in my pocket and easily carry it round that's a huge deal breaker that thing could make my breakfast and I still wouldn't buy it

Jaguarr40 says:

Well I just read the interesting article here written by Rene about the 5 reasons for a larger size iPhone in the form of benefits and I get it all.
What worries me is as we all know generally how expensive Apple products are - So at what cost would this cost the consumer. I am sure knowing Apple die hards that as typical as we do from past experience of my own and everyone else, We would most likely pay it.
Yes it takes all the points Rene made especially taking money away from the others they would make out of their pocket but I am just wondering if we truly want to carry around a mini computer considering how most Apple consumers tend to be on the side of not jumping the gun so quickly.

jalba3 says:

How many inches would the screen be if Apple added an extra column? They added an extra row when progressing to the iPhone 5 so we might see something similar this time around.

Danny swagzy90 says:

4nches won't make any sence, jst live it they way it is before.

Nikki Santoro says:

What ecosystem? lol! Windows has an ecosystem. I mean, you can buy software for Windows and use your computer to design cars. But iPhones can do no such things no matter what "software" you buy. Nor is it a software only problem. And so there is no ecosystem but just Apple scamming people as usual.

oldchemist says:

And.... it makes it too big. I picked an iPhone 4 over the iPhone 5 for just this reason - size. Forget the OS etc etc. If I can't carry it comfortably and if it is too large in my hand - guess what - I won't use it!! And then all that technology stuff becomes totally irrelevant. I had an ATT HTC1 for a week. The Android OS was fine (nicer than the iPhone) but it was too big (and that without a case around it!) The MOTO X looks interesting, although still bigger than the iPhone 4......

Dark_Blu says:

Making a bigger screen iPhone is one thing. Increasing the resolution to make that increased screen size usable is quite another. I'm all for Apple creating a 5" iPhone but it's far more likely that they'd do 4.5", as Apple historically has only increased the screen size by .5" from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 and 4S, then the iPhone 5, 5s, and 5C. Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised by a 5" iPhone. All we can do is wait and see, in October.

sejgiul says:

The iPhone 2G, 3G and 3GS screen sizes are the same as the 4 and 4S.... All 3.5".

Frozen001 says:

As someone who has bounced around the smartphone platforms, and used an S4 until my screen broke and I am not using a 4S, I can say that I like the larger screen. But what I did not like was that a large screen mean a large phone, which means it was odd trying to walk around with the G-S4 in a pocket, which means I has to hold it in my hand all the time, to me that was not work the larger screen size. Rather than have a 5" screen I would rather have better resolution and the ability to scale what is shown on screen to fit whatever the users prefers. Like personally I would like smaller icons and fonts on a screen slightly wider than an iphone 5s and the ability to scale everything. That and personally I would drop the physical home button. Actually now that I am looking at my 4S, if apple could make a phone with the screen size roughly the size of the exterior of the 4S dimensions, where with the case it would only be a bit larger than that, it would be perfect. Oh yea and keep it as durable as my 4S had been with a removable battery!

kelownadon says:

Just give me a 5 or 6 inch ipod touch and I will be happy.

Dhyan Hariprasad says:

wow...reasons to switch from iphone to other devices....!!!!!!!!

hhy2k says:

4.5 inch screen, exact same size for the device, finger rejection on the sides (they have that nailed on the ipad)... Double the pixel count... It'll come out 580 ppi or so.... Problem solved for a very long time....

sejgiul says:

iPhone 640, iPhone 645, iPhone 650, iPhone 655, iPhone 660. Where of course the 2nd and 3rd number are the screen sizes...

Problem solved.

sejgiul says:

And getting rid of that ridiculous home button and the huge bezels would make the devices physically smaller again.

cornerofthemoon says:

Why is it so hard for Apple to build a bigger phone? They finally got around to a 4 incher a thousand years after everyone else and the tech blogsphere acted like they just invented warp drive.

ThatsAwesome says:

If they add a bigger battery like 4000mAH into 4.7 inch iPhone I would be very very happy.

SGSII says:

It didnt occur to me that Apple has 2 sizes for most of their products.. Now 2 sizes of the next iteration of iphone makes sense.

Chris30338 says:

The 4 inch screen has always been my BIGGEST complaint with Apple. The market has been telling Apple for years that a lot of people want a bigger screen. Give the market what it wants. Have a smaller IPhone for the IPhone "purists" and a larger IPhone for those that are looking for a large screen experience with an IPhone. I think Apple finally got the message with the upcoming rumored release of two bigger IPhones with one of them being in the 5.5 inch Phablet territory.

My entire reason for this is to consolidate my IPhone and IPad Mini onto one platform. The downside for Apple with this strategy is that it's IPad Mini sales will probably shrink significantly as I'm sure there are plenty of people out there with the same consolidation strategy in mind.

SteveW928 says:

Yea, if they don't keep an actual phone-sized phone as well, they'll be making a big mistake. Aside from that, make it as big as they like.... That makes one wonder at what size it will actually stop. Apple makes 5", the rest go to 6"... Apple makes 6", the rest go to 7"... Apple makes 7", the rest go to 8"... I'm imagining some form of sanity will set in before it hits 50" phones, but one never knows. :)

Jimmy DeVault says:

The whole point of apples screen size is so when holding the phone with one hand your thumb can go form corner to corner easily. when apple upgraded the screen size for the 5 my thumb can barely reach, any bigger and i would have to use to hands, wouldn't want it. Plus it needs to fit in my jeans pocket.

SteveW928 says:

Until all the on-contract not-iPhones are 6 inches (if they aren't already)... rinse and repeat. And, then what happens to the iPad mini once phones hit 8 inches.

But, I'm happy so long as they keep an option for a phone sized phone. I'm old enough to have gone through the bag-phone era, and was happy when phones got small enough to slip into one's pocket.