Why the bigger iPhone 6 is the ultimate fulfilment of Steve Jobs’ vision

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When Steve Jobs was still alive, he seemed adamant that the size of the iPhone’s screen was perfect, since it was the maximum width a screen could be and be comfortable to hold while typing one-handed.

With the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 on the horizon, though, it appears that Apple no longer agrees. But why? Why are smartphone screens getting bigger anyway?

Over at PC World, Ben Taylor lays out all the data on the ever-growing world of smartphone screen sizes, and ultimately examines five hypotheses as to why.

Rejecting the notion that larger screens are a marketing gimmick for lack of data, or that Apple got screen size wrong when it released the original iPhone in 2007, Taylor considers the idea that manufacturers have always wanted to make bigger phones, but technology didn’t allow it.

As he notes, this theory makes a good deal of sense. The pixel densities needed to drive larger screens require advanced battery and display technologies, which didn’t really exist when the iPhone was first released.

Ultimately, though, Taylor makes a convincing case that the real reason people are gravitating to larger smartphones now is that the smartphone has become our primary computer. “As smartphones become our primary devices, doing the jobs once held by computers and even televisions, we need a product that can change, like a chameleon, to serve all of these functions,” he writes.

I think there’s a lot to recommend that theory. Steve Jobs wasn’t wrong about screen sizes: A 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is just the ultimate culmination of his vision that the iPhone would become the most important computer in our lives.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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