If Apple goes to a 4-inch iPhone, which way would you prefer they get there?

While it seems increasingly likely Apple will be going with a bigger, close to 4-inch iPhone 5 screen, and that that screen will be close to a 16:9 aspect ratio (making it taller but not wider). However, until we see Tim Cook or Phil Schiller (or dare we hope, Jony Ive?) hold it up on stage, we still have time to dream.

Rather than go over all the options again here, I'll point you to Rene's excellent post on the 4-inch iPhone from a few days ago. Give it a look, then come back here and vote on which 4-inch screen option you'd most like Apple to go with? 2:3 at 960x640 stretched? 2:3 at 1920x1280 stretched? 9:5 at 640 x 1136 taller? 2:3 at 1092x728 bigger? 16:9 at 1280x720 bigger and taller? 3:4 at 1024x768 bigger and taller? Or do you deeply, truly still hope Apple sticks with the 3.5-inch iPhone that brought them to the dance in the first place?

Vote up top and tell me why in the comments!

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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Reader comments

If Apple goes to a 4-inch iPhone, which way would you prefer they get there?

53 Comments

What's the point of your whining? Your just bitching just to hear yourself bitch. Let us fanboys read what we want to read and get off our site.

Because if you are a fan of Apple products, it is fun to speculate what their next design will look like. Don't like it? Leave...

well put sir, as an apple fan, no matter which direction they take, I know it will be worth every penny. Although personally, I would love the 16x9

I think polls like this are nice to see what other people's preferences are. It never hurts to ask what people want.

Who the heck is a fan here but yourself? Its all about product usefulness, ease, innovation, and practicality. You're one of those sad people who'd worship apple if they created a device in the shape and look of feces. I want a screen at least 4.5 inches. If not, I'm getting something else. I might get the 5 and sell it on Craigslist for several hundred more than I paid for it to some pathetic early adopter.

16:9. The 4" phones today seem so big. Same size as 4S with a thinner case would be ideal. I would probably go back to to the inferior blackberry if Apple went the way of Samsung with these monster sized phones. Even though I love iOS - the phone has to feel good in my hands.

I can tell you have never held a Galaxy Nexus. The screen is huge but the phone doesn't feel large in the hands partially due to the curved glass and how thin the phone is. I can easily use one hand to operate it and it has a 4.65 inch display. No amount of words coming from me will convince you though, you just have to play with one.

It doesn't feel large in the hand until you try to use your thumb to reach for something on the far end of the screen. I have a 4S and a Galaxy Nexus, and between the two I much prefer a too-small screen to a too-large one that could cause me to drop the phone while I'm reaching for the notification bar.

Yay finally people agree 16:9 is the right way to go now lets do this Apple the only ones that want the same screen size are the ones that just bought the last iphone lol

16x9 is only good for video. Reading, web browsing, work (iWork apps), photo manipulation, video editing (so iLife) - all better on 3:2.

What exactly makes 3:2 better for photo taking/editing? Almost all digital camera's take photos in the 16:9 ratio. I am a professional photographer and my Nikon DSLR (and every other DSLR) takes photos in 8x12 format and not 8x10. Just like HD video being 16:9 wide screen vs SD 3:2.

what if it's 16:9 but instead of there now being extra screen real estate that's always available it has a galaxy nexus flow to it. what if the extended screen replaced the home button and the whole screen "clicked" like a magic pad or macbook. this "galaxy nexus" type area would then disappear when video was being played or if you went into full screen mode for supported applications. a clickable screen has to be possible since it exists in something as slim as the macbook air and magic pad. just a wild guess.

Never going to happen. RIM did the whole clickable screen thing with the Blackberry Storm and it was horrible.

Yup. I like BBerries, have one now, and even I will tell you that the Storms were garbage. Ugh! No clickable faces, dont do it!

One fellow suggested that Apple triple the non Retina display and go 4"
I thought that was clever, but this isn't an option in the vote.
So right now
Non Retina = 1X
Retina = 2X
New 4" Retina = 3X

I have an HTC Rezound and iPhone 4s, both are nearly identical in size (excluding depth, w/ iPhone bumper), but the Rezound is much easier to type on since the screen is a little wider. I'd kill for a couple mm of width to space the keys out on the virtual keyboard.

I'm hoping for something a tad bigger than a 4" screen like 4.3" or something. Oh yeah I prefer a wide screen than tall and skinny.

The reason why the iPhone is the best mobile device out there in the market is because Steve Jobs gave us the BEST form factor there is. By all means improve everything else but leave the form factor as is. If I want anything else I can get a cheap 'Droid' abomination anytime I want, but why would I?

+1
Leave the freakishly large screens to the niche-market droid makers. They're all about gimmicks.
Bigger screens have some advantages.
But bigger devices should be avoided if possible.

android phones are not abomination man. you're too biased man. I've used both. android phones are pretty great. don't be so blind man. steve jobs was not god.

640x1136 is actually closer to 16:9 than 9:5 and if they just add pixels to the top/bottom of the screen that would most likely cause the least disruption.

I have an HTC Rezound which has a 4.3 inch 1280x720 screen. It's a 16:9 and is a really nice size for me. The screen is big enough to to read and surf the web on while still being pocketable. The pixel density on this phone is actually higher than the iPhone. A 4 inch iPhone with the same resolution would be spectacular.

4:3 1024x768. It'd be a nice change.
BTW, Georgia - we're job-mates. I'm a therapist, too; and, subsequently, I use my iPhone ALL the time for scheduling and whatnot.

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I am thinking that the next iPhone might switch to a 16:9 aspect ratio and grow vertically, but not horizontally. I also might venture a guess that if an iPad Mini shows up this year, it too will have the same 16:9 aspect ratio, although a different resolution.
Although unlikely, I also might not be surprised if at a certain point, the iPad also switches ratios. Yes, maybe it might not be as comfortable for reading, but if over time every iOS device consolidates to this aspect ratio, it would work really well. iOS might be able to always scale iPhone or iPad apps to any future resolutions required for different screen sizes while maintaining "Retina" ppi.
Oh, and it also would nicely match the 16:9 ratio of a future iTelevision. How easy that any photo or video taken with any device would look the same on all devices.
Or maybe they are winging it.

If the new iPhone screen changes to 16:9 aspect ratio and grow vertically, but not horizontally, it is going to be a fail for Apple. As a developer I have no idea what kind of solution are they thinking for those millions of applications/games which must be re-designed.
Keeping the 3:2 aspect ratio with doubling the pixels(1920x1280) at 4" is looking like a better idea.
And also, tall phone=ugly phone.

2:3 is still the way to go because developers don't have to redesign all their apps 19201280 would be the nicest thing to do. But then they have to use the new IGZO screens to get that resolution @ a high contrast and brightness level. If they keep IPS-LCD then they would go to 1092728

Apple has to find out the perfect screen size. Not too small, not too big. 3.5 in is now considered small, so the best I think is 4.3 inches.
Just an opinion.

I don't understand all the talk of fragmentation I've been reading...Android is fragmented so badly because there are HUNDREDS of phones to account for. Apple going to it's iPhone screen change isn't really a big deal. If developers are going to have real trouble with this, they need to look at getting a new job.

I have to agree. A change like this is bound to happen, if not to the display, than something else. All devs know, at some point, you'll be making changes to you code as your platform advances. If you can get more screen real estate in the same or smaller package (and things look just as good, visually, or better), then it stands to be a good thing for both devs and consumers alike.

Funny how the one that absolutely will not be chosen is the most popular, and yet when the iPhone is released, those same people will slather praise on it as if it was supposed to be that way all along.

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