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

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?