5-inch iphone

iPhone 5: How bigger screens could lead to best in class profit margins for Apple

iPhone 6 is already the topic of rumors and speculation. Over the weekend Bloomberg reported on the possibility of Apple moving to larger display sizes next year. Rene Ritchie has been writing about just that here on iMore for a while now as well. Now, some of us may remember Apple bashing large screens in the past. Part of that was technology. Competitors were using OLED and PenTile subpixels to get to larger sizes, and Apple argued color saturation on those displays wasn’t good enough. Tim Cook has always been clear on the idea that they don’t want to sacrifice on quality to deliver size, whether this quality sacrifice come from color reproduction, power consumption, durability, or something else. Another part of that was one-handed ease of use, which Apple in the past equated to hardware narrowness, but which everything from BlackBerry 10 to iOS 7's gesture navigation have shown can also be handled by software. If there is one thing that’s certain (other than death and taxes), it's that technology keeps improving. Whatever compromises Apple felt users would face with a larger iPhone screen will eventually be bypassed. And when that happens, it is only logical to assume larger iPhones will follow.

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Apple reportedly exploring 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 for 2014, pressure sensitive iPhone 6s for 2015

Rumors of large-screen iPhones have been around for a while now, more specifically as an option Apple's looking into for the 2014 iPhone 6. With the launch of the new, more gesture-friendly iOS 7, rumors of curved displays, which would better suit them, have followed. Now we're once again getting some numbers, 4.7- and 5.5-inches, along with some more wish-list features, namely pressure sensitivity. Tim Culpan and Adam Satariano, reporting for Bloomberg:

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Apple testing 6-inch iPhone concepts, of course

Apple has so far released 3.5-inche iPhones from 2007 to 2011, and a 4-inch iPhone in 2012. However, to get to those very specific sizes, Apple likely prototyped everything at quarter-inch intervals in-between. That's why they have Jony Ive, the design group, and all that fancy prototyping equipment in the labs. Which screen size(s) eventually get released and when is a far more interesting question, and difficult one. Here's what Ian Sherr, Eva Dou, and Lorraine Luk for the Wall Street Journal:

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Did you hear the one about the iPhone with the 4x Super Retina display?

There's a rumor going around that Apple might be considering going to @4x -- a "Super Retina" for a future iPhone display. Apple went to @2x, from 320x480 at 163ppi to 640x960 at 326ppi for the iPhone 4 Retina display, and lengthened it to 640x1136 at the same 326ppi for the iPhone 5's 4-inch widescreen display. These days, however, Android phones are shipping with 1080x1920 (1080p) displays at well over 400ppi.

So, to leap ahead again, and to keep things just as easy on the apps as the last big density increase, in some theoretical universe Apple could just double again to @4X, right?

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Apple won't make a larger screen iPhone while trade-offs exist

There's been rampant speculation, rumor mongering, and punditing that Apple must be, has to, is, or really should be making an even larger iPhone. Recall that from the original iPhone launch in 2007 up to the iPhone 4S of 2011, the screen size was a steady and unchanging 3.5-inches. Then with the iPhone 5 in September of 2012, Apple jumped to 4 inches while much of the rest of the smartphone industry was powering on to 5 inches and beyond. Heck, just two weeks ago Samsung announced a pair of new Android-powered smartphones with 5.8-inch and 6.3-inch screens.

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The 'iPhone 5S' problem

Apple may or may not release a product called the "iPhone 5s" this year. The presumption, however, fueled by Apple having previously released the 2009 iPhone 3GS-as-in-speed, and the 2011 iPhone 4S-as-in-Siri, is that 2013 will see an iPhone 5s-as-in-something update. Whether it ultimately proves real or not, the perception of a yearly update cycle and its tick-tock nature, is becoming problematic.

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iMore show 336: Power vs. empowered

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Rene talks jailbreak evasi0n, iWatch rumors, more on the 5-inch iPhone and less expensive iPhone, on getting stuck between Dropbox and iCloud, and Apple retention. This is the iMore show!

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Using the iPad mini as a phone

Last week I left home and headed to the airport, on my way to Macworld|iWorld 2013. My flight was delayed thanks to freezing rain, so I sat at the airport in Montreal for a couple hours, finally made it to Toronto, and then got smacked with another 8 hour delay. With my iPhone 5 at 20% and dropping, thanks to the poor quality Rogers reception at Pearson, I reached for one of the several Lightning cables I'd packed for my trip... only to find not a single one. I'd left them all at home.

Of course, neither the iStore (airport electronics shop) nor the Best Buy vending machines had Lightning cables. I was stuck. I needed my iPhone for when I landed in San Francisco, so I had to conserve as much power as I could. But I also needed a phone to use while I was at the airport all day.

So I reached for my iPad mini.

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More on a 5-inch iPhone and scaling the interface

Just over a week ago I ran the numbers on a bigger screen iPhone, and presented several ways Apple could go, including just taking the current screen and stretching it out to almost 5-inches, which would give it the same 264ppi pixel density as the Retina iPad 4 screen. Since Apple used the iPhone density to make the iPad mini, using the iPad density to make the iPhone maxi has a certain symmetry to it.

But would stretching out the icons, buttons, text and other interface elements just make them look bigger, or would it make them look silly? Let's find out...

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Tim Cook talks larger screen sizes, says Apple picked the right one at 4-inches

During today's Q1 2013 conference call, Apple's CEO Tim Cook was asked about larger screened iPhones. There were two separate questions, one about price and screen size variants and how they might effect Apple's business outside the US, and the the other concerning how competitors use screen size to differentiate from Apple, and whether there are dynamics or long term cases for a bigger screened iPhone.

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