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The next iPhone X should be bigger. No, smaller!

Just because Apple shipped iPhone X doesn't mean the company is mic-dropping, yelling "peace out", and switching to the coffee shop business. There'll be an iPhone 9 or iPhone XI next year and perhaps more than one.

For the last few years Apple has been shipping iPhone in two sizes: regular and Plus. Since iPhone X is a Plus-sized screen in a regular-sized body, that creates at least two interesting possibilities for next year:

  1. A regular-sized iPhone screen in an iPhone SE-sized body — let's say 4.7ish-inches.
  2. An even bigger iPhone screen in an iPhone Plus-sized body — let's say 6.5ish-inches.

While some people said they prefered the 4-inch screen size on iPhone SE what most of them really meant is that they preferred the smaller overall size of the device. Fill the front with iPhone X-style screen and I don't think almost any of them would mind. I think they'd be thrilled. It would certainly make for the most one-hand friendly iPhone in years.

A 6.5-inch iPhone would appeal to those who want something closer to a primary computing device but in a big phone, not a small tablet. It would almost certainly continue to chip away at iPad mini, but it would provide a welcome amount of consolidation for those who really do want that one mobile to rule them all.

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When a product is as popular as iPhone it's no longer about new regional markets or distribution channels. It's all about expanding markets by annexing adjacent areas of appeal. Size is an easy one. Apple's been doing it for years. Based on iPhone Plus, it may seem like adding back the bigger phone is the better option. But iPhone SE showed there was passion in the smaller size as well, beyond even Apple's demand forecasting.

Of course, Apple could stick to one iPhone X sequel size next year or go all-in on all three. Given recent history, though, the possibility of two iPhone sizes can't be discounted.

So, if you had your way — if Jony Ive asked you whether the next iPhone size should be smaller or bigger — what would it be? iPhone Plus X or iPhone SE X?

Rene Ritchie
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.

50 Comments
  • Bigger! Canceled my order to keep my 7+.
  • I just got the X yesterday. It is the perfect size. They can make it huge and they can make it small, but they should keep this size too. This is perfect!!!
  • Tried the X in GCT yesterday. Will not be buying. I will continue to hope for a smaller size that will not cause a recurrence of the the repetitive stress injury caused by the 6. Until then, I will have to be satisfied with the SE. It seems clear that no one size will fit all.
  • The three-size rule seems to be the best option. An SE model, a normal model, and a Plus model
  • Precisely why I decided to keep my 7+.
  • Bigger it's too small. The screens 5.8" and seems like 4 inch. A nice 7 plus size with as 6.5" screen for me please
  • 2018 release prediction iPhone 9/9plus models - same design as the iPhone 8 models, better guts. iPhone x plus - a bigger version of iPhone x - probably better guts as well.
  • Have not had my hands on an iPhone X yet but I think it will probably be the largest I will buy. I have owned iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus and a little too big. Plus, I have had display problems with both (so-called "Touch Disease) and Apple asked me to pay $140 to fix the problem with their bad design. Neither Plus models were ever dropped and never carried unprotected in back pocket.
  • The iPhone SE X would be awesome. I don't know about Face ID but I wouldn't mind that.
  • Given Apple's guidelines about adult content, I don't think they will call it that
  • I figured as much, more so the idea of the size and screen together. I don't care what it would be named actually lol.
  • It would be amazing if they called it that, but I think there would be too much of a backlash
  • More like iPhone X SE
  • It would be called that if Apple chose to have both the X and the SE in the name
  • I'd buy the iPhone SE X just because it'll be forever known as the iPhone ***. ROFL
  • LOL
  • And known as the iPhone asterisk asterisk asterisk on iMore (until they change their silly censoring)
  • I could see a huge benefit to reducing the number of SKUs that Apple has to produce. I'd like to see them consolidate from SE, Regular, Plus to two with overall dimensions somewhere in between SE/Regular and Regular/Plus. The SE branding would probably go away leaving iPhone 11/11 Plus. Apple doesn't necessarily need a larger screen than iPhone X but it needs the screen width of the Plus. The X is more like a taller Regular screen than a Plus screen, despite what I keep reading on iMore about "a Plus sized screen in a regular size body".
  • It's because they measure diagonally. So, they get a bigger number for the spec-sheet (even though part of it is behind a notch).
  • The current iPhone X looks more like the 4.7" model, only taller. I would want a larger version that's wider than the current X. That 5.8" diagonal measurement is very steep.
  • I’m happy with the size of the X. I carry it on my runs (I don’t use those arm holder things) and I find it to be the perfect size. Never liked running with the Plus models too big.
  • Played about with the X in store today. Just felt too big. So much of my usage is one handed with the SE just being the perfect size to hit all 4 corners with the thumb. I'd actually prefer the body to be slightly smaller than the full size of the current SE body which would still allow for a slightly bigger screen. It must be the end of the line for any new phones in the Iphone 8 design. Ideally they would go for XI mini, XI and X+ as there is demand for all three although my guess is that they'll probably stick with 1 flagship next year and expand out the size options in later years.
  • Yea, the SE is a nice phone size... and I suppose for some it could be even smaller. I've tried my wife's iPhone 7, and it just feels too big for a phone. It's nice to have more screen space, but IMO, the tradeoff is something awkward as a phone. I suppose 90% of use isn't even as a phone anymore, but it still has to fit in the hand well and pockets (I guess most women have purses, so the pocket thing isn't as big of a deal).
  • Male pockets are usually bigger than female pockets, it's sometimes a bit of a squeeze for my iPhone 7 Plus but it does fit in all my pants' pockets. But yeah I think most women put it in a handbag or purse. My female friend loves bigger phones, she has an iPhone 7 Plus too, and is more than happy with it :)
  • Yes, I think a lot of these people would be as happy with an iPad Mini if it were a cell phone too, as they use them like a tablet. What I don't understand is how they use it like a phone. I have an SE and it's about right (I'm a medium build/size male). I don't know how an iPhone Plus fits in a small female's hand to use as an actual phone, even if they store it in their purse. My wife's iPhone 7 is uncomfortable for me to use as a phone, as it doesn't fit right in the hand. I can't imagine a Plus. re: pocket size - Yes, I'm guessing an iPhone 7 would fit fine in my pocket, but it's getting to be too big of a device to fit well... especially front pocket if I'm out and about where I don't trust it in my back pocket (where I usually have it to listen to podcasts while I work, etc.). Interestingly, I bought a specialized rain-coat shell for tech storage and gadgets (from a popular vendor noted for this) and the actual phone pocket in it is too small for anything but my SE w/o a case. I was like... did they design this a decade ago?
  • Plus has higher margins and volume, ergo that will be their focus.
  • Screw size. I want price. Cheaper!!
  • This is Apple, they charge what they want, so long as the majority will pay it. And given iPhone X sales, that price isn't budging for the foreseeable future
  • bigger. I came from iphone 7 plus iphone x is great. best iphone ever. I hope they make one as big as the note series with the same oled screen and edge to edge
  • What will the 6.5" model cost, $1500? No thanks.
  • $1499 lol
  • The iPhone 6 thru 8 form factor is being replaced with the X line overall. So we can expect both smaller and larger variants going forward. But the question is what will replace the iPhone SE now that it is getting hopelessly dated. There is still a market for small but not necessarily dated or cheap iPhones. So at a minimum there will be a smaller iPhone X2. Perhaps also a larger iPhone X2+.
  • Both: shorter and wider I've mentioned this before, but 4:3 would be better for typing, PDF viewing, picture editing, etc. It would be neutral for gaming, reading, and the web. It would be worse for videos, but I don't care.
  • I just hope if they make a larger model they don't start neutering the small model like with the 8/8+. keep everything the same except for screen size and battery. Take a page from Google's book.
  • If the X was available in a SE size would go for it.
  • It will be interesting to see what happens with the SE, there's still a big market for it
  • The X is a little small for me. I would like an iPhone X+
  • I find small things adorable (and practical, as I'm rather small myself, but it's mostly a fascination of mine), so although I'm getting the X I'd probably very happily downsize to a smaller version a few years down the road.
  • re: "While some people said they prefered the 4-inch screen size on iPhone SE what most of them really meant is that they preferred the smaller overall size of the device. Fill the front with iPhone X-style screen and I don't think almost any of them would mind." I'm a bit torn, as I'd like the extra screen real-estate in the SE. At the same time, I need to see how the screen edge so close to the real edge impacts UX. I won't want to have to carefully hold the device to avoid false input. Also, on the SE, the screen is already pretty close to the edges, so all this means is more vertical with a bit of that behind the notch. I'm not sure that would really be a huge win for anyone but Apples spec-sheet.
  • Bigger. And it doesn't preclude the need for my iPad Pro 12.9. I just don't get how people think a phone can replace a tablet. But I very much would like my next iPhone to be bigger than this one (X).
  • Bigger. I prefer a physically big phone (used BlackBerry Passport for two years and iPhone 6s Plus then 8 plus). The reason I chose the 8 plus over the X was the physical size. When I’m typing I need that space. I find the regular size iPhone too narrow. I also like the physical size for videos and reading web pages. If this year’s X had had a plus size I’d have bought that instead of the 8 plus.
  • This one seems like a no-brainer for me: In the immortal words of that adorable little girl in the commercial turned meme: "¿Por qué no los dos?" - why not both? Especially if the 8/X distinction doesn't continue, and this generation or the next is the last to feature the old style running concurrent to the new style. That way, instead of producing five or six different phones, they're just producing the three: a normal sized "descendant" of the X, a miniaturized version for the fans of smaller phones, and a plus-sized ones for people like me who are fans of the giant ones. I know I've said this before, but I'm one who routinely leaps back and forth between Apple and Android because I like them both for different reasons and eventually want to switch badly enough to do it. In fact, this fall I did switch - from iPhone 6 Plus to Pixel 2 XL (no regrets!) But I know that in time, I'll eventually want to switch back again. Maybe in two years when I'm done with the 2XL, maybe two years later after I'm done with whatever my next Android phone is (probably Pixel 4 XL, or whatever it'll be called). But I can say that I really do like the idea of that eventual iPhone return being to something very much like a plus sized 6.5" (or so) iPhone X after a few generations of refinement and bug fixes have transpired. So yeah, make the big one....but make the small one too. Why the **** not? Cheers!
  • I love my SE......and to say, "Let me check my SE X" will be SO much fun! Seriously... if and when they bring out an SE sized X... I'll be there!
  • It will be the X SE as opposed to SE X, for reasons which I'm sure you understand :p
  • I think the SE size with X style screen with be a blast. It's true is the overall phone people as talking about when the talk about screen size. It is just that iPhones have had large bezels while Android devices had been reducing bezels and growing screen sizes for a while now. So an easier to handle iPhone has come with a 4 inch screen. However no size fits all. I thing the 3 sizes thing should continue.
  • They should do both.
    3 Sizes of "the same" phone (possibly less dual camera if they don't fit.)
    Something tells me it'll be hard to cram an "iPhone X" into an even smaller body., though.
  • IT definitely should be bigger I returned my X way too small and not ready for prime time since most apps are not updated for that size screen. I recommend the 8 plus over the X until they make some updates and changes.
  • I'd like to have an OLED panel the same physical size as the 8 Plus, with the remainder of the phone shrunk down appropriately. I'd also like a top bezel with the sensors on it so I won't have to watch others performing religious self-immolation over the notch.
  • New original Apple iPhone 8 and 8 plus cost 600USD. come with 1year warranty, New iPhone X cost 700USD New Samsung note 8 cost 650usd iPhone 7 and 7 plus cost 550USD, serious buyer should contact us. Whatsapp CHAT or Call : +19842085304 or 0019842085304
  • For me, the X is slightly too big for one-handed use. Physically it's almost exactly the same size and weight as my 7 (which I almost always used with the Smart Battery Case) but the required vertical reach is so much bigger. After the first day I'm still very tempted to go back to the 7 (or an 8) and keep this one around just for iOS development.