Reports: iPhone 5 To Have 4-Inch Screen
It seems I buried the lede*.
Last week, I wrote a wrap-up of what wondrous technologies and products Apple is preparing for the rest of this year, including, in the middle of the story, its next-generation smartphone.
After I had finished the round-up and posted it came reports about the most important aspect of the next-generation Apple smartphone: its screen.
I updated the story, but you have had to read it all the way through to find out -
- and here’s the lede -
- iPhone 5, according to several reports, will sport a 4-inch screen.
Unlike other smartphone makers who sell a variety of Android phone models in a variety of screen sizes up to the 5.3-incher on the Samsung Note, Apple has stuck with the suddenly small 3.5-inch display through the revolutionary smartphone’s nearly five-year life.
But it appears as if the 4-inch screen story is more than just random wishful-thinking rumor.
Reuters’ Tokyo correspondent reported that three suppliers, LG, Sharp and a new outfit, Japan Display, will collectively produce the 4-inch screens beginning as early as next month. June screen production means production on the phones themselves could begin in August, presumably plenty of time for an October launch.
Is four inches big enough?
A 4-inch screen may seem small when compared to the plethora of 4.5-inch-plus Androids flooding the market. But considering how well the iPhone 4S with its 3.5-inch screen has sold, we seem to not need all that screen real estate. Plus, the bigger the screen, the bigger the phone, which means its more uncomfortable to slip into your pants pocket.
IMHO, anything between 4 and 4.3 inches is the perfect smartphone size. If you need a larger screen, you can move to a tablet. Anything bigger is too big ergonomically.
So what will the iPhone 5 look like?
The screen size comparison between the current 3.5-inch iPhone 4S and the 4-inch Samsung Galaxy Vibrant in the photo may not be entirely accurate. Both screens are around two inches wide (the Galaxy is 1/16th of an inch wider), so the Galaxy adds all its extra room at the bottom.
Apple is more likely to evenly distribute the additional half-inch of screen real estate to both width and length, creating a squarer screen that could eliminate iPhone’s current eighth of an inch of bezel on either side of the screen in order to keep iPhone 5 at a similar width as the current model.
What will iPhone 5 look like?
Who knows. But it’s been reported that Steve Jobs spent his last days designing the iPhone 5.
But as with all things Apple and iPhone, no one has any idea what it will look like or what it will be made of – which hasn’t stopped some creative speculation.
For instance, TechRadar predicts an iPhone 5 with a curved back, accompanied by what-if illustrations.
Cult of Mac has visualized an iPhone SJ (Steve Jobs).
Many prognosticators have posited the new lighter/stronger/damage resistant alloy, for which Apple has an exclusive license, will be used in the next gen iPhone – and just as many have pooh-poohed the notion.
Of course, iPhone 5 – or whatever it will be called – is unlikely to look like any of these conceptualizations.
Other iPhone 5 attributes
As I noted last week, it’s a foregone conclusion iPhone 5 will be 4G LTE enabled.
One reason why the phone’s design will change is because it likely will include a bigger battery – 4G LTE is a known power hog.
As far as the processor is concerned, the new (now simply recent) iPad runs off the partially quad-core (for graphics) but mostly dual-core Apple A5X chip.
Since iPad has more pressing processor needs (primarily its Retina high-definition display), it’s unlikely the next iPhone will be equipped with the company’s pending quad-core A6 engine, which will probably be saved for the new iPad refresh next year.
And as I noted last week, iPhone 5 also could include an NFC (near field communication) chip that would enable you to use your iPhone instead of a credit or debit card.
Finally, iPhone 5 will likely inaugurate Apple’s new iOS 6 mobile operating system, which is due to be announced at next month’s Apple World Wide Developer Conference.
It is believed iOS 6 will include new Apple (instead of Google) maps, which could include 3D and voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions, and better Facebook and Twitter integration, amongst other improvements.
What’s in a name?
But will the iPhone 5 actually be called the iPhone 5?
This becomes a question since Apple insists on calling the iPad 3 “the new iPad.” So will Apple call the iPhone 5 “the new iPhone”?
Probably not. For one thing, Apple just won a battle to claim the iphone5.com Internet domain name.
But calling a new phone with 4G LTE connectivity and a 4-inch screen “iPhone 5″ could be a bit confusing. Apple could well decide to come up with a non-numeric identifier.
Anyone have any ideas?
* “Lede” is the way we journalists spell “lead,” the first paragraph containing the “grab you” news.