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How Apple Could Launch iPhone 5S and a Larger iPhone



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.

iphone 5 and iPhone Plus

Mock up of the iPhone 5 and iPhone Plus.

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.


Vision of larger iPhone from 2012.

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.

iPhone 5 vs iPhone Plus vs Galaxy S3 vs Note 2

How a larger iPhone could match up to the competition.

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.



  1. Mr. T

    02/02/2013 at 4:32 am

    So now apple wants to fit in. I thought there was no need for a larger iphone.

  2. Eldritch Gibbous

    02/02/2013 at 12:00 pm

    Actually, I can see Apple releasing this 4.94″ Math iPhone with the same iPhone 4″ resolution just to test to see if it’s a big seller, and then if it is, a year later sell a retina display iPhone Math 2 with its all new resolution. Though, it would definitely be a copycat of Samsung’s Galaxy S and Note lines.

    • Mohammed M

      02/14/2013 at 9:33 pm

      You mean that Samsung copied Apple’s design in the first place.

  3. Lyle Brennan

    02/02/2013 at 3:29 pm

    According to the latest interview of Tim Cook, they will not be changing the size of the iPhone screen, they are quite happy with it as is the feedback from the users. This was made clearly evident in the Financial Report interview. It’s not a case of ‘Apple trying to fit in’ as suggested by a comment on here, lets not forget who they innovators were, clearly not Samsung. Apple if anything have stated that the size of the current iPhone is perfect because it suits a much better range of hand sizes, and because gee it actually fits into your pocket.

  4. Kathryn R. Ritter

    02/02/2013 at 6:45 pm

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