September 2012 saw the iPhone’s first increase in screen size since the original model of the now famous smartphone. The jump to a 4-inch screen, up from 3.5 inches, was one of the most notable physical changes between the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5, and may be a trend continued by the iPhone 6. BrightWire recently translated a report by the Chinese website Laoyaoba.com which claims a source spotted the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6, the latter featuring a 5-inch screen.
Although no official statements by Apple currently support this rumor, a 5-inch screen may be logical for the iPhone 6 so as to compete with similar smartphones on the market. Among cell phones from T-Mobile currently available, almost all bestselling smartphones feature larger screens than the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen is relatively small for a flagship smart device.
Are Large Screens the New Thing?
Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but newer trends in smart devices, such as the recent sweep of phablets (phone-tablet hybrids), suggest phones with more screen real estate have a major market among consumers. Phablets, such as the largely popular Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and its 5.5-inch screen, have introduced new software capabilities such as multitasking that allow users to take full advantage of the extra screen space and increase the efficiency of their work flow.
The convenience of a small and highly portable touchscreen product matched with the full power of smart device capabilities seems to be a recipe for demand among tech-savvy consumers. According to Forbes, reports show that the introduction of the iPad Mini influenced a slow in sales of the larger iPad 4. However, it’s suggested the smaller, cheaper and sleeker Mini was not originally expected to affect the demand for the full-size iPad.
Perhaps the price and convenience in size is suspect for the Mini’s popularity. Subtleties such as the ability to grip the Mini between the thumb and middle/ring fingers in one hand and the extra portability of the smaller form factor may have been overlooked advantages over the larger 10-inch iPad 4. The gap between the 7-inch iPad Mini and 4.5-inch iPhone 5 thus seems like an obvious one to fill. Consumers are expecting to do more with their devices than ever before and there seems to be a sweet spot in size that balances capability with convenience.
Release Expectations and Rumors
Some expect a 2013 release for both the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6. Although opinions vary, the consensus seems to feel a spring release for the iPhone 5S appropriate, with the iPhone 6 arriving in the summer. This prediction puts the iPhone 6 in alignment with a WWDC (Apple Worldwide Developers Conference) reveal, similar to previous announcements by Apple in the summertime.
Although we won’t know the exact specifications for the iPhone 6 for certain until Apple makes official announcements, a 5-inch screen would be a huge move certain to stir a buzz in the smartphone world. Only time will tell.