Rumor: five inch iPhone 6 will be first phablet optimized for one-handed use

By , Oct 29, 2013

iPhone 5.7 (T3 magazine concept 001)

Apple’s next-generation iPhone, likely to be marketed under the iPhone 6 moniker, will be akin to today’s phablets in that it’ll include a five-inch screen with full HD resolution of 1,920-by-1,080 pixels at Retina-friendly 440 pixels per inch density.

The screens itself will be provided by long-time supplier LG Display, which is also believed to be close to striking a deal to supply iWatch OLEDs.

But unlike a bunch of jumbo-sized Android phones that rock screens measuring five or more inches diagonally, Apple’s device is ostensibly designed with one-hand operation in mind, according to a new report Tuesday…

The details were published in a story by the Japanese magazine Mac Fan and relayed by the fairly accurate Japanese blog Macotakara. Apple engineers, the story goes, are looking to shape both sides of the device’s five-inch screen to be as thin as possible, probably employing edge-to-edge design of sorts.

Mac Fan December 2013 issue
The Japanese monthly Mac Fan published the story in its December 2013 issue.

The report goes on to note that the California firm will market the iPhone 6 as the first phablet on the market optimized for one-hand operation. Mac Fan claims Apple is shooting to release the iPhone 6 phablet in September 2014, which contradicts analyst Gene Munster’s summer 2014 projection.

iphone 5 galaxy note
Samsung’s 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II next to a 4-inch iPhone 5, via PhoneArena.

For what it’s worth, Munster’s Apple predictions have been obscenely off lately.

But, his more reliable peer, KGI Securities’ Ming Chi-Kuo, in September called for a large-screen iPhone in 2014. Kuo sees a device with a 4.5 to five-inch display and interestingly enough states Tim Cook & Co. are unlikely to go beyond five inches due to the company’s “unwavering principle of one hand use”.

Apple stood by this principle by making the iPhone 5’s screen taller but not wider, which allows the device to increase display size to incorporate a four-inch screen while still allowing for easy one-handed operation. Apple even aired an accompanying ad titled ‘Thumbs’ to highlight the “unwavering principle of one hand use” as its competitive edge.

Who needs a five-inch iPhone?

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  • Mr. E

    The 4 inch screen is perfect for me

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      It’s perfect for me too. However assuming Apples was to make a phablet and this phablet truly was to be optimised for one handed use (for example touching the bottom and top right and left corners using only your thumb) I’d likely buy it. The only thing I dislike about phablets is how unergonomic they are. If Apple solved this problem I’d actually be interested in a phablet…

  • thetomthebomb

    I just hope they don’t go to big like the note. It’s just way to ridiculous for me

    • Saeed Ghattas

      They won’t

    • Jack Wong

      I don’t want to renew(buy) all my pants with 6″ tablet compatible :x

  • RobertMahoney

    I’ll take a 5 inch screen. Actually, why not make a 4 and a 5 so everyone is happy.

    • Sean Clark

      Too complicated. We pay Apple to make these decisions for us!

      • xSeriouSx

        Sarcasm?

    • Elma

      5s will turn into 6c and theres your 4″ phone! :-)

    • Guest

      Options? How dare you ask for options/choice in the Apple world…

  • Rami Tabaa

    I would buy it IF and only if it was usable by one hand :D

    • Jonathan

      UGH not more geometry..
      I’ve had enough of that for now lol.

  • appleyay

    no way in hell it will be that big…lol

  • Andrew McOlash

    I may just leave the apple train if they make a stupid phone I can’t even fit in my hand. I honestly hate the idea of phablets. This is a phone not a tablet

    • appleyay

      i agree they need tok do a slightly larger iphone and make a separate phahblet product..

    • Davide

      you’re right, in addition to this, it seems apple is starting to just go with the main stream, so if other companys make phablets, they do it too etc.. where did you leave the exclusivity and originality, apple?

      • Kurt

        They were late to the game with the 4 inch, and if they stay with 4 inch that is originality?? Phablets are great. But many don’t want them. So hopefully Apple will have two sizes. I hope its a bit larger than 5 inches but I doubt it.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        What would they call such a device though? The iPhone 5L? iPhone XL? iTab? iPhablet?…

      • Dan

        iPhab would be neat, but too lingo haha

      • felixtaf

        I think soon Air, Mini and Pro names will come to iPhone series. From Mac it came to iPad already [iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro (rumours)].

      • Kurt

        I could see Pro if they also do as Samsung and put a stylus in there. If they can get a pressure sensitive, walcom stylus I could easily see the name iPhone Pro. I wonder if we will see an updated Apple TV 4th Gen soon.

  • http://www.whited00r.com/ Lè Andy

    A 4inch might be too small for some. I’d say the perfect scree size is between 4.3″ -4.5/7″

    • appleyay

      has to be clearly visibly larger than 5S

      • Kurt

        I think they will keep a smaller phone which will be the C-version and the larger one will be the premium. I hope it’s 5.3 inches or more. 5 is definitely great but I’d still like it to be larger. I love the 5.7″ I have now. But I’m not expecting that from Apple next year, probably 5″. What size are you hoping for?

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    I for one, WANT this to happen! We all know its going to be bigger. So you guys can leave, it just leaves more phones for the people that want them. So thank you. :)

  • Daniel Beecham

    5.5 on your Ear?? Better an iPad Air on my Ear…Ridiculous!!! If Apple Plans are a bigger Screen i think a 4.5 its The One.

  • Heitor Castro 

    Apple, don’t do it, please. We already have a 4-inch smartphone and a 7.9-inch tablet, why do we need a phablet?

    A 4.5-inch display is the limit for me. I hate de Galaxy Note, it’s awful. Don’t try to follow de copycats.

    • chris125

      Because not everyone wants to carry two devices around? Plus it would still be smaller than the note since it is rumored 5″ which is the same as the s4 which isn’t that large at all unless you have baby hands.

      • Heitor Castro 

        Even if you have huge hands, or giant hand, there’s no way how to handle de Galaxy S IV with one hand, unless you can do any magic. I can’t do it.

        Watch the iPhone 5 introduction video, Ive explains they’re focused in the user experience. Not screen size. If you love big screen devices, go get a GN3. You may love it.

      • chris125

        You don’t need huge hands to handle the s4 and go look at reviewers like MKHD or some athletes who make even the note look small. Plus with minimal bezels 5″ is easily able to be used one handed.

      • Dan

        My wife uses the GS4 with one hand… and she’s 5”2 so her hands are on the small side.

  • Luke O’ Sullivan

    It’s probably best for them to make a larger and a regular sized one so it doesn’t alienate users who prefer a smaller screen, but also caters for those who want a larger screen (as seen with iPad and iPad mini).

    I’ll wait and see how it pans out before deciding on whether I like the idea of a larger screen…

    • appleyay

      yup

  • jocastro

    whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i hate rumors especially when the iphone 5s just came out.

    • appleyay

      its happening cause the iphone 5S is boring as hell and people want a real substantial update

      • GlynT

        Word

      • blastingbigairs

        Agreed, staying with my 5 until something really new comes out from the Apple camp.

  • felixtaf

    Apple will never make a display with standard resolution (1080p). It will be either 1860 x 960 or 2272 x 1280!
    I don’t care if they release a big phone (there is market out there). I jus want them to keep then 4 inch lineup as such. Don’t want increase screen size in mm each year, like other manufacturers!

  • Drop

    5 inch iPhone? YES PLEASE

  • http://www.unitedconsumers.com/gsm/ Peter van Udenhout

    At the moment a phablet is not an option for me. But 10 years ago everybody wanted a tiny phone, so maybe everyone has a phablet over 5 years.

  • iPhoner

    For the first time ever I’d stand in line to get an iPhone 6 if it was 5″

    • appleyay

      i wont cause if here is no jailbreak i cant use it..lol

      • Jed

        I won’t because standing in line for a phone and not getting paid to do so is pathetic.

      • Rowan09

        If you’ve never stood in line for an iPhone the experience is not as bad well in Westbury Long Island you get food and drinks while you wait. I waited once for the iPhone 4 after doing a preorder pickup in store for about 2 hours. I don’t see myself however waiting for days without getting paid or promoting something.

  • CryptoCoin420

    4.5 – 4.7 MAX. 4.5 would work great for me. 5.7 tho? Screw that!

  • Hyr3m

    BAAAAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Darryl Barnes

    I think anything between 4.5 -5″ would be nice while also keeping the 4″ for those who prefer that size.

    • appleyay

      4.75 with double the PPI CPU and battery life of 5S will be perfect

  • Rowan09

    I thought 5 inches was too big for a screen but if done right like the S4 I can see 5 inches being the limit. The S3 and S4 are the same basic size just a smaller bezel on the S4 so 5 inches if done right is the limit for me.

  • GlynT

    I need one….

  • momerathe

    the girl on the magazine cover looks surprised and alarmed

    • Dan

      She’s not used to seeing anything over 4 inches I guess (sorry, I know it’s wrong, couldn’t resist!)

  • Tom Brady

    The crazy part is, my gold 5s is arriving today and they are already talking about the next phone. Smh

    • appleyay

      yeh cause 5S is boring.. i skipped it with no hesitation

  • Dan

    Imo 5 inches (I wouldn’t call this phablet) is easily used with one hand, 5.5” requires finger gymnastics but it’s still possible.

    • mehrab

      i have big hands and i cant use my 5 inch android products with one hand well actually in a way you can you can almost reach all sides but its not a comforting expirience and causes a lot of strain if you use it with one hand trying to reach everywhere for a period of time.

      • Dan

        Personal preference I guess, I don’t have big hands (slender fingers actually) and I can use my Note 2 with one hand (it’s 5.5 inches).

      • felixtaf

        The point is, if u have to strain too much – then its not for you. I have an iPhone 5 and had a Note 2. Now I switched to a LG Optimus G Pro. My hands are small too, so I adjust to the phone size to use it. I use it mainly for video playback and some gaming. For me there is no need for one handed operation while in video/gaming. But for texting, u need two hands. And am comfortable texting with both hands even in my iPhone 5 (My preference). I dont text n drive either!

    • Kurt

      I don’t see a 5 inch phone and think phablet anymore either. You can use the Note 3 completely with one hand. Swipe in and swipe out will minimize the screen to about 4 inches or so. The soft keys and volume keys are on the screen too. Useful at times.

      • Dan

        Yeah I do like soft keys, especially with haptic feedback. When I use a friend’s iPhone, I always instinctively look for them. I recently bought the new Nexus 7, I wish it had those instead of the navigation bar at the bottom (stock android).

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      u crazy right? 5 inches may be possible if you strech real good but 5.5′ is WAY too large for 1 hand… btw i wouldn’t call 5 inches a phablet eithet but it simply is (according to the official ‘rules’)

      • Dan

        Well no, I’m not crazy.

        When I hold my Note 2 in the palm of my hand (right hand), my thumb reaches up to the 2/3 of the screen (when in the middle), and 1/3 of the screen when going to the left side, enough to text and scroll through pages. I text with swype, so perfectly doable one handed.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        yeah, 2/3 of the screen, but apple has always said that they will never release a phone thay would not be fully (3/3) reachable with the right thumb

      • Dan

        Apple is changing. The ipad mini and iphone 5c are the perfect example. so you never know.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        that may be but apple will never change the way that they will follow the competition. the competition has to follow apple.

      • Dan

        Well they followed the competition with the plastic phones and smaller tablets ;)

        There’s a market for bigger screen phones so I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple tries to get a piece of it.

      • Jeffrey Feuerstein

        i wouldn’t be surprised either but thats just because bigger screens are becoming the standard for phones nowadays.

        also the fact that they made a plastic iphone doesn’t mean they did it for the competition, plastic is just a material…. are they followers too if they are going to use carbon fiber or something? and about the ipad mini, that was just on apple’s own initiative

  • iOops

    No thank you. The 4 inch 5/5s is perfect. I have a 5″ S4, and find it simply too large for my pocket, but perfect for my wife’s hand bag. I’ll be damned if I’ll carry a ‘hand bag’ simply to pack my phone around.

    • Tom Brady

      You have to stay away from those skinny jeans bro

      • iOops

        haha, I’ve not been able to wear skinny jeans for over 20 years now.

      • appleyay

        lololoolol

  • Kurt

    You can use the Note 3 with one hand. The keyboard gets smaller and slides to the side for one handed use. Or you can slide your finger in and out real quick on the home screen and it will minimize the whole screen (you can enlarge it if you like or continue to use it and other apps in a much smaller size)

    • Jeffrey Feuerstein

      lol no

    • mehrab

      Are you serious? You think that will solve the problem btw you can do the same on the note 2″s This is one of the nonpracticle stupid features from samsung doinng this gives youa terrible expirience no one would consider doing that on their note 3 for more over 30 seconds

      • Kurt

        It absolutely solves the problem if you want to hold the phone with one hand and type with your thumb. It feels 100% exactly the same as typing on an iphone. NO DIFFERENCE. Watch, apple will implement it also when we finally get our phablet iphone next year

  • appleiphonetechuk

    A 4.4 inch phone with a tiny bezel would be perfect, will be interesting to see how apps would run on the different resolution though!

    • appleiphonetechuk

      that would be as long as it still fitted well in my hand on course.

  • Kurt

    I hate that commercial. They cut away, move his hand to reposition the iphone so he can reach the other corners. It’s impossible to hit all four corners without move the phone in the hand.

    • BoardDWorld

      Maybe if you have stubby little fingers. I don’t have a problem reaching anywhere on the display.

      • Kurt

        It’s easy to touch all 4 corners if you move the phone in your hand. So it’s possible to do it with larger screens also. But this ad lies by making it out that you can touch all four corners without moving the phone or hand, ONLY your thumb.

  • batongxue

    Note the middle part of the back of current iPhones also comes with a aspect ratio of 16:9.
    Pretty Interesting….
    FYI, the photos below means 4.55”.

    • ɑղժɾҽա

      Ugly.

      • batongxue

        = =
        I’m sure Jony will nail it.

  • sinnerofa10shun

    4.5″-4.7″ would be perfect for the iPhone. One can only hope. Until then, I’m happy with my iPhone 5!

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    But my baby hands will never b able to use such a device. Heehee

  • Matthew Cooper

    People talk shit but i bet the will buy it and they will like it

    • appleyay

      yup thats why apple is out of control they sell no matter what.. well except 5C..lol

    • xSeriouSx

      Lol, precisely, this is the EXACT same reaction people had to the iPhone 5 rumors, yet look how it flew off the shelves…

  • Yash Gorana

    NOOOOOOOOOO !!!!

  • ɑղժɾҽա

    440 ppi is not enough for an iPhone Retina Display! Apple should double the pixel density of the current 326 ppi to 652 ppi like they did with their 163 ppi screen.

    • appleyay

      that would be amazing

  • Kai

    Please no, don’t do it
    4inch screen is absolutely perfect for most users , but if they need bigger screen
    maybe release a 4.5 inch maximum as an option/choice like a iPhone 5s and 5c
    Please keep iPhone unique as usual
    We don’t need iPhablets (what a ugly name )here!!!
    Hey!!! C’mon we have iPad mini here

  • Pablo

    So, no IGZO screen?

  • Apanizo2

    Half an inch to the right and half an inch up would be perfect

  • Frank Ding

    I’m on an HTC One, waiting for iPhone 6. the 4.7 inch screen is just a tiny bit too big, so I think 4.5/4.6 would be the perfect screen size.

  • Martin Karlsson

    Gakaxy Note III with iOS, YES THANKS!

  • chris125

    No matter how they “optimize” it still won’t work one handed for everyone. I mean to some the note line is usable one handed. All depends on the person and doubt with going to that size screen people are really going to care about one handed use. But then again, then apple can make another commercial saying it is the perfect size to reach your thumb to the corner of the screen.

  • gagetbOy

    …..sight look can we just get a 3:2 aspect ratio 4-4.5 inch screen keep it at 4 inches if you want just give me the ratio back it even works for increasing the ppi 480*320(x2) —-> 960*640(x1.5)—-> 1440*960

  • Marcio Atouguia

    I think that 5″ is a little too big. However 4.7″ is just about right like htc one. As for using the iphone with ons hand well this is rubbish because most of us will use two hands for typing etc so who cares.

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    I’m confident Apple won’t make a ridiculously large iPhone that would cut into their iPad sales. And Apple is very set in its way about one-handed use which is okay with me. Use two hands if you want, but I’m a frequent one hand user, especially commuting to and from school on the train if I’m standing up. And as Tim Cook said, they (Apple) will not sacrifice something like battery life or screen resolution for a bigger screen or as he said “as long as those trade offs exist”.

  • mrgerbik

    my aging dad would love this – i got him a windows 7 phone and he has a hell of a time reading some of the fonts – even i find some of the subtext annoying small …

  • Gregory D Foster

    I would like a slightly larger screen. I’ve seen some phones with larger screens where the phone itself is not massive, the MotoX for instance or some LG phone I came across a few months back (or a year ago, time doesn’t register with me).

  • http://lucaskunert.com/ Lucas Kunert

    Waiting for the iPhone event invites to say something like “We’ve got something bigger than you think.” Or something like that. Maybe a bit less innuendo, though, haha.