RUMOR: Apple’s next-gen iPhone to feature 4-inch Retina display

“Apple reportedly will change the screen size of iPhone to 4-inch for its fifth generation iPhone,” Yenting Chen, Rebecca Kuo, and Yvonne Yu report for DigiTimes, citing “upstream component suppliers.”

“The component suppliers noted that the production lines for Apple’s next generation iPhone have begun testing, and Apple is interesting [sic] in expanding the screen size to 4-inches to support the tablet PC market as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market,” Chen, Kuo, and Yu report. “With Apple joining the 4-inch and larger market, 4- to 5.5-inch will become the major battlefield for smartphones and further change the industry dynamics for small- to medium-size panels.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. If I understand this correctly, this story implies a larger-screen iPhone, while a previous story claims that there are prototypes for a smaller-screen iPhone?

    So, two more screen sizes and screen resolutions on the iOS platform? Unless the small model keeps the pixel resolution of the old (non-retina) iPhone, and the larger one keeps the pixel resolution of the retina, I don’t think Apple will be able to continue to claim Android’s fragmentation (especially when referring to various screen sizes), when their own platform ends up with five different display resolutions.

    1. I don’t see how this can be called fragmentation. Fragmentation implies not only a splintering of hardware specification but a forking of software revisions, e.g. in Android’s case some phones may be running on FroYo 2.3, some on Gingerbread 2.2, etc. In Apple’s case all phones will be eligible for iOS 4.3 upgrades simultaneously with none left behind. You can make the case that older generation iPhones are laggy when updated to 4.3 but the principle is the ability of all Apple hardware to upgrade to the latest iOS version. This is a standardized approach towards software.

      When you talk about hardware differentiation you need to consider the needs of different markets. Apple has often been accused of a one size fits all approach which brings its own benefits but often leaves large swathes of the market unserved.

      I can’t see the need for different screen sized iPhones but a 4″ model would be a welcome upgrade. Apple can still sell the 3.5″ iPhone 4 model at discounted rates from today’s prices and service the prepaid market by not requiring a contract. You will still be able to take advantage of a large library of iOS apps and suffer no detriment to user satisfaction.

    2. IF this is true (which is not a given), the number of pixels would not be changing – they’d just be bigger on the rumored 4″, and smaller (and non-Retina) on the rumored smaller size. No apps would need to be rewritten. No apocalypse would descend upon us.

      Don’t fear the FUD!

  2. Well, so much for my display name showing up as “Follower,” as it’s been for a decade, even though I told the new WordPress settings to publicly display it as that. (Or for not letting me just register as “follower” in the first place.)

    1. Nobody wants a bigger screen? Be real!

      Everyone over 45 will appreciate that little bit of extra real estate … if you’re not there yet, just wait.
      Besides, already, my iPhone4 is starting to look quite puny amidst those large-screened Androids over here in Germany.

  3. again WS shysterism at work. They trying to legitimize other form factors by saying apple will have these same form factors. All those cabs producing 4 inch screens must be losing money and need a quick pickup in orders.

  4. The current iPhone screen is 3.5″.
    If you expand the screen 1/5 inch at the top, 1/5 at the bottom, 1/8 on each side, I believe the diagonal would be close to 4 inches.

    There is enough black space to do this without making the phone bigger. Technically it might be difficult, but if a tech company can do it, Apple would be the one.

    1. Apple understands that you need that “black space” there as “handles,” when you hold the iPhone horizontally.

      I doubt this is true. When it comes to something like a mobile phone, smaller is more valuable. If you need the screen to appear a half-inch larger diagonally (which is not much larger), just hold the iPhone a few centimeters closer to your face.

      The 4+ inch screen on Android phones is an excuse for the competition not being able to miniaturize their phones as well as Apple.

      1. Also, it’s not display size to the human eye – it’s what you can display on the screen as a developer. Having your buttons just a tad further apart helps the usefulness of the GUI quite dramatically.

  5. An iPhone with a 4″ display seems feasible. But 5.5″ seems too much like a subminiature tablet. When flexible displays become widely available, then we might have the option to unroll a larger display, when needed. With current display technology, however, I don’t believe that people will be clamoring for a 5″ or larger cell phone.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.