While Tim Cook patiently keeps on insisting that Apple isn’t interested in making an iPhablet, that’s not stopping analysts, media, watchers, bloggers – and even Apple’s supply chain partners – from speculating. The latest example: just last week, Reuters ran a report claiming Apple is considering launching 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch iPhone models in six different colors next year.
The 5.7-inch form factor didn’t come out of blue: presumably, it’s the right size for a 1080p Apple phablet. Figuring as much, UK’s T3 magazine has put together an interesting concept video making a good case for a 1080p iPhone…
The video runs two minutes and ten seconds long, have a look below.
It speaks for itself, doesn’t it? if you ask me, that clip happens to make a good demo of why Apple eventually might – and probably will – venture into phablets.
The biggest concern with upgrading to a full HD 1,920-by-1,080 resolution without blowing up the display itself is that squeezing more pixels onto the same display area would yield little real-life benefits.
The Retina display on the iPhone 4/4S/5 packs 326 pixels per inch, a threshold where the human eye is unable to discern the individual pixels.
President and CEO of DisplayMate Dr. Raymond Soneira said only those with the perfect 20/20 vision might be able to notice a slight difference between a 720p and 1080p smartphone display.
For some people, it is possible to tell the difference if we were to sit down and study a [1080p] display and a [720p] display, side-by-side.
If you’re really a fanatic and you study images, or you have some professional applications and you’re really into displays, then it may make a visual difference for you.
According to the video, going with a 5.7-inch screen would also increase the iPhone’s 326ppi density to 386ppi, which is more than enough to justify Apple’s Retina marketing moniker.
As for the 4.7-inch iPhone Reuters mentioned, I’m guessing that form factor is in the neighborhood of a 720p iPhone. Developers, of course, won’t like having to optimize their apps for multiple form factors.
On the other hand, Apple argues iOS is the least fragmented platform out there. The maturity of the iOS SDK and Xcode tools should make developing for multiple screen sizes as painless as humanly possible.
During his D11 talk, Tim Cook offered an unusually detailed response to a question about larger-screened iPhones:
At a macro level, a large screen today comes with a lot of tradeoffs. When you look at the size, but they also look at things like do the photos show the proper color? The white balance, the reflectivity, battery life. The longevity of the display.
There are a bunch of things that are very important. What our customers want is for us to weigh those and come out with a decision. At this point we think the Retina Display is the best. In a hypothetical world where those tradeoffs didn’t exist, you could see a bigger screen as a differentiator.
History has taught us not to take Apple executives’ comments at face value.
Steve Jobs famously said Apple wasn’t working on a phone, he laughed off a video iPod, didn’t believe in electronic books and was baffled by so-called tweener tablets.
What’s your opinion?
What would a bigger screen bring to the iPhone?
Chime in with your observations down in the comments.