New theory makes a case for a larger iPhone

By , Feb 1, 2013

iphoneplus-all-models-extrawide

It’s easy to write off the recent rumors of the iPhone Plus (English translation of ‘iPhone Math’) as ‘crazy.’ After all, Apple just increased the iPhone’s screen size to 4-inches last year, why would they go to 4.9-inches now and force developers to redesign their apps again?

Well according to the latest theory to make its way around the blogosphere, they wouldn’t necessarily have to. Apple could theoretically make an iPhone with a 4.94-inch display, while keeping the iPhone 5’s resolution, and developers wouldn’t have to change a thing…

Instapaper’s Marco Arment explains the math:

“The recently rumored, larger-screened “iPhone Math”, or more likely “iPhone Plus”, is plausible as an additional model (not a replacement) alongside the 4” iPhone. And there’s a good chance that it would have a 4.94”, 16:9 screen.

The theory is easy to understand: perform John Gruber’s Mini-predicting math backwards. The iPad Mini uses iPhone 3GS-density screens at iPad resolution. What if an iPhone Plus used Retina iPad screens with iPhone 5 resolution, keeping the rest of the design sized like an iPhone 5?”

As you know, the Retina display on the iPad 3 and 4 has a resolution of 2046×1536. And in Arment’s scenario, Apple could use these same panels to cut out 4.94-inch displays. At that size, and at the iPhone 5’s 1136×640 resolution, you’d get 264 pixels-per-inch.

While this obviously makes sense from a production standpoint—Apple using panels it already makes means little to no retooling—it would be hard for Apple to position the device as Retina. And in the world of Android phones with 440ppi displays, it may not fly.

And that’s just one route Apple could take, there’s other options. But given the fact that Apple offers nearly all of its products in two sizes—13″/15″ MacBook, 21″/27″ iMac, 7.9″/9.7″ iPad, iPod touch/mini—it seems only logical that the iPhone will one day follow suit.

This whole iPhone Plus doesn’t sound so ‘crazy’ now, does it?

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  • Johnathan Jennings

    It’s beautiful ❤

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    Would love this. Shame Apple doesn’t listen to the consumer

    • Kurt

      They do listen, they just act like they don’t. It’s to make them look more intelligent and creative. These executives are extremely egotistical, not humble in the least.

  • G Mohal

    I will switch to apple if they launch 5″ screen iphone till then love my note 2

    • Kurt

      You would give up your stylus, real multitasking, split screen etc etc etc for an inferior phone??? why??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diego-Milano/629446773 Diego Milano

    I remember not long ago, mobile technology was all about shrinking devices, now we go back to monster-size paradigmas. Funny times… :)

    • Juan Espinosa

      Yes. I don’t get why people want bigger phones…use a table if you want and leave the phone as it is in size..damn

      • http://www.facebook.com/Nasser1510 Nasser Cedeño

        lol.. jajajajajaja yeah man

      • Kurt

        5.5 inches is not a tablet.

      • http://www.facebook.com/luisreyespr Luis

        By its old definition, it started being a tablet at 5 inches, not too long ago.

      • charlie

        but tablets don’t fit in pockets.

    • http://twitter.com/shane_e46 Shane Sepeda

      Not to hate on Android or anything, but I always find it very weird when someone puts a Samsung GS3 up to their head to make a phone call. I want to say, why are you talking into a tablet.

      • Kurt

        how many minutes a day do you spend talking on the phone? for me, its a matter of a few minutes. and many times i use my headset. i for one will look funny with a note II but hey, its only for a few min a day. the rest of the day, i will have a huge beautiful screen to enjoy my apps/videos/reading. i can’t wait to upgrade to the next note

      • charlie

        The S3 isn’t that much bigger than an iPhone 5. Your comment is invalid.

      • Christian Mejia

        I think he might be thinking about the note 2. Cuz that phoneis really a tablet

  • Lordthree

    4 inches is already to big. These giant screens are a fucking joke.

    • Dan

      To each his own. I watch a lot of videos on my phone while doing cardio or on business trips, so a big screen is useful.

      • Lordthree

        iPad mini

      • Dan

        yeah but something halfway the size of a GS3 means I can carry it in my pocket. iPad mini means I have to bring my phone AND my tablet,

    • Kurt

      keep living in the past. 2007 died a long time ago

  • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

    I hope they wait until next year. I’m still using my iPhone 5 and I wouldn’t be able to upgrade :(

    • Kurt

      If they do it this year, you can still upgrade next year to the iphone 8gen. What’s the problem?

      • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

        I know I’m saying I would this screen size so I hope they release it when my contract is up

  • Zizou

    ipod nano???? Hello ??? that’s 3 not 2 for the iPod… just stop feeding into meaningless rumors. The truth is Apple will release whatever it wants to release and make you pay a “healthy” price for it.. so get your wallet ready

  • http://twitter.com/stevey_lang Steve Lang

    Keeping the existing resolution was the only way any of these rumors made sense. I would like a slightly (not too much) larger screen, if mainly for a larger portrait keyboard.

    • http://twitter.com/therealjdizzle Jason Masters

      The question is how big are your pockets lol?

    • Kurt

      But apple didn’t make the keyboard larger in the iphone 5. It just added gray space to the left and write of the phone. Such innovation~

  • Jose Gonzalez

    Apple already does offer two screen sizes for the iPhone, 3.5″/4″. It has been following suit since the iPhone 5 came out.

    • JoshuaHulgan

      And as the iPhone 5 replaces those units as the older model there will only be one size again.

      • Jose Gonzalez

        That’s assuming Apple doesn’t launch a larger iPhone by that time.

      • JoshuaHulgan

        Which was my point. If they don’t begin to offer another option soon we’ll be back to only one choice.

      • Jose Gonzalez

        That is correct.

    • Kurt

      3.5″ is a baby phone, so is 4. they are outdated

  • http://twitter.com/RogWilco Nick Williams

    But if you retain the same resolution, the increase in size adds zero benefit. You get the same amount of information visible on the screen as the 4″ iPhone, but now at an arbitrarily larger size.

    The point of a larger screen is to provide the luxury of having more pixels to work with. If you don’t change that, what’s the point? Aside from the benefits to the nearsighted (or large-fingered), you incur the cost/disadvantages of a larger screen without getting any of the benefits.

    • Dan

      I don’t know about you, when I’m watching videos on my phone, I don’t really care if it has an insane amount of pixels, bigger is better.

      I read somewhere a while ago that the new iPad had more pixels than a 42” inch tv. Which one would you rather watch a movie on for hours on end?

      • Kurt

        haha good point…I pick the 42″ TV with less pixels :)

        Bigger is better. My wife and I are just dreaming of moving to the galaxy note. what an amazing phone. i wish i never watched the videos on youtube that compare iphone to it. i realize now how featureless my phone is

    • Kurt

      there is a huge difference. larger is more enjoyable to watch vids/read text etc. you dont need more on the page, you need it larger

  • SuperchargedNL

    Remember that Samsung commercial for the Galaxy Note where they were making fun of the iPhone’s screensize and showed all the things you could do with such a large screen (5,3″ I believe it was)?
    One thing that was said in the comments section numerous times was: “Yeah, ok. But now try to put it in your pocket. LOL!”

    Let’s not apply that same joke to the iPhone please. In mobile phones, there is such a thing as too big.

  • Liam Mulcahy

    Apple sells iPhone 4/4S with a 3.5 inch screen and the iPhone 5 with a 4 inch screen

    • MSKA

      WOW !!! Thats a valuable information you shared… LOL

    • Kurt

      Are you sure about this? Hmm. I think you are mistaken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    the damn iphone 5 should have been bigger

  • http://twitter.com/El_Barto_01 El Barto

    A 4.9 screen would be nice. Apple may be about to make more models cause as always they tend to wait and wait and wait until a market has been proven by others (Samsung) then enter that market and take it all. As long as they make it easy for developers to update or maintain apps there will do ok. Unlike android that comes in every size and has fragmented the Eco system so badly

  • Daniel

    A 4.99 inch will just connect all the products. All from 3.5 to 10 inch, and all the way to Mac Books 11, 13 and 15 inch. Sounds good. And I like it.

  • Kurt

    apple, give us a 5″ screen, one that has split screen, real multitasking and gives a stylus. if not, why would we stay? the note II already blows the ip5 away.