The real reason why Samsung, HTC and the other Android phone assemblers have “decided” to offer ergonomically inferior large screen devices is simply because they need more room in the device’s shell to fit all of their off-shelf parts and enough battery to run that inferior hardware and the Android OS. Often Android handsets fail to make it through the day, even with all of that extra battery volume packed into oversized devices.
Unlike Apple’s iOS, which is created expressly for Apple’s custom hardware – A6, batteries, Retina display, etc. – Android’s UI rendering happens in the main thread of an app and Android’s UI rendering has normal priority, rather than given higher processing priority as in iOS. This is likely because Android began life at Google as a BlackBerry knockoff and quickly had a touch UI bolted on right after they saw Steve Jobs pull the iPhone out of his jeans’ pocket.
The Android handset assemblers and those who settle for inferior wares routinely tout giant screens as a “feature / advantage” over iPhones, but it is in fact nothing more than a cover to provide greater volume inside the shell due to their inability to custom micro-engineer anything close to what Apple can achieve. Note that even with their oversized screens, Android phones cannot seem to deliver all-day battery life. Note also that while making Android phones not just tall, but also pocket-bustingly wide, the Android handset assemblers strive to keep them as thin as they can manage, obviously because they believe there is some merit in the ability to provide a “thin” device. If bigger is better, why isn’t thicker better, too? Because neither too big nor too thick is best for a smartphone. Big enough to see, use, and carry in a pocket comfortably is what is the right smartphone size. In other words: Apple’s iPhone 5.
Apple’s A6 SoC is custom silicon, not an off-the-shelf part slapped into umpteen “Buy One get X Free” Android handsets. Apple’s iOS 6 is a custom OS X-based operating system, not an off-the-shelf handset OS slapped into umpteen phones and skinned in myriad, inconsistent, developer-vexing ways. Apple’s iPhone 5 is the world’s thinnest smartphone yet still outperforms every Android phone on the market in terms of speed, responsiveness, weight, screen quality, and battery life – not to mention ecosystem, including third-party support, vehicle integration, app quality, app library, and app developers.
The next time you hear an Android handset assembler touting a big screen on TV, the Net, or wherever, remember that they are forced by their business model to have that giant screen and, if they could, they’d rather produce a phone that can fit in your pocket, be operated with one hand, be remarkable thin and light, with a crystal-clear, razor-sharp Retina display, and run all day on a single charge, but they can’t.
Only Apple can.
SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.