More Chatter That iPhone 5 Will Get 4-Inch Display

More Chatter That iPhone 5 Will Get 4-Inch Display

There’s continued speculation Apple will unveil its next iPhone with a 4-inch screen. A Wall Street expert lent his voice to the chorus, telling investors the new device will begin production in June. But how will Apple increase the 3.5-inch screen and retain the iPhone’s iconic style?

Susquehanna Financial analyst Chris Caso didn’t reveal his sources on the 4-inch screen, but it isn’t the first time we’ve heard talk that Apple could follow other smartphone makers that also are expected to offer bigger displays. In late 2011, speculation arose about the next iPhone gaining a larger screen. Indeed, just recently, we reported one inventive (but probably incorrect) rumor that Apple will do away with the single button to make room for a 4-inch screen. Knowing Steve Jobs’s love of simplicity, such chatter is laughable.

Instead, what could push Apple to stretch the iPhone screen is competition. Many of Apple’s rivals are reportedly moving to the larger touchscreen as a way to attract customers. But as we’ve reported, size isn’t what really matters to consumers shopping for smartphones.

Some observers even suggest the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS could be kept at 3.5 inches while the new handset upgrades to the four-inch display. Although there is precedence for creating different price levels with the 3GS marked down to free and the iPhone 4 dropping to $99, creating differing physical footprints is totally different.

Which brings me to the question of ‘What Would Steve Do?’ Jobs detested tiny tablet screens, saying consumers would have to sand down their fingertips in order to move objects. The opposite would likely be true for larger smartphone screens. The 3.5-inch display is perfect for the average human hand — anything larger and using the screen literally becomes a reach.

So, will the next iPhone have a larger screen? Probably. But we’re unlikely to see an iPhone with a 4-inch screen. Which is how Apple has always kept ahead of its opponents, by zigging when everyone else is zagging.

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  • KrizBob

    same story again…
    chatter is a chatter,nothing more.

  • MacHead84

    Its not really what would Steve do anymore, that being said, the reason Steve liked the 3.5 displays was so a single thumb could easily access all areas of the screen. Smaller hands have difficulty achieving this the large the display becomes. I know with my hand size, pretty average, my thumb hits the upper far corner of the display exactly at its limit to still have a sturdy grip the with rest of my hand. 

  • prof_peabody

    This article doesn’t even make sense.  

    Based on another completely *unsourced* rumour by someone who isn’t even in the computer or phone business you say it’s going to have a 4″ screen.  You then say a bigger screen is “probable” (based on … ?), but then say it won’t be 4″.  WTF?!

    The current screen is 3.5″. If they were going to make it bigger, but not as big as 4″ why would they even bother?  

    You also argue that they might make it bigger because of the fact that the competition has bigger screens but then (rightly) point out that the consumers actually don’t want this.  

    Confusing nonsense. 

  • joewaylo

    There’s always a stylus embedded rumor. But you can already buy one available at Best Buy for $50.

  • tekunoloji

    Apple isn’t run by Jobs’ mantra. It’s Cook’s game now.

    In fact Cook said that Jobs told him to “not ask what Steve would do, but follow your heart and do what YOU think is right.”

    Cook could do away with anything he wants with the “Cook way.”

    Someone tell him skeuomorphism is terrible and fix iCal back to the old way.

  • Alan Goldman

     Speak for yourself. I want a 4″ screen or bigger!!!!  A lot of people do.

  • MacHead84

    Buy an iPad if you want anything bigger than a 4 inch display. Giants phones make people look like complete Tools when they are actually being used as, well ya know, a PHONE

  • Cuata

    Please stop commenting on every post on Cult of Mac. I scroll down and I see a smart ass remark from you almost every time I look at a post. Stop.

  • scubus

    True, Jobs is gone, however, his hand is still going to be in products for some time.  The newest iPhone wasn’t developed in the last 4-6 months, it has been in development longer than that.  We probably won’t see a Cook-only device for a year yet.

    I also suspect that although he won’t be asking “what would Steve do” he wouldn’t be where he is had he not shared many of Steve’s philosophies.

  • joewaylo

    Almost easier said than done. The XOOM tablets were featured as VoIP telephones. And we have seen hacks done in previous years. There was one where someone installed Skype on the iPad, then added a base telephone handset one time.

    The only trouble is you can’t use an iPad telephone while driving. You need to use both hands to hold the iPad up to your ear if they ever added an earpiece and microphone. But you can still make calls on a Bluetooth headset with it I believe.

  • Steve LeVine

    One analyst talking to investors is not “chatter.” Also, no proof that what is reported here is in context with what he really said. Did the analyst use words like “most likely” and “probably will”? There are no direct quotes from what he said. How can he speak definitively when we know that Apple would not divulge that info yet? 99% of the “chatter” about what turned out to be the iPhone 4S was completely wrong until a few weeks before intro.

  • Luis Dominguez

    Have you ever used a 4″ device?  I love it.  I think 4″ is perfect and 3.7″ being ideal.  I had a nexus S 4G and that 4″ screen was awesome.  It took some time for me to get used to the 3.5″ my iPhone 4s has.  I believe a 4″ iPhone would do very well and once you get used to it, you might not want anything different.

  • MacHead84

    I said anything bigger than 4 starts to look dumb….i think 4 is fine

  • ddevito

    I just love how screen size has become the hot topic in 2012 to Apple fans. Face it, the people have spoken, they want a larger screen.

    My GNex’s screen is big, but it’s designed properly so it never feels “too” big. I’m sure the next iPhone won’t be more than 4″, but leave it to Apple to design something larger and just as easy to hold.

    iVes will come through, stop worrying.

  • sn0wball

    i sure hope so. if they do go bigger with the screen ill say it’ll either be 3.7 or 4. My predictions is that it’ll be 3.7, of course better rear camera and an improved front facing cam. Maybe quad, but if history has taught us anything is that Apple won’t take a big jump forward unless they have to(competition); Say what you want about the iPhone 4S not being a good enough upgrade from the iPhone 4, but the spec difference between the 4 and the 4s is bigger then the spec difference between the 3GS and the 4. Just look at the benchmarks (especially in GPU). Where there is a design change, there seems to be less spec updates. Updated nevertheless. Apple likes to squeeze the last drops out of everything(style,specs, design, etc) before moving on. Why mess with perfection:)

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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