Rumors of a larger iPhone are not new for 2013, but as the veracity of rumors heats up, pundits are looking into how Apple might release and launch an iPhone 5S and a larger iPhone.
The larger iPhone, known as the iPhone Math in one leak and the iPhone Plus in a recent post is a larger iPhone that could compete on screen size with the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 2, HTC M7 and other large screen Android phones, which are selling well.
Ahead of the iPhone 5 release we covered why and how Apple could release a larger iPhone without raising the price.
Marco Arment takes another look at this idea with details on how the iPhone 5S and iPhone Plus would fit into Apple’s overall lineup, as well as how Apple could introduce a larger iPhone without forcing developers to support another screen resolution. Arment is a the developer of Instapaper, and is known for sharing his opinion on Apple products and rumors.
Arment suggests that Apple could make a larger iPhone with a 4.94-inch display but keep the 640 x 1136 resolution found on the iPhone 5, resulting in a 264 PPI.
Gotta Be Mobile reached the same PPI last June when exploring how Apple could offer a bigger iPhone. Arment updates the math based on the iPhone 5’s larger and higher resolution display, but the principle is the same.
Arment offers a printable or iPad viewable version of his mock up to show how the device might look in your hand.
This larger screen would allow Apple to compete with larger Android phones which are attractive to more users, and makes two-handed use easier thanks to larger touch targets.
While a larger iPhone makes sense in many ways this solution doesn’t account for dramatic increases in screen resolution and pixel density on Android smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is rumored to pack a 1080P display with 441 PPI and the HTC M7 which will likely deliver a 4.7-inch display with a 1080P HD resolution and 468 PPI.
It’s not clear if consumers are paying attention to the higher resolution on smartphones, as the Droid DNA is the only 1080P HD smartphone in the U.S. and consumers have put up with low resolutions in laptops for years. Samsung is reportedly working on new technology to push pixel density even higher, but at some point the returns on higher pixels may be lost on consumers.
Apple has shown that they are willing to hold off on new technology like larger screens and 4G LTE, and we could see the company do the same thing with 1080P HD smartphone displays, at least until the iPhone 6.
The iPhone 5S is rumored for a release this summer with minor upgrades over the iPhone 5. The iPhone Math, or a larger iPhone, was rumored for a summer release as well. The video below shows one version of what a larger iPhone could look like, though it doesn’t use the same screen resolution as the mockups above.
Apple could keep the iPhone 5S as a 4-inch smartphone for users that value mobility and one-hand use while going after the larger smartphone market with the iPhone Plus. Apple’s recent launches show the company is willing to introduce new screen sizes, for example the iPhone 5’s larger display and the iPad mini’s smaller display.
The strategy of a “regular” and a “large” worked so well for Samsung the company is reportedly planning to carry it over to the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 later this year. These are the phones that the iPhone 5S and a larger iPhone would compete with.