iPhone 5 once again rumored to get a 4-inch screen, smaller dock

The next generation iPhone 5,1 is once again being rumored to include a lengthened, 16:9 ratio, 4-inch screen as well as a smaller dock connector port, and a (partially) metallic back plate. According to iLounge:

What we’ve learned: the new iPhone will indeed be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S. Approximate measurements are 125mm by 58.5mm by 7.4mm—a 10mm jump in height, nearly 2mm reduction in thickness, and virtually identical width. According to our source, Apple will make one major change to the rear casing, adding a metal panel to the central back of the new iPhone. This panel will be flat, not curved, and metal, not ceramic.

A The Verge reader, Tom Collins, first posited the 16:9, 4-inch screen possibility almost a month ago and Daring Fireball's John Gruber lent his support to the notion. If Apple goes with it, they could simply lengthen the iPhone, or they could also make changes to the bezel and Home button to better optimize it.

iMore first broke the news about a new, smaller dock connector a couple of months ago so it's good to see some additional support for the idea. It makes sense since space will be at a premium, especially with an LTE radio.

Rumors of a return to the metal backplate have been around for years, probably since the day after Apple dumped the original iPhone's casing for the plastic of the iPhone 3G. Having metal-on-glass, the inverse of Apple's current glass-on-metal aesthetic, looks a bit odd. But so did the iPhone 4 design when it first leaked. Likely radio transparency will dictate the final composition.

Gorilla Glass 2 has been speculated since Corning showed off their next generation material at CES 2012 earlier this year.

So, overall, iLounge backs up a lot of what we've already heard. But here's the caveat: Apple has had several different iPhone prototypes in the works at the same time in the past. Sometimes there are more ambitious and more conservative prototypes. It's the way Apple works. (There's an old cliche about 10 designs, 3 prototypes, 1 product.)

Last year, prior to the iPhone 4S launch, a lot of information leaked about a radical redesign for 2011 as well. So while we're starting to hear similar information from multiple sources, it's always important to remember that nothing about the new iPhone, or any new device, is certain until Apple holds it up on stage, likely this fall.

Source: iLounge

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I don't see the tall look with the same bezel size coming to the iPhone, 6th Generation.
    People are so quick to focus on the screen they forget about other uses of the device. Think of how the phone would work with the ear to the speaker, the microphone would stick way out from the mouth.
    I can see Apple making a bigger screen at the same phone size with the same density and using the bezel space instead.
    A skinnier dock gives space to move the home button down and the speaker up much like in the right image, but you'll see the opposite where the top bezel shrinks more than the bottom.
  • Rumor: iPhone might get a bigger screen.
    Fact: Any article, with the word "rumor" in it, sucks.
  • Fact: if bothered by "rumors" you should not click links with the word "rumor" in it..
    See, problem solved.
  • I really hope they don't make it bigger. I like the current form factor.
  • I fail to see a benefit to any of these changes.
  • A bigger screen?
  • Or better put, a taller screen. Is that what you were dying to have?
  • You can be sure Apple's marketing department will make people think so. Just as they convinced millions that they couldn't live without Siri.
  • I'd like to see Apple use less bezel, and increase the phone width to incorporate a bigger screen. How dope would it be if the entire front of your phone was a screen, with a tiny part for the camera and ear speaker.
  • I speak only for myself when I say this, and if you agree, great:
    I want a bigger screen.
    For most, the 3.5 inch screen is fine. It looks good. But for some, like myself, it isn't enough.
    I briefly had a fling with a 4s, but I had to return it because it caused me to pick up my iPad too often. Im a hybrid user. Windows PC, Android phone (Galaxy Nexus) and iPad for my tablet.
    That little screen caused me to scroll way too much. And for me, it felt like a toy after coming from the Nexus. Build quality isn't a factor for me since I put my devices in cases. But that screen....
    I hope Apple increases the size. I don't care if it's 4in, 4.3, or 4.7.
    I just want to see them do something to benefit other users. We're not all satisfied with the current iPhone. Show us that you care about those of us that have larger hands.
  • the problem is, while i want a larger screen I don't want a larger form factor. A bigger screen is fine for guys, but I highly doubt girls would want something bigger.
  • I don't think it's an issue of man or woman as far as how big a phone is to hold comfortably. I saw a woman using a Galaxy Note. She was using it to show off some pictures to another person. It was huge.
    Also, I see plenty of women using large screen Android devices without any problem. I think it's based on the individual.
    We all have preferences and that's what it comes down to.
    I'm all for Apple continuing to make the same sized phone if they so please. But for me personally, I won't get one until they do.
    Again, fine for me because I love both iOS and Android.
    Hmmm...with that said, why am I even caring....lol.
  • Is that sarcasm I detect?
  • I'd like to see it a little bigger
  • You know, I am seeing that a good number of people are polarized regarding screen size: Either they want bigger, or want to stay the same (due to fear of increase physical size). I personally use my phone more as a PDA (and less of a phone), so I prefer a larger screen.
    Why doesn't Apple start making two phones? With the same basic internals and just a different form factor, I don't see why it would hurt Apple to make something like an iPhone5, and iPhone5XL...
  • switched recently from an iphone 4S to a Galaxy Nexus... while part was my usual "boredom" phase with iOS... i'm also really start to want a larger screen, and the 4.65" (really more like 4.4" once one account for the software buttons) is so nice to use... the size used to turn me off, but once i got used to it, it makes the iphone screen feel so tiny... also using an ipad regularly makes for browsing on a phone screen harder... at least with the Nexus, less need to pan and zoom
    if the iphone 5 comes with a 4" + screen, i'll be likely switching back the day it goes on sale ;)
  • A 4" screen is the size I want. The 4.3" screen on my Lumia 900 is too big to always grip comfortably. But going back to the 3.5" screen on the iPhone 4 is fairly painful now. IMO 4" is the perfect size.
  • I hope the screen is bigger. Time it changed. The only thing that really keeps me attracted to the iphone is the battery life.
  • These new rumors sound disgusting. If they reign true, I'll upgrade to the 4S for $99 when this puppy comes out.
  • I want the phone mocked up on the right not for the size, but because it implies a flush (or soft) home button that won't give out after a few months.
  • I really hope they increase screen size. 3.5" might be fine for just a phone but this is a pocket computer now. With the frequent use of GPS, various media, Internet browsing, and more, I need a screen that's large enough to make use of these features. 4" or more please.
  • No. Just no. Apple will NOT change their screen ratio. Developers come first in their app ecosystem, and so you will NOT see a lengthened 16:9 screen. No.
  • Tend to agree.
  • But the rest of the world, in hardware and content, is standardized on 16:9. It doesn't really matter what ratio their studies show is best for what. They have to change at some point.
  • I personally would like the screen to be slightly bigger, but it is not a killer for me. What does concern me is that it mentions a 2mm reduction in thickness. That would make the device thinner than I would like, not to mention that it could effect the battery. I would prefer a 1mm increase to account for a better battery.
  • didnt jobs and apple say 3.5'' is perfect and that no one wants bigger.
  • You should really do the mockups in black.
    'cause there's no going back.
  • The iPhone 5 will not be 16x9, but it will be 4" (nearly).
    It will be a 1024x768 screen (XGA or half-iPad) screen, which at 326 Retina DPI would be just wider then present width of the iPhone 4/4S unit as a whole (2.35" versus 2.25"). It will be nearly edge to edge, however, so the whole unit will stay under 2.5" wide. The back will be metal and it will look just like a mini-iPad.
    This lets Apple keep saying it's Retina, that the move to 4" isn't because the present dimensions aren't perfect but to align the two platforms video standards and provide more Springboard real estate (5 icon wide), to allow more elegant scaling of apps between iPhone/iPad devices, to let iPad 1 & 2 apps run natively, and to allow side-by-side iPhone apps on the iPad. And all those benefits only cost .25" in width, it still easily fits in your pocket, and it kills the need for a 7" iPad.
  • I am at the point where I seriously hope the change the screen size so I can either see... People who previously hate it praise it or.. People who hate the idea freak out
  • I like the glass. If there's a metal backing, I will not get the new iPhone.
  • I have a VERY reliable source that described to me the exact form factor mentioned in Rene's article before it hit the Internet. He didn't say anything about the micro dock though.