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So where's the 5-inch iPhone?

Rumors of a bigger iPhone, though not as persistent as rumors of a less-expensive iPhone, have persisted for a couple of years now. While rumors of less-expensive iPhone, in the form of an iPhone 5c, have increased, parts have leaked out, and it seems like a real possibility for release this year - perhaps as soon as the iPhone event on September 10 - not so for the bigger iPhone. For the bigger iPhone, there have been no name leaks, no part leaks, no nothing. So where is it?

The big fallacy about big phones

Big phones are nowhere nearly as popular as people - especially tech geeks - think they are, at least not in North America.

Back in January of 2013, 9 out of 10 customers on AT&T chose the 3.5 or 4-inch iPhone over all other smartphones, including all bigger smartphones, combined. 6 out of 10 customers on Verizon did likewise. In the last quarter, reported in July of 2013, more than 5 out of 10 customers on both AT&T and Verizon still chose the 3.5 or 4-inch iPhone over all other smartphones, despite the iPhone 5 being halfway through its product cycle, and the presence of newer, bigger rivals like the enormous Samsung Galaxy S4 and the gorgeous HTC One, as well as various other, larger Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phones.

Again, those aren't just iPhone vs. big phone numbers. Those are iPhone vs. all other smartphone numbers, small, medium, and large. And given those numbers, there's nothing but predictions and smitten tech journalists and geeks - including yours truly - wishing it so to support the argument that Apple needs to make a bigger iPhone.

It's also not the only answer.

Bigger phones as faster horses

A bigger iPhone is only one solution to a specific set of problems, and Apple is famous for thinking differently.

When people said they wanted a netbook, Apple understood they wanted lighter and smaller, and gave them the MacBook Air, and cheaper, and gave them the iPad. When people said they wanted multitasking on iOS, Apple understood they wanted to play Pandora while surfing the web or answer Skype calls while checking their email, and gave them specific API for just that. When people say they want bigger iPhones so its easier to read and they can see more content, Apple might, for example, give them iOS 7 Text Kit and deference and call it a day.

People tend to describe the solutions they think they need rather than the problems they're experiencing, yet many companies respond to the former rather than doing the much harder job of figuring out the latter. Not Apple. Apple figures the hell out of that type of stuff.

Yet a bigger iPhone does best address one specific problem.

Bigger phones for more of the market

Despite the lack of market demand and the potential to solve some of the problems in other ways, there's still a couple of reasons Apple might be considering a bigger iPhone.

First, bigger can be better for some specific use cases. It also increases addressable market. That's why we have two sizes of iPad now.

Right now, if a customer does want a bigger than 4-inch phone for their use case, they have to choose between the iPhone and something else. Even if vast amounts of customers, like AT&T in January 2013, or just over half like AT&T and Verizon in July of 2013 do indeed choose iPhone, some portion of the other half - and we still don't know how big that portion is - chose to give up on Apple and go with a larger display.

That's not dissimilar to 2008-2010 when the iPhone was only available on AT&T, and that meant no iPhone for people for whom staying with another carrier was more important than running iOS. In order to continue to grow, however, Apple wanted to reach those customers. So, in 2011 they came to terms with Verizon, then Sprint in 2012, then T-Mobile in 2013, and now there's almost no carrier barrier for the iPhone in the U.S.

As smartphone penetration increases, and higher end smartphone sales head towards saturation, increasing addressable market in other ways becomes just as important to growth. The iPhone 5c could do that for people for whom price is more important than running iOS. A theoretical bigger iPhone could do that for people for whom size is more important that running iOS.

There's currently three ways other companies compete with Apple in phones: price, size, and not being Apple. The last one will always be there, the first one looks like it's about to be addressed, and that leaves just one more on the table.

The road to 5-inches (redux)

Back in January I did some math and figured out that if Apple used the iPhone 5 display at iPad 4 density, it would result in a nearly 5-inch iPhone. That's exactly the reverse of what Apple did when they used the iPad 2 display at iPhone 3GS density, and shrank it down from 9.7- to 7.9-inches for the iPad mini.

That approach seems to fit Apple's pattern of making life as easy as possible for manufacturers and developers by sticking to the same screen densities and display targets. However, even if held slightly further from the eye by virtue of its slightly larger size, such a 5-inch iPhone wouldn't be as sharp as the current 4-inch iPhone 5, much less 1080p, 400+ppi Android phones, and iOS 6 and previous-style interface elements would be a little big.

Apple could mitigate against that by going to 4.7-inches, or even 4.3 inches (what Android manufacturers absurdly call "mini" these days") but it would mean not using the iPad 4 display density, adding slight complexity to manufacturing, and it may not be "big enough" to expand the addressable market enough to warrant the additional product line.

Apple could also mitigate by going to @3x resolution - 1704x960 at 391ppi - but that also adds complexity to manufacturing, would compel developers to create a @3x assets for their apps, and for all the gain in pixel count, still doesn't hit 1080p. Going to 1080p throws all of Apple's old conventions out the window, and going to @4x resolution - 2272x1280 at 522ppi - even at 5-inches is, frankly, insane.

All this by way of pointing out it's far easier to say "Apple should make a big iPhone" than it is for Apple to do what they'd insist on doing - making a great big iPhone.

iOS 7 and a bigger iPhone

One of the biggest differences between previous speculation about a bigger iPhone and now is iOS 7. When a company like Apple goes to all the trouble of building a physics and particle engine to support their interface, when they objectify it and gamify it and make it a dynamic, living thing, it opens up a lot of potential. When you add Text Kit to mix, and the design language in general, and when you see what it all looks and feels like on an iPad mini, then the possibilities for a bigger iPhone next year become infinitely more exciting.

So where is it already?

To date, Apple hasn't expanded the iPhone line. Ever. Apple has stuck to one new phone a year, every year, since 2007. (And most years they hit constraints even doing that.) This year, we're almost certainly getting an iPhone 5s-class update to the existing like. If we also get the less expensive iPhone 5c, it'll be the first time we to two new phones a year. It's not impossible to imagine them eventually going to three new phones, but it's difficult, and certainly not all at once. Two phones, like two tablets, two MacBook Airs and Pros, and two iMacs, would seem to serve the biggest swathe of the addressable market with the smallest range of products.

The less expensive iPhone was under consideration for many years, and Apple seems to have waited to get it exactly where they wanted it to be, in terms of cost and quality, before moving it into production. I wouldn't at all be surprised if the bigger iPhone was going through a similar process now, with Apple making sure that if and when they do start to kick it out the door, it's an Apple product, from display to positioning, that gets the kick.

Maybe that'll be next year.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

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.

137 Comments
  • Apple should just put phone hardware in the iPad mini and be done with it...
  • Plus a million. I would love this. So fed up with the whole iPhone thing and I don't want to carry two devices all the time.
  • So why not pay for Skype and use the iPad mini as a phone? Skype can receive calls from normal phones as well as other Skype users. It runs in the background now.
  • Google Voice? You have options already. GV lets you text and make free phone calls throughout US and Canada I believe.
  • There are "options" but that doesn't mean there is a phone. I could write paragraphs on why the current options don't actually work for a lot of regular people as a phone but suffice to say pointing to a techie/weird/partial solution is not a proper response. I particular, Skype doesn't work in Canada in that you can't get an actual phone number from Skype in Canada (or lots of places actually), and GV is just a bad VoIP service with severe limitations, and the requirement to use Google services (which many folks eschew for moral/personal reasons). There is no real, complete "phone" solution for internet devices as of yet despite all the "options."
  • Many ways to make and receive calls on an LTE iPad Mini. A guy i work with travels internationally and does all his calls from one. With better multitasking in iOS 7 is it will be even more possible.
  • My iPad Mini has LTE in it. All it needs is a phone and SMS App, oh... and carrier support. That last thing is not happening unless the carriers can control the distribution of the iPad. That is not happening. I completely agree, iPad Mini with cell capabilities and a bluetooth headset is perfect.
  • Google Voice? text and calls.
  • At least a 4.5 inch screen and a lot more people will leave android and come back IMO Sent from the iMore App
  • I couldn't agree more. I don't think people chose the screen size of the iphone over all other phones like Rene started this article stating. They chose the iPhone over other platforms. I would love to have an android phone with a larger screen than my iPhone 5, but sharing photos with my wife and downloading music from one account with itunes is why I stick with it. Plus I think the iPhone has the best radios of any other phone around, and after all it is a phone.
  • I agree with you 100%. Its not a iOS issue with me cause I love iOS (iOS 7 too) its the hardware I want a better screen. Upgrade camera, ram, and processor means little to nothing for me.
  • my favourite blog as a reader of Germany :)
    Certainly love Apple products and love reading about them on iMore.com! Keep up the good work and reward a frequent reader from back in the TiPB.com days
  • Great article, but I don't get it. Is it really that big of a deal to make a bigger phone? Does it literally take years? Same for the 5c. Isn't it just an iPhone with less expensive parts? And I don't understand the numbers. If 9/10 on AT&T, and 6/10 on verizon choose the iPhone, why are there more Android phones? I switch back to my iPhone 5 every couple of months, and use it for a few weeks. I like it, but it's just a smartphone like every other phone. How hard can it be to make it bigger? I'm not an engineer, but it seems simple. To me it seems like pride and stubbornness from Apple.
  • Technically and logistically it's not "harder" to make the screen bigger. However, in short, there are technical issues with software that most likely come into play. If Apple makes the screen bigger, do they keep the same supported resolutions and DPI so that current and future apps still work properly? If Apple does that then do they lower the standards for what is "Retina"? Sure, Apple can make bigger screens, but there's almost a million+ reasons why thought needs to be put into the descision to go bigger. If you need an example of a fragmented and problematic ecosystem (with regards to how devs need to code to support a plethora of screen sizes), look no further than Android. I think Rene did a great job of outlining those issues in the article above. :)
  • It really is a big deal. It's easy to make junk. It's f'ing hard to make great products. Also, as Ben Bajarin techpinions.com will tell you, making 100,000,000 of anything is hard. Trying to do that with multiple products is insanely hard. Apple doesn't do niche. If they swing for 5-inches, they'll swing for the stars.
  • Apple has yet to make any product that sold 100,000,000 (and that's not that hard as much smaller companies can do it). Meaning that is a problem they need not worry about. They need to worry about making a product that can sell 50m.
  • Rene, you're putting too much weight it being "f'ing hard to make great products". We're talking about a larger screen. And Apple doesn't even make the screen, and we've seen a plethora of screen sizes from a company that makes the screen for the iPhone (or at least used to). So really, where's the challenge? Larger screen, larger case. Don't see the issue. Apple already has a great product in the iPhone, just make it bigger. That's all in comes down to.
  • "Larger screen, larger case. Don't see the issue." Did you read the article?
  • Yeah, read the article or I wouldn't be commenting. If you have a legit response please share instead of questioning my reading abilities. Other manufactures/OS's seem to have adapted, right? In fact, every OS has adapted to different screen sizes. So again, what's the big deal? If you ask Apple "Why don't you make a 5" phone?", what do you think their response would be? They obviously have some of the most talented engineers in the world, yet they can't find a way to make different size phones? Again, it's not about making phones, it's about what they "think" people want.
  • I did make a "legit reponse" but you keep asking the same question. Your comment about other OS'es "adopting" to the situation just begs the question, "How well has an OS like Android adopted the situation"? Once again, it's not the logistics or engineering of a larger screen but rather it's effect on the million-or-so applications that make up the Apple ecosystem. No one is saying that it can't be done, it's how it should be done is the question. I would rather smaller phones than the mess that is Android.
  • Thanks for the response @JNGold.
  • Maybe you should read it again, specifically the "The road to 5-inches (redux)" piece. It isn't as simple as "make it bigger." When you truly want to make an excellent product, you need to look at things like UI element sizes and pixel-densities relative to other products that run the same software. As Rene has indicated, Apple has some options but they all come with caveats and challenges.
  • By "swing for the stars" do you mean apple will have glanceable data on iOS? Hasn't that been done on android and WP since their inception? So what you are saying @Rene Ritchie is that Apple will make a larger screen, and change iOS for once similar to android and WP, then take all the credit for glanceable data through their excellent marketing?
  • Giant phones are because the manufacturer can't figure out how to cram everything in and still have good battery life. Those new samnsung phones aren't pocketable. It's dumb.
  • They are plenty pocketable unless you wear skinny jeans
  • Skinny jeans wearing, metrosexual hipsters and teen girls are the iphone's main user base.
  • Reference please. I just had lunch with people I've never met before. More iPhones than anything else and the ages were 60+.
  • Its just the opposite some people are getting bored with iPhone even if they might come back at a later time. Most of my friends have move on to HTC One and S4. All saying they miss iOS but screen to small.
  • Same thing here. I miss my iPhone terribly but I just can't live with that screen. I went wp8 about 6 months ago but that didn't work out so no I'm on android. That's it. I'd go back to iOS in an instant. I'm not alone.
  • Always amazes to me someone could get 'bored' with iOS, an iPhone...any iOS device for that matter. I own both a Galaxy Note and iPhone 5 (Bought the Note specifically for business and 'Square' with the stylus for signatures). With anything 'iOS'---there's the whole 'Appy Fridays'. Can't remember which site does it...it's irrelevant. The point being...EVERY week, there are new and exciting releases for iOS. One thing I've noticed, especially with the 'large' screen Androids...many times I've bumped into apps incompatible with my 'tablet'---when in fact, the Note is a Phone, albeit a 'big' phone, the coding isn't written for the larger displays. Cool surprises like yesterday's release of Plants v Zombies 2---I own a mobile entertainment business. We've done 117 weddings this summer alone...and after 22 years in the biz, the iPad has literally transformed our business, ceremonies that we perform...and mixing Front of House from any seat in the venue....not packing milk cartons of wax or heavy CD boxes, etc. The list goes on...and while we use laptops as our primary 'source'...the iPad and iPhone can always be relied on as a contingency plan...a redundancy if the computer systems go down. dJAY 2's release a couple weeks back, another AMAZING surprise, vJAY has added a truly cool new dimension to our shows with a simple projector shot to the back wall....and the numerous synths, beat and drum pads, music recording and manipulation software....as well as photo and video management and editing, these holes can't be filled by anything in the 'Play Store'. It's a dry store, without appeal...and without the 'weekly' excitement evident in the iOS environment. While there may be synergy with the actual 'number' of apps in each store...there absolutely is NO comparison to the actual software, regardless of your hobby, job or personal enjoyments...even as a private pilot (we fly all summer doing shows across the state of Alaska---and it's the ONLY way to make it happen), the iPad/iPhone and it's numerous flight planning software with plates, Jep Chart updates, etc....I'm now flying with about 10% of the weight we use to---including the ops manual for our twin.
    The Galaxy Note---we still use it once in a while for 'Square'...but other than that, the two year term can't come to an end quick enough. I've also got Square on the iPhone now...and we use it 80% of the time for transactions. As far as innovation of a new, larger iPhone, I think it's inevitable as the competition and public buys more and more into the smart phone environment. But the iPad Mini and iPad regular fit my usage workflow a LOT better than an inch bigger on my phone. When I need actual 'size'...I prefer to use the tablets. For everything on the run, IMHO---and I'm 42 this year and about as big a tech geek as they come...and my eyes aren't what they used to be:)----the iPhone 5 is unbeatable. Again and as always YMMV....But, Bored? That just has to be a younger generation thing. iOS is as stable as it gets. It's fast, clean and easy to use UI is awesome. Takes a WHOLE lot more work on the back side to present simplicity on the front end. From there...we only do so much with the OS itself...it's the apps, the software and the ecosystem.
  • How does that kool-aid taste?
  • That's your rebuttal? Your wisdom? Your really lame attempt at a 'cut down'??? Go feed your spider, get out of the basement, enjoy some sunshine....maybe even get a job! I'm really sorry your mother said "Absolutely NOT" when you asked for an iPhone, iPad or a new Mac. I am...truly...sorry! But, again, if you go grab a job...or maybe you're 14? Can't get one yet?----You can still mow some yards, shovel some snow, save a few bucks and buy yourself one;)
    Actually---in response to your question---I don't care much for Kool Aid. I'm more of an Oskar Blues Fan myself...Dale's Pale Ale being my favorite.
  • I've owned every iPhone since the 3Gs, ipad 3 and several macs. Do you seriously consider an iPhone a status symbol? God, you've drunk move of the kool aid than I initially thought. I'm just inciting some arguments here, nothing personal though : )
  • I think you're really underplaying things here and not thinking it through. That being said, I agree about Rene's use of the statistics. I don't think it necessarily says anything about screen size choice to include iPhone sales. The metric to study is out of all Android phone sales or usage, how many are "large" screens? I think this data would show the same thing (that large screens aren't as popular as people think), but it would be a more fair comparison.
  • The thing is that people don't know and that is why they think it is so easy. If Apple were to make the bigger iPhone and no apps were available because of the new resolution or they had to be updated who loses out? People are quick to say it's not a big deal Android does it, no Android doesn't do it. Android is not a manufacturer LG, Motorolla, Samsung, etc. They are the manufacturer and it is easy for them to make different size devices because the OS(Android) and the hardware are split between the companies in regards of manufacturing and updating the OS for the hardware.
  • Actually, most of your are wrong. The largest amount of android phones are over 4 inches. This was about 89 percent of them. In fact, I have an HTC One and an iPhone 5. If I could put iOS in my one, I would be in heaven. You guys don't realize the difference. Its hard now to look at the little iPhone screen. It is just that Android is so buggy... :((( If apple went big (e.g.. 4.7+) , then I am fairly certain they would capture a lot more people. In fact, I think it would stop the loss of ones like me.
  • Yes, the calculations don't support a proper resizing but Apple already did such a size increase when they made iPhone 5. I was hoping they would make it bigger in both direction and not just elongate it. I was surprised their addiction to making compact things deluded them into not increasing the size much. If they had done it then in one go this wouldn't be a 2 step process now. They just have to go through that one more time now. All app makers had to change their app dimensions when 5 was coming out. Why can't that happen again? It really is stupid to say its too hard to do. If Apple wanted to they could, thats the bottom line. But I'm afraid their stubborn trend of thinner, lighter, smaller makes them itch to think about making iPhone bigger. They even had to shave more from iPad Air's longer sides, making it harder for your thumbs to grab on without touching the screen.
  • There is a lot more to it than just mass producing and releasing an iPhone with a larger screen...
  • I'm thinking 4.5" would be perfect . I have a Lumia 928 and the screen size is just right .
  • Agreed. A 4.5" iPhone with a 1280x720 screen would still retain the same 326dpi as the current iPhone. So it should be "developer friendly."
  • Until you realize that every app would have to be redesigned for 1280 x 720 pixel. Or look like a POS stretched app. So... No... It would suck for developers. It would fragment the app design and the app market more. It would be a huge change.
  • It would not suck. It was a breeze modifying my apps to be iPhone 5 friendly. A well developed app does not require major refactoring to accommodate a different resolution or screen size.
  • I wouldn't buy a 5" iPhone.
  • I have a 3.5 inch iPhone and my wife has the 4 inch iPhone. I call say her phone has a bonus screen because iOS makes such good use of the screen that we don't need it to be bigger. It makes much better use of the screen than Android and that is why Android need a bigger phone and Apple doesn't. I it was and bigger then 4 inches and I put it in a tuff case it would be to big for my pocket. If you need bigger get an iPad to with your iPhone. Sent from the iMore App
  • Makes better use of the screen? What does that mean? Lol.
  • What he means is that his iphone only really launches apps. No need for a big screened app launcher. If he want to check the weather he can open his weather app. If it ain't broke don't fix it right buddy?
  • I know...I have an iPhone 5. It's the perfect size.
  • How did you flex your fingers to write that nonsense? How exactly does it make better use of the screen? If anything, Samsung made 'better' use of a bigger screen with its dual view, having two apps open at the same time.
  • "If anything, Samsung made 'better' use of a bigger screen with its dual view, having two apps open at the same time."
    In theory---and on paper, looks great. But the two or three phones capable of doing this; A) Implement it poorly ---> IE, it sucks! Very laggy and extremely unreliable
    B) Very few 'apps' allow for it's use!
    Hopefully down the road it becomes more ubiquitous---both on hardware and in software, it's a very cool idea. That said---even on the largest 5-5.5" phones, I'm not so sure I need PIP;)....I can't think of many instances that I can utilize two apps at the same time (I'm a Galaxy Note owner) in my real, everyday 'phone work-flow' if that makes any sense.
  • thank you
  • Me either. The 5 is actually a little too big. Wish they had stuck with the iPhone 4 resolution.
  • i'm with you. i wouldn't buy a 5 inch phone. Not even sure i'd buy a 4.5 inch phone. Bigger doesn't do much for me
  • Excellent article, and in my opinion, you are spot-on with your analogy. How well iOS 7 allows us to perform our smartphone needs will also gauge the desire or lack thereof of a bigger iPhone. Sent from the iMore App
  • Excellent article. This gave me a better understanding of the technical challenge.
    I personally carry a 4S and a BB Z10 (work & personal). I tend to use the Z10 more, because the 4.2" screen size allows me to bump up the font (aging eyes) and still use it one-handed. I also love the Hub... I find the Z10 to be the perfect size for me. To my mind, a 4.3" screen iPhone with similar device dimensions would be perfect. I've turned down 3 company offers to switch to one of the Androids sitting on the IT room shelf -- they're just too darned big. I've held off, hoping for that rumored "mid-sized" iPhone. Fingers are still crossed.
  • Thanks Rene, not only for your always enjoyable to read thoughtful commentary, but I also made a small wager with a co-worker that the words "objectify", "gamify", and "dynamic" would be somewhere in the article . . Shall I send you a percentage for royalty? =) I should add that I would be really excited about what you are suggesting in terms of thinking outside of the box and solving the actual problem rather than just making it bigger. Personally I think the size is perfect, but I *do* have trouble reading some things so a solution that somehow addresses that without increasing phone size would be cool . . actually what I'd prefer is to leave the phone alone and fix my eyesight instead ;-)
  • Ima be hammering those bad boys for a while!
  • =D
  • I think the iPhone 5 is huge I'm just starting to get use to it. Summer time is very hard to carry anything bigger than a three inch phone bring back the Yesteryear Sent from the iMore App
  • Remember, bigger screen ≠ bigger phone.
  • Again, you confuse smartphone sales with activations. grr. Anyhoo. Apple is falling farther behind in the market. For almost a year now Apple have not grown as fast as the market (which means they are underperforming). Is the 5" phone the reason? Maybe, but Apple has to do something as the market is passing them by.
  • Android phone may have slowed down in North America recently, that could also be a trend. Is that because they went too big and will need to release smaller phones in reaction? Fun game! I also didn't count Apple Store sales, where there are no larger options, and which may indicate an even less enthusiastic customer base for giant sized products (in North America). If you want to claim absence of context, bring some better context! :)
  • It's definitely possible, but the fact remains that Apple is growing slower than the marketplace and companies like Samsung are not. You also seem to be unaware that there are 4" Android phones in the market (although perhaps you also think Apple should make a 4" phone to stop contracting). Research is a friend, use it. Apple needs to do something or they will follow the same path as others who were in the same trap did.
  • The growing markets are not Apple's market, it is a market of poor people who cannot afford Apple. That Foxcon's net profit is up 41% in the last quarter from making the iPhone 5, right before the next model is to be introduced, is very impressive. Apple is doing more than fine. The whole issue with screen size has to do with making a larger screened phone that is also up to Apple's high standards. Color, brightness, contrast, battery life, compatibility with legacy software, availability of parts, etc. It is enough for developers to adjust their apps to a new viewmaster parallax along with other paradigm shifts without also worrying about scaling to yet another screen size. When all the pieces fall together into a magnificent whole Apple will then move, not before.
  • Yet apple has iphones on prepaid carriers so your only rich people buy it is so off. The iPhone isn't elite anymore. I see more poor people on food stamps carrying I phones than I do them using android.
  • That isn't my experience (food stamps (bridge cards?)), but I do believe you've seen that. My experience is that when I go to McDonald's I see everyone using Samsung phones and various brand PC laptops, and when I go to the Barnes & Noble book store coffee shop I see 80% Apple devices (I actually did the math).
  • The whole Android activation thing is a scam. No one really knows what that means, and what counts/doesn't count. Seems like they are activating more devices each week than there are people in the world. It's a useless number.
  • Agreed. Unfortunately I'm discussing NPD/Gartner/IDC numbers.
  • I knew Rene would find a way to get "objectify" and "gamify" in to this post. :)
  • And dynamic! But it's important to understand Apple's strategy going forward.
  • This gamify, objectify is pure speculation. The Mc Tube app new icon for ios 7 seems like a cartoon. Terrible. I like ios 7 but don't tell us the obejctify and gamify idiotic phrases. Is just a normal os and i bet that android will surpas ios in 2 years if apple continue with this gamify and objectify shit. I buy apple products only for build quality and if the next year Htc comes with something better than the One i will switch from this shitified os :)
  • I don't agree about people picking the smaller screen iPhone (iPhone 4 & 4S) over the iPhone 5 as proof that a smaller screen is sometimes preferred. That (IMO) was economics, as in the they were less expensive, and consumers simply did not want to spend more just to have the 5. I just switched from my iPhone 5 to the Galaxy S4. The bigger screen is nice. However, the iPhone 5 fit my hands way better, so there is definitely pros and cons. I would agree that 4.5-4.7" screen would be ideal. Apple could certainly increase the size of the current iPhone, but not go overboard like android. Needless to say, I'm on the fence right now on whether to switch permanently (to android). I have my 5 right here next to me, but this isn't a android vs iOS debate, its about size-apparently SIZE does matter.
  • http://img.talkandroid.com/uploads/2013/08/verizon-htc-one-blue.png Give me this color with ios7 and I'll be throwing money at the screen . . .
  • You claim most people "prefer" small screens, based off how many people choose the iphone vs others. HOWEVER, there's no choice in a 5" iphone, so you can't make that claim. (Some people like apple/iphone and will suffer through the small screen even though they would prefer 4.5"-5".) I for one would most likely switch to iphone if the 6 were 4.5"-5" (and not just longer). (Thunderbolt -> Lumia 928)
  • My brother currently has a 3gs and plans on getting a phone with a 5in or bigger screen. I am pretty sure he would just stay with Apple if that was an option.
  • Am I the only one that doesn't want a bigger phone? I hate the 5 it's too awkward to hold and type on. I really want a 3.5" new iPhone. If apple makes all their phones 5" then I will leave the iPhone and find something els.
  • Apple can offer choice like everyone else does. The primary reason they like one screen size is it saves them money in manufacturing.
  • I'm for a bigger screen and that is why I left Apple for Android. Apple has so much money that nothing should be that difficult for Apple to conquer.
  • We'll have to think about this in the context of next year. That's when the 5C is outselling the 5S big time. I think it's a fallacy to jump to conclusions that there's not much demand for big screen phones because Apple is doing well enough currently. Let's just say they'd be doing much better if the 5" was an option. Many jump to android for just that reason that would rush to get an iphone instead. In fact, this is pretty obvious to me. I'm not sure what we're still trying to make the case for it. It's as obvious as the idea that a 7" ipad would be a hit. I'd like a bigger phone as long as the screen is very good. But I'm not about to leave iOS for it because I pick OS and ecosystem first. So the want for a big screen is there.
  • I'm jumping in on this. I was an avid and dedicated iPhone user for years. My last iPhone was the iPhone 4 and I got it when it was first released. Albeit a great phone for its time, after a year and a software update or two.... the damn thing lagged so much texting and web surfing became damn near impossible. I had maybe 8 non stock apps on my phone and yes I force closed them all and the problem never ceased. I reset the software to stock and the phone was never jailbroken. This happened with my 3G as well when it first came out and there were no apps for it at the time as the app store wasn't even around until a little after I got it. In any case I also found the screen to be too small. I find myself squinting a lot even with my contacts. I don't want to have to change font and then zoom in and out just to read a text... that's plainly idiotic. Watching videos was also horrible as I had to have the phone cm from my face to see it properly. Now that I have my Samsung Galaxy Note 2, these issues were fixed. The videos are clear and in HD quality. My phone is lightning fast. Even after the update I got software wise the phone speed hasn't declined. My phone does not glitch out like most assume. I can use it one handed easily and I have small hands. It fits into my pockets even in form fitting pants. And I'm not someone who needs a tough case for their phone so I have no extra bulk added to it. At 5.5 inches this screen is perfect. I don't need the phone so close to my damn face. I would definitely switch back to Apple again if they made the screen bigger not longer; 5 inches would be perfect. Mind you they need to maintain retina with that 5 inches. Also they need the "overrated" features that Samsungs have as I use them all the time (S Beam, Multi window, stock swype keyboard, Share shot, etc.) And no using an iPad for a phone isn't the same as using mine. Having this phone I can't go back to a smaller screen. On a bonus note. My sister who has a Samsung Galaxy S2 which was released the same year as the iPhone 4S still hasn't slowed down and has been updated several times. My aunt and uncle's iPhone 4S' s are too slow for them to text like my 4 was. I'm not in anyway bashing Apple as I love and have a Macbook. I also heavily utilize iTunes (Yes you can sync it with an Android using an app called Easy phone sync). But iPhones are slacking and need to be redone.
  • Why the need to maintain retina when the resolution on your Note 2 is a dismal 264ppi? And yes I did have the Note 2 and say what you want its screen is nowhere near as sharp as the 5. Why does the next iphone need S bump and share shot when IOS 7 is brining the same functionality via airdrop without the need to "bump" phones lol. Even with the ram and processor in that thing, it lagged. You can claim all day it does not but we all know better. I'm 6'7" with huge hands....it is not comfortable one handed and in regular jeans the thing looks like a damn notebook is in the pocket. Sorry to debunk your claims.....but the insanity of it all was too much for me to handle.
  • Because even with my dismal 264 ppi the screen is quite clear and with a bigger screen Apple may compromise the resolution of retina and wasn't that one of Apple's biggest pitches for its mobile handsets? I agree the screen isn't as sharp as the 5 but with a screen as big as the Note 2 obviously the smaller screen has less to compensate for resolution wise. And I would like to have my S Beam because iOS 7's Airdrop requires a data plan or internet connection to utilize and Canadian carriers aren't known for cheap data rates like America ones. Besides; using a basic data plan (100mb per month) or basic wifi connection you cannot transfer 1.5GB movie files in under 3 minutes can you? And as far as lag goes; it depends on the user. Most normal users won't see lag because they won't be running too much crap such as apps or dozens of widgets, etc. It may not be comfortable in hand if you've only used it for a week but I've had the phone for 8 months now and wouldn't trade up for the iPhone 5. Obviously both handsets have their issues and I won't deny that the iPhone has the best camera for a smart phone on the market at this point and time... (feel free to deny this and praise windows users). I'm 5'3" though and most people barely notice the phone in my pocket. I will eventually move back to the iPhone if Samsung doesn't do much more with it's devices and software *ahem* Galaxy S4, Samsung Mega. But all I'm saying for discussion is that Apple needs to keep up. NFC technology is the trend and should be implemented as such. One of the things I do enjoy about Androids is the ability to play any video file and not have to stick to just .mov or .mp4 without jailbreaking. The widgets are a nice touch although I don't use a whole lot of them. It comes down to preference and I still love and respect Apple products. Just not iPhones at the moment. Just to stroke Apple's ego they have a near perfect customer support system and awesome warranty policy. They do have the most solid eco system and lack of true fragmentation does make for a better appeal to newer users. Also the build of the iPhone is phenomenal and I do miss that as well. However; my Android and I will enjoy our time as iOS 7 looks like a joke anyways. The colours on there look like a 9 year old designed it.
  • A) Have your aunt and uncle reset their 4s. Hold the home and power buttons down til you see the Apple logo. Once in a while, they'll need to shut the phone down and turn it back on;). It's no slouch---and much faster than the GS2 (I owned one---my wife has the 4s)...and it definitely isn't too slow to 'text'. No lag, whatsoever doing any of the basic tasks it's as fluent as can be and certainly able to run any of the current offerings in the "App" store as well---Lag Free. The 4s is still and extremely formidable phone for it's age.
    B) I can't get rid of my 'contracted' Note 2 fast enough. We bought a pair for our business and to use specifically for clients signing contracts and 'Square' payment receipts/transactions. I'm extremely put off by the Note2 and in no way does it compare to my iPhone 5 and it's plethora of usable apps and software....as well as it's reliability, battery life and everything about it's integration with our Mac Gear. As a long time owner of both Android and iOS devices---I'm about done buying and trying the 'Droid gear. iOS to me---> Unlike to you is the absolute must have operating system. I don't really care about the OS as much as I do the invaluable eco-system, software (for what we do---music, video, photography...and my son is really into the 'gaming' side of iOS), and reliability/post purchase support. My first Note2 had some serious issue about 45 days after buying it. Going through AT&T wasn't an option...I had to go through Samsung, and THAT my friend was an absolute nightmare!
    Just reading the IDC(?) stat the other day about folks buying their 'next' phone. 3 times as many Android owners are choosing to buy an iOS device----where one in 4 current iPhone owners are considering buying an Android smart phone. That's pretty strong IMO. Though competition is good...as I think we're going to see with both iOS7 and Mavericks!
    Good time to be a 'geek'
  • I want a bigger phone. 5 " or even a little bigger. I think Apple is leaving money and mind share on the table by having one size. It is a convenience for them not their customers to have one size.
    I'm also not thrilled with many aspects of iOS 7 and I am even more reminded of how I have no choice in the matter, I have to take what Apple gives me.
    I'm a dev tester of iOS 7 on my iPhone 5 and iPad 4 and an Appleseed tester of Mavericks on my MBP Retina. I have had every iPhone and Mac's since the 128k in 1984 and I'm thinking seriously of switching to Android.