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Apple Rumored to be Working on an iPhone With a 4.8″ Screen

giant_iphone_640[1]CES 2013 has come and gone, and now that things have quieted down in the tech blogosphere it is once again time to start speculating on Apple’s next product (this never stops but it does occasionally pause for other events).

Like many past Apple rumors, today’s rumor comes from a Chinese language website. According to the Commercial Times, Apple is working on an iPhone with a 4.8″ screen. They’re calling it the iPhone Math. It’s supposed to be launching in June and might look something like the image at right.

Okay, it’s not going to look like that. That image is a spoof, and I think it’s actually bigger than the iPad Mini. But the newer iPhone probably will have a larger screen. I have the feeling that Apple is noticing and responding to the ever growing screen size found on Android smartphones. Phablets like the Huawei Ascend Mate with its 6″ screen could be making some of the management at Apple feel inadequate (size matters). Even with a 4″ screen, the iPhone 5 could be completely covered up by the Ascend Mate. Apple might be thinking that they need to compete with tablets in that size range (or at least close the gap).

iPhone sales have slumped since early 2012 while at the same time the Samsung Galaxy Note sold 10 million units (as of August 2012). Put those 2 stats together and another larger iPhone looks less like a lack of strategic vision and more like a desired product that Apple isn’t making.

Sure, the larger iPhone is going to break some of the aesthetics or ergonomics of the iPhone platform, and the new screen resolution is going to add work for developers. But those are hassles that Apple is just going to have to accept. Customers want a larger screen and since Apple’s not providing one (yet) so they’re losing sales to the Android smartphone market.

In any case, I’m hoping that Apple makes this iPhone:


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Mike Cane January 21, 2013 um 9:18 am

Apple would need to go five icons wide on the home screen. And that would go against what Ive said the 5 being just wide enough for one-handed use.

They are also being outgunned by all these phones with 1080p screens too.

Logan Kennelly January 21, 2013 um 11:33 am

At some point they might they might buckle down and build the product people are buying rather than focusing on the products they think people want. That may include a phone that is slightly too large for one hand.

Also, Apple has never really been in the specs-war. They did fire a shot with "Retina", but that was easy pickings as so little R&D was being put into displays at the time. Now they can get back to reminding people there is no appreciable difference between the iPhone resolution and a 1080p display, and that they should buy the iPhone for other reasons.

fjtorres January 21, 2013 um 11:28 am

They need to go straight to 6in.
Then they’d have iPxxx att 4, 6, 8, and 10in.

Nate Hoffelder January 21, 2013 um 11:33 am

I agree. They could shrink down the iPad Mini and keep that resolution for the iPhone 6 before upgrading it for the iPhone 6.1.

That’s not an unworkable arrangement.

fjtorres January 21, 2013 um 4:20 pm

That is the best way for them to do a quickie.
But at some point they need to get beyond that XGA meterstick and move to HD resolutions.

In today’s market, with fullHD phones out there, anything 6in or higher needs to *start* at 720p. Doesn’t mean *everything* needs to be FullHD or better but if you’re going to charge premium pricing you need to do better than entry-level cheapies which are the only products still doing XGA.

flyingtoastr January 21, 2013 um 2:56 pm

Let the fragmentation begin.

Nate Hoffelder January 21, 2013 um 3:11 pm

Eh. Apple already had 3 screen resolutions for the iPhone and 2 more for the iPad. Adding a 4th iPhone screen sizer won’t be that big of an issue.

flyingtoastr January 21, 2013 um 3:19 pm

I was being a little fallacious since one of the major claims iOS users make about Android is that it is "too fragmented".

Though fragmentation for iOS is far more dangerous than it is for Android, because of the way each platform handles (or doesn’t) scalability in apps.

Paul January 22, 2013 um 11:28 am

What’s more likely is that the iPad 3 screen will be the new resolution for the iPad mini. I’m not sure these big phones really work. No one I know who has one, seems to like them.

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