4-inch iPhone confirmed by Reuters, will it be enough to get you to switch?

Daniel Bader

May 17, 2012 11:02am


The next iPhone is all but guaranteed to have a 4-inch screen. The rumours long-speculated by pundits, confirmed yesterday by the Wall Street Journal, have now been corroborated by Reuters. The wire service claims to have “people familiar with the matter” who claim that Apple has ordered 4-inch screens from LG Display Co Ltd, Sharp Corp and Japan Display Inc.

The new screen size is seen by some as a move vital to Apple’s future success in the smartphone business, while others are sceptical that the device needs to get any bigger. High-end Android devices such as the recently-released 4.7-inch HTC One X and the coming-soon 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S III are now the norm, despite the fact that they are often difficult to use comfortably in one hand. The new iPhone, if it does increase to 4-inches, would be considered a middle ground and a compromise to those users who are enjoying more real estate on bigger Android phones.

It was recently announced that Android now has a controlling 56% of the world’s smartphone market share, and that number is increasing. But Apple maintains the vast majority of smartphone profits, with Samsung behind them at 25%.

Apple has a conundrum in its decision to increase screen sizes: does it maintain the same resolution and risk the “Retina” moniker from the iPhone 4 and 4S? Steve Jobs himself declared that a screen with a 300ppi pixel density is enough to be considered “Retina,” but a 4-inch iPhone with a familiar resolution of 960×640 would drop that number to 288ppi. Android devices, on the other hand, have recently matched and in some cases beaten that Retina-like density, by adding 1280×720 resolutions to their repertoire.

The other option would be to bring yet another resolution to the iOS family, forcing developers to once-again adopt a new iPhone resolution: the first was 480×320 and the second 960×640. To maintain a 3:2 ratio Apple would either have to increase the resolution to an astounding 1440×960 or risk existing apps not rendering properly.

Part of me thinks the whole thing is a bit of a send-up, since Apple has had no trouble selling 3.5-inch iPhones to the masses since the iPhone 3G was released in 2008. That’s not to say 3.5-inches is the ideal form factor — I have long maintained that the 4-inch size of the Nexus S was the perfect size for me — but if the public wants a larger iPhone, Apple should give it to them, right?

What do you think? Would you forsake your Android device for a 4-inch iPhone with LTE?

Source: Reuters
Via: The Verge, gdgt

  • Sean

    Well Apple calls the new iPad’s display a “Retina” display and it isn’t 300ppi

    • Businessman

      The 9900 has a 2.8 inch display. Good for business.

    • ANDROID1

      I WILL SWITCH IF THE NEW IPHONE WILL HAVE A 4.8″ OR 5.3″ LIKE ALL OTHER ((((NORMAL))))) SMART PHONES

    • TheywillbepisSes

      The day apple ditches its s**t ios and replaces it with android is the day i will consider the iphone (but probably not) :)

  • Harris

    OMG!! 4INCH SCREEN!

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!

    No… No…. NO.

  • Cody

    Two years later..

    • Frank

      Apple will probably release and present the 4″ screen as “revoultionary” and with the marketing slogan “This changes everything. Again.”

  • anonymous

    I am not an iRetard. Thanks, but no thanks!

    • jonny

      Nothing could ever make me want to buy an iphone.

    • Boojay

      But wait, it’s still iPhone right? Then no.

  • MXM4K

    Most likely not. Not that I think iPhones are bad devices, nor iOS a bad OS, but I can’t see the value in the price they charge for their devices. I feel the same way with Mac computers as well.

    • ASH

      To start with I am a fandroid, but I have to say this; IOS is a great system if you do not need the flexibility / freedom that Android provides. IOS is a stable system, and I need not say anything about the updates, which come-in timely, and streamlined. Enough said! I shut up;)

    • ANDROID1

      @ASH, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? IF YOU ADD WIDGET TO IOS IT WILL BE VERY BAD, A PHONE WITH APPS ONLY ???? WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    • PkaTka

      @ASH agreed! While I like android a bit better than iOS, I always consider iOS before my purchases. Quite honestly there’s only ONE thing I hate about my android phone. It’s the stupid updates. I hate sitting on a bunch of websites for 3 weeks just to read rumors if my device will get ICS, and on top of that, if it gets released, you have to wait 6 months to get it. I think google should step it up.

  • Primus

    A larger screen alone is not enough for anything.

  • JLP

    Apple drones: this is revolutionary !!

    Last year’s 4 inch phones: Too big to fit in my pocket

    ಠ_ಠ

  • Michael Johnson

    Having watched the media try to guess Apple’s next move is a big joke. It can’t be confirmed untill apple announces their new IPhone. When they do then we’ll know. I think they should probably jump the screen size and a 4 Inch screen with a 1440×960 resolution would get me tempted, I can’t see entering there locked ecco-system.

  • Lemmy

    Four inches is not enough.
    Am I right, ladies?

  • johentie

    apple lovers will buy anything apple throws out to them.. so it doesn’t really matter what the specs are..

    the new iphone could be:
    same 3.5 inch
    dual core <– new
    same 512mb RAM <– poking fun, but we'll give them 1GB
    LTE

  • Jorvay

    I’m not about to switch. I really enjoy Android and was never all that impressed by iOS or the whole Apple ecosystem. That being said, I think Apple’s right on the 4″ size. My GN is about as big as I’d ever want at 4.65″ and if I had smaller hands, I’d probably find it frustrating to use on the go. Sometimes I really miss my old 4″ Vibrant.

  • well

    “3.5” is perfect to handle with one hand, no to mention it fits perfect in my gap skinny keans”

  • deltatux

    To be honest, I think 4.0 – 4.5″ is the sweet spot (not including any on screen button replacing capacitive buttons), any larger is just too big for most people to be able to hold the devices with 1 hand comfortably.

  • David

    Apple can throw out a phone with a black and white screen and there will still be fan boys trying to persuade you the advantages of having a black and white screen.

  • Keith

    I think Apple should continue to offer the 3.5″ and add another > than 4″ choice. 4″ is not quite enough for those of us who want big screens and it is too big for those who don’t. I will no longer ever consider anything less than 4.3″ myself.

  • Torcher

    waiting for bb10

  • Mike

    I guess Apple just invented the 4 inch smartphone. Time to sue everyone now…

  • Cancuckle215

    I have a 4″ phone right now, my SGS. I didn’t want an iPhone back then, and I still don’t want an iPhone.

    Late to the party like always..well done apple.

    • John

      Late to the party? Lol, you fandroids can be so stupid it’s hilarious.

      Apple was years ahead of the competition when they invented the iPhone, then they were years ahead of the competition when they came out with the iPad.

      Anyone who thumbs down this comment (I’m sure there will be plenty) is delusional.

  • Yeria

    Well, the screen size wasn’t the main reason I’ve been avoiding Apple products…so no.

  • roman129

    4-inch is great. I upgraded from the Nexus S to the Galaxy Nexus, and I really miss the S when I hold one, it’s just feels great in my hand.

  • Cdub

    The screen size is required to compete. 3.5″ is too small for me.

    What I want is an iOS upgrade. Add widgets, good navigation and a some keyboard options and I’d be much more willing to switch. Using Swype or Swiftkey is much better than trying to hunt and pec on a tiny screen.

    A notification light would be nice too.

    • George K

      That’s true when you’re comparing it to the laggy keyboard with poor prediction that comes stock on ICS. When you start comparing it to decent keyboards (like iOS and WP7) then you begin to care less about the various keyboards which exist only to fix the crappy stock keyboard.

  • AChari

    “What do you think? Would you forsake your Android device for a 4-inch iPhone with LTE?”

    I could be wrong, but I assume most android users that use this site use Android for reasons other than hardware. The whole Android vs. iOS debate has far less to do with the screen and mostly to do with the fundamentals of the software running. This goes back to the whole open vs closed, customizable vs. not.

    I can’t see my self ever switching. I am more interested to know if this will make ‘fragmentation’ an issue for Apple having to adapt software to a large screen. The irony would be sweet.

  • vn33

    Am sure the iPhone is a fine phone, and the iOS is a no-decision choice for many. However, I’m not willing to pay Apple a premium just because it is a “people’s choice”. Apple is relying on a loyalty user base to be fleeced .. sorry, I meant “suppport” …

  • Tom

    I am going to be different than the above people and say that I owned an iPhone 3G a nexus s a desire hd and an iPhone 4. Android has the following issues to me 1. Takes a custom rom to get battery life near the iPhone and even then the battery isn’t great 2. Hardware comes out so quickly they don’t seem to make a quality product (nexus s would go ape s**t like I was tapping the search button repeatedly at random times and desire hd has some serious issues with the gps antenna, nexus s wouldn’t charge with navigation running etc). I currently own the iPhone 4 and after owning all of the devices above it is the best for me, the smoothest, best battery life, easiest to hold etc. that said I do miss the 4″ screen and will upgrade if they increase the screen size. I don’t mind the trade off of no customization of the os for better fluidity and stability that iOS has.

  • mIX

    I want to know if it will have NFC. That is what I want to see in all future phones.

    • Me Ted

      Much like its users, it will indeed have NFC (no f##$ing clue).

  • george

    This was “confirmed” last year too.

    Stop spreading rumors until Apple actually “confirms” it at their next iPhone event.

  • sam

    I think that android apps are sub-par in comparison to apple apps. Apple has more and the ones that are on both os’ the apple ones get the better support — with that being said I’ve considered switching just for that reason but the small screen always took me back and now that I’ve upgraded to the Galaxy Note it feels like too little too late from Apple. People want more flexibility in their screen sizes, instead of: here, this is what you want and it’s all you get.

  • metoo

    OMG! 4″ IPHONE! THAT’S HOW PHONES SHOULD BE LIKE. NOT LIKE FANTARD ANDROID SO BIG. 4″ PHONES ARE THE SMART WAY OF BUSINESS! ANDROID BIG PHONES ARE CHILDISH AND ELEMENTARY! THEY NEED TO GO TO SCHOOL CAUSE THEY NOT KNOW BASIC KNOWLEDGE. ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATSON!

  • Ben

    For me it’s not just the hardware, but the combination of the hardware and software. a 4″ screen isn’t enough, no matter how ‘sexy’ the phone is. The iOS software updates since I got my 3G have been disappointing. The 4S, in stock form, *still* doesn’t have many of the features available to owners of Jailbroken 3Gs 2.5 years ago.

    When Apple releases a significant upgrade to iOS then I will consider buying an iPhone again. Even then, a 4″ display is now not big enough for my taste. Considering that I use the phone functionality far less than everything else (apps, web-browsing, reference, document editing/annotation, messaging), screen real estate is a big deal for me.

  • Slype

    @miX

    NFC Is standard on most phones these days, I think even the luddites at Apple are going to cave on that one. Unless of course, they try to implement something proprietary whicn isn’t beyond them.

    That being said, despite the fact that their hardware is getting quickly outdated, the issue most non-Apple people have with their devices is the lack of being able to customize it and being locked into their world without any options. A 4″ screen will appease some people but it was never really about the screen.

  • seriouslythough

    Think about it for a second. The screen can get bigger, but you’ll still get the same old icons filling more of the screen.

    • Keith

      Think about this for a second. Your comment only makes since if all you do is stare at your phone and don’t run any apps.

  • TouchMyBox

    I’ll switch when iOS gets open-sourced.

    In other words, never. :)

  • Azzo

    My Captivate is 4inches and i find it way to small.

  • Christian

    Since I already pre-ordered the SGSIII, I’m gonna have to say no to the iPhone.

  • Jay

    “I have long maintained that the 4-inch size of the Nexus S was the perfect size for me”

    Me too! Love the size of my Nexus S. I might be willing to change over to iPhone in a year if the screen size was at least 4 inches.

  • Kyle

    4″ screen is the minimum. I am not 100% on what THE sweet spot is, but it isn’t 3.5″. I am looking forward to the iPhone 5 and will buy it.

  • Eluder

    As many have said, it isn’t just the screen size that is the issue, it’s the OS. It’s just the same boring experience since the original iPhone launched, just faster. Apple needs to revamp iOS completely for me to ever consider an iPhone again. My first smartphone was an iPhone 3G, and I loved it, but then I tried my first Android, the Nexus One, and it was a phenomenal experience. Vastly superior to iOS, but I bought into the hype and tried and iPhone 4 and immediately regretted it since it was no better than my 3G, just faster.
    If Apple doesn’t come to the table with a redesigned iOS, then they’re going to keep slipping in terms of marketshare. Sure, the iSheep will jump on their product like always, but those of us that educate ourselves before buying a phone will avoid the next iPhone like the plague.

  • James Collins

    I WILL buy it, no due to the screen size, also not due to LTE, (however both of these I see as vast improvements.) But because I like Apple’s products, and CS (I DO NOT ever want to talk to a “Genius” again however).
    To me I find the iPhone to be a superior product for the average user, and I say this as Owning every iPhone model since the beginning. well not the iPhone “2” but iPhone, 3G, 3Gs, 4, 4S. as well as droids HTC Sensation, Raider, Desire, and now I have a Samsung Note. and love it.
    still I will get the new iPhone, i just prefer iOS.

  • Techie

    If you cannot accept the fact that iOS is a more fluid and stable OS, I feel I cannot have an intelligent conversation with you. That being said, no matter how you spin it, screen size is a matter of preference because I don’t think many would care for a 6′ phone! I will be buying the latest and greatest on my platform/ecosystem of choice. Thank you very much

  • mb

    I hate iTunes and the religion around it so no thanks.

  • Nick

    It sounds just about right to use the original iPad’s screen resolution, which should consolidate some of the many screen resolutions out there (old and “retina” for phones + iPads). Frankly I think Apple is pigeonholing itself by trying to keep such few screen resolutions, but the 768p iPad res should look good on a 4″ screen.

    I won’t be getting one for other reasons though.

  • cheenachatze

    The screen is fine. All it needs is AWS frequencies. (And a price reduction would be nice, too.)

  • coop3422

    If it has a 4′ screen, I’ll buy. Said the same thing last year, then they announced the 4s. I said it was pathetic on Apple’s part (although what I expected) and kept my i4 and bought an Atrix. Main reason, I find 4′ to be the perfect size, and the Atrix is the only dual core/1GB ram droid with this size of screen. Although the new stuff is just too big IMHO. I’ve had an s2, sensation 4g, amaze, and tried a one x. The s2 is my max on size, but even that almost seems too big for me.

    If the i5 has 1gb ram and a 4′ screen, I’ll buy one. And of course have a high end droid as well, gotta have choices when I wake up in the morning :)

    • dstruct2k

      If you’re looking for somewhere to “donate” your old devices, give me a shout… ;)

  • superfly

    1024 X 768 resolution. 4 inches. Same resolution as iPad. Aren’t you guys smart enough to figure it out. Its an existing resolution so no adjustments need to be made for apps and it would still be over 300ppi to classify a retina. Duh!

  • idonkey

    4-inch screen which run android, that will change everythings.
    Way to go Apple!

  • Coulton

    Um no I will never buy an Apple product. A limited UI with just a drawer of apps and no live tiles or widgets? customization? People want to be immersed in their smartphone and iOS feels ancient. The OS hasn’t received a significant update since the original Iphone was released. No thanks.

  • Max

    I have owned both iOS and Android devices and I’m currently using an Iphone 4. I also work for Rogers and sell a s*** load of Iphones. What most of you Android fans don’t get is that 90% of people buying smartphones don’t care about the specs. They want something that’s safe and that they won’t have to spend a month trying to figure out how to use. I hate to admit it but Apple has a very simple to use OS and it’s also, from what I have experienced, the most fluid.
    I’m not saying the price is ok, I’m not saying the Iphone has the best specs, but stop bashing Apple like a bunch of know-it-all. The phone is good looking, people don’t give a s**t if it’s not 5 inches, they also don’t care if it’s quad core, they want something safe and easy to use… And BTW Apples customer service is by far the best you will get.

  • shane

    waiting for BB10 as well. amazing OS. It will either be that or windows phone. will just have to wait and see which has a good release. I’m not an android fan at all so won’t be bothered that way. I have an iPhone but am really ready for a change, so even a 4″ screen won’t make any difference, they would have to completely overhaul the OS for me to stay