Why I Want a 4-Inch iPhone

Earlier today, Capital Markets’ Brian White stated that the next iPhone will use a radically different, unibody design and that it would also sport a larger, 4-inch display. And then, like with any Apple rumor, especially one about the iPhone, quite a bit of chatter started to occur.

One of the loudest voices was a poster on The Verge forums by the name of modilwar who outlined a way that Apple could increase the size of the iPhone’s screen without increasing the size of the iPhone itself.

His theory actually makes quite a bit of sense and John Gruber of Daring Fireball noted that he doesn’t think that the guy whose comments led to modilwar’s theory, wasn’t just “guessing or idly speculating.”

Why I Want a 4-Inch iPhone

4-inch Incredible 2 on the left, 4.3-inch ThunderBolt on the right.

Insider knowledge?

Who knows.

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But I for one am hoping that Apple does, in fact, make this change and bumps the screen size of the next iPhone up to 4-inches.

Awhile back, my colleagues and I shared our ideal screen size for a smartphone. I, of course, selected 4-inches. The reason is simple. I absolutely fell in love with both the Droid Incredible and Droid Incredible 2 and their 4-inch screens.

Here’s why.

One of the reasons I have not been able to replace my iPhone 3GS is because I am not a fan of the monstrosities that manufacturers are putting out. I purchased the Samsung Galaxy Nexus back in December, a top of the line Android device, and thought that I would fall in love with its massive 4.65-inch HD display.

In reality, the opposite has happened.

The real estate is way too big, even for hands as big as mine.

It feels awkward to hold, it sometimes is a chore to carry around, and I don’t watch enough media on my phone to justify the size. I am one of those people who still uses a phone like a phone.

You know, I call people, text, email, surf the web, and use applications like Facebook, Twitter, and ESPN.

I feel the same way about the 4.3-inch devices. There’s just too much phone.

Thing is, I also sometimes feel like my 3.5-inch screen on my iPhone 3GS is too small, especially when I try to watch a quick ESPN highlight or when I am reading an email.

Why I Want a 4-Inch iPhoneAll of this felt much more comfortable on the Droid Incredibles. The text on websites and books was large. Watching video highlights of sporting events was much nicer. And best of all, these 4-inch devices felt like actual phones.

Holding them with one hand was easy. They didn’t burden my pockets. I could easily use my thumbs to type. And at the same time, the screen was bigger than iPhones of the past.

For me, a 4-inch Retina Display. with the same thin design, would be the sweet spot. And from the sound of things, especially with Gruber’s comment, it sounds like a 4-inch iPhone isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

My gut tells me that Apple will be Apple and stick to the formula that has worked for so many years.

That 3.5-inch formula.

I just hope my gut is wrong.

What’s your ideal screen size?

Would you want Apple to boost the screen size of the iPhone?

  

Comments

  1. Robert Blum says

    I like the iPhone screen size. Wouldn’t want it more than a half-inch bigger in any dimension. Would prefer something curved like the iPad better. Heavier would be okay, then, to provide more battery and more LCD.

    I were to guess what Apple would do if they decided to increase the screen size I would bet on the following:

    iPad pixel count: 1024×768 (reduce fragmentation).
    Slightly physically wider at 2.75 inches.  Same machines making bigger screen not a denser screen is cheaper to build.
    Taller: Maybe, slightly, but not because of screen; there’s enough whitespace in the current height.  A good excuse to make the battery bigger, though, to support LTE.

    New iPod and new iPhone both get the bump up.  All programming can then use the iPad size.

    Bottom line: Not happening.

  2. Sowhat1069 says

    Doesn’t matter what you want. It never has. It was what Steve thought you should have. Now it’s what his ghost thinks you should have.

  3. Khanmhsn says

    i dont even want iphone……….and this new fat,midget iphone certainly cannot amuse me..it will be just pile of junk……..

  4. Tonya says

    For whatever reasons they made the screen larger, I like it because it gives the user a better overall experience surfing the web.

  5. Mike Yurkus says

    I absolutely agree with everything you said (except I have only owned an iPhone from the first one, so that’t the only phone screen at home.)

    Unfortunately I think your “gut feeling” is correct: Apple has historically gone for design over practicality. Think about the original Mac with its [even for the time!] small black-and-white screen. Although they eventually caved, (though even the first i Mac’s were small) their trend seems to be making things smaller and sleeker, rather than larger and more complex/overwhelming. (“iPhone Shuffle” anyone? …lol ;)

    Just today I was trying to read a very deep ebook on my iPhone and it was near unreadable (without scrolling until my finger should have hurt!) (That is how I found this page!)

    As I imagined complaining about this, I could see the Apple response being: “If you want a bigger screen, buy an iPad!” Unfortunately the desire for a larger screen is the main reason I want an iPad (and I am guessing most other people for that matter.) They obviously do not want to cut into anything that will hurt the iPad’s desirability/market niche.

    I guess that’s the price we pay for the Apple “we’ll tell you what you want!” mentality on product development. We let them do it because they are so darned *right* about just about every other thing. (For instance, at first I was envious of the huge Nexus phones with their flashy displays, but as you delve into it, it is obvious (IMHO) that the iPhone is still the king of the smartphones…for the moment at least…)

    MikeY

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