The latest iPhone 5S rumors claim Apple is preparing up to three screen sizes for the iPhone 5S, which will stretch all the way up to a Galaxy Note 2 size 5.5-inch display, but don’t hold your breath for the iPhone 5S with a massive display.
The next iPhone is currently rumored for a launch this summer, and will likely carry the iPhone 5S name — even if it would be better off launching as the iPhone 6.
A new set of investor notes from analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets claims Apple needs to deliver a larger screen size with the iPhone 5S and that he believes Apple will launch and iPhone 5S with two or three screen sizes in 2013. White is in the middle of a seven-day trip to Asia where he is visiting suppliers and other sources.
White claims that if Apple wants to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2, especially in Asia, the company needs to deliver a larger screen size. The South China Business Post quotes White as saying,
Essentially, we are being told that the minimum size needed by Apple is a 4.5-inch display on the iPhone; however, a 5-inch to 5.5-inch would be optimal.
There are rumors that Apple is working on a budget iPhone for markets in Asia, and some of those rumors point to a larger display, but in a separate note White claims Apple is actively working on an iPhone 5S in two or three screen sizes for a summer release date. Business Insider shares White’s quote,
After our meeting with a tech-supply chain company, we walked away with the view that Apple will release the iPhone 5S in at least two screen sizes this summer and possibly three,
Supply chain sources are the root of many iPhone rumors, including rumors of summer production and potential iPhone 5S features, but White’s claims don’t add up with what we think we know about Apple’s iPhone 5S plans, Tim Cook’s recent statements on screen size and Apple’s commitment to avoiding fragmentation.
Why a Galaxy Note 2 Size iPhone 5S Isn’t Happening in 2013
No matter how much Brian White wants to believe Apple is planning an iPhone 5S with two or three screen sizes for 2013, there is not enough evidence to support it. Outside of White’s own sources, some of which also claim the company is working on an Apple TV with a ring type control and iPad like secondary screens that aren’t iPads, we have yet to hear of multiple screens for the iPhone 5S.
Tim Cook Says 4-inches is Perfect
While talking to analysts in the Apple Q1 2013 Earnings call, Tim Cook essentially called the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display perfect, saying.
The iPhone 5 offers as you know a new 4-inch Retina display, which is the most advanced display in the industry and no one comes close to matching the level of quality as the Retina display. It also provides a larger screen size for iPhone customers without sacrificing the one headed ease-of-use that our customers love. So, we put a lot of thinking into screen size and believe we’ve picked the right one.
While it is common for a CEO to talk up their company’s current products, and for Apple to dismiss a feature or upgrade until they bring it to market, it is very likely that the iPhone 5S will arrive with a 4-inch display. This is based Tim Cook’s remarks and those of many other analysts.
Resolution & Fragmentation Problems
If Apple is planning to introduce a larger iPhone 5S it must address issues with the current Retina DIsplay resolution and fragmentation concerns.
While Android phones offer a wide variety of screen sizes and resolutions Apple only offers three resolutions, two of which are on current generation devices. While Apple could increase the screen size and stay close to a Retina Display in a 4.5-inch or 5.5-inch display and still deliver a pixel-per-inch rating that is in line with the Retina Display on the iPad, the sharpness would be much lower than the competition.
Looking at the iPhone 5 vs. Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One screen comparison below, it’s easy to see how a higher resolution and ppi deliver a better looking display.
If Apple increases the resolution for one or both of these supposed new iPhone 5S models developers will need to adjust to the new resolution and iOS 7 will need to support the larger screen and higher resolution. With a reported overhaul to iOS 7’s user interface Apple may be laying the foundation for higher resolutions, but this remains a longshot for the iPhone 5S.
Think iPhone 6, Not iPhone 5S
An iPhone with multiple screen sizes isn’t out of the question, in fact we outlined how Apple could launch an iPhone 5S and a larger iPhone earlier this year. While the idea of a larger iPhone is possible, and one we think Apple will eventually come around to, we think users will have to wait for the iPhone 6.
The latest iPhone 5S rumors point to an iPhone that is similar to the iPhone 5 in design and in screen size which will arrive with iOS 7 on board and possibly a killer feature. The iPhone 5S may feature a fingerprint reader in the home button that could pair with a mobile payment app.
Read the latest iPhone 5S rumors.