More Chatter That iPhone 5 Will Get 4-Inch Display

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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.