Analyst: Apple iPhone 5 will sport 4-inch display; production starts in June

“There’s continued speculation Apple will unveil its next iPhone with a 4-inch screen,” Ed Sutherland reports for Cult of Mac.

“A Wall Street expert lent his voice to the chorus, telling investors the new device will begin production in June,” Sutherland reports. “But how will Apple increase the 3.5-inch screen and retain the iPhone’s iconic style?”

Sutherland reports, “Susquehanna Financial analyst Chris Caso didn’t reveal his sources on the 4-inch screen, but it isn’t the first time we’ve heard talk that Apple could follow other smartphone makers that also are expected to offer bigger displays… Which brings me to the question of ‘What Would Steve Do?’ Jobs detested tiny tablet screens, saying consumers would have to sand down their fingertips in order to move objects. The opposite would likely be true for larger smartphone screens. The 3.5-inch display is perfect for the average human hand — anything larger and using the screen literally becomes a reach.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

53 Comments

      1. Rick, as it happens the iphone is just barely small enough to fit comfortably in a (small) pocket and is also about as wide as the majority of people can reach across with their thumb (for one handed operation).

        I think most people would consider a (slightly) larger screen a plus, but not at the expense of a larger (or wider) device.

        1. A 4″ iPhone would only be very slightly wider and could keep the existing length. As for the reaching issue, how often do you need to reach the very edges of your screen? I don’t. I don’t have huge hands and I could easily reach over another quarter to half inch. The tradeoff of having to rarely reach the edges for a larger screen 100% of the time is worth it to me. Anything larger than 4″ is probably too much though

          1. As it happens I have large hands (and failing eyesight) so I agree, a larger display would be a plus to me. However remember: half the population is woman. Many can barely reach across the current screen one handed (and can’t reach across the larger android devices at all)

            As I see it there are two variables here; the fist is that if the phone is thinner (and rounder) the thumb can stretch across further (it is a “wrap” ergonomic), the second is if they can squeeze a larger screen into the same (or slightly wider because of factor one) case width.

            Other than those (which would yield a minimally larger display (maybe 4″) I don’t think they are going to make the phone too large for half (or more) of the population to operate one handed.

    1. He who laughs last, laughs longest, eh?

      After all the abuse you’ve endured over this point, I hardly blame you for gloating, but remember—it’s a rumor.

      I still prefer my iPhone 4S at its present size.

      1. He didn’t catch abuse for talking about a 4″ display, js. He caught abuse for flogging us with doom speech regarding Apple, touting Android like a shill, and generally being a major crotch monkey about the iPhone and iPad.

        Some people completely dissed the concept. But a number of us discussed the idea more politely and intelligently, and speculated about the implementation. Don’t give BLN any more credit than he deserves.

        1. Yeah I have to agree with kingmel, he got greif for being a butthead, not for wanting a larger screen.
          Truth be told I just started having to wear reading glasses to comfortably read the iphone paragraph type and a larger screen would benefit me.
          However… apple isn’t going to make a model for those with poor eyesight and nor are they going to compromise their flagship (by making it huge). BLN is free to pick from the fragmented (dis)array of incompatible ‘roid models, but if he trolls here he will get greif for it.

          1. Apple did make a model for those of us with poor eyesight. It’s the iPhone 4S with retina display and Siri.

            With this delightful device, it’s now possible for me to clearly see and enjoy the comments posted here via the MDN app (which works better than the iPad version, for some reason). And Siri obviates much of the hunting and pecking experience on the 3GS.

            1. I upgraded to the iP4 w/retina display (at he launch of the 4), but haven’t upgraded to the 4S yet. I may soon breakdown and upgrade. I do try to resist buying -every- new model -at launch- that Apple releases. 😉

      2. Hi Jane, thanks for you kind words. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being on the the Internet is that haters are gonna hate. And no matter how you phrase it, there will always be two sides to the coin. Those that like the present design and those who don’t.

        I’m not bothered about the name calling stuff – it’s juvenile and doesn’t serve any purpose other than to identify the name caller as a retard. The sooner they realize that no two opinions are alike, the sooner we put our differences aside.

        I like the 4″ (or larger) form factor because the iPhone has gone beyond being simply a phone. It has through the richness and variety of applications arrayed in the App Store morphed into a handheld computing device that happens to act as a communicator. The only way you can interface with the device is through the screen. Logically the more you do with your device the less you want to be constrained by screen size.

        Granted that when the iPhone was originally designed, there was no App Store. And so I think Apple and SJ overlooked the fact how quickly the app ecosystem would grow around it – from games to reading to productivity. The last thing you want to do is peer through a keyhole when performing tasks, so a larger screen would enhance, not take away from, task deficiency.

        Have a good weekend and ignore the retards – they’re gonna hate anyway no matter what you say.

    2. I don’t think anyone ever said it *wouldn’t* happen, BLN. People simply highlighted the reasons behind Apple’s decision to stick with 3.5″, as it’s so succinctly put above: “The 3.5-inch display is perfect for the average human hand — anything larger and using the screen literally becomes a reach.”

      And furthermore, if you own an iPad, this subject really does become null and void. In fact, it makes you *want* a smaller, reachable screen.

    3. Plus, I’m sure the competition keeps floating rumors out to try and slow the current iPhone sales. Hoping that they might catch a break.

      Good old FUD.

      Someday when I have time to waste I should see what is needed to become an analyst, then start posting crap I hear and see what “News” websites carry it.

    1. Yeah, that’s how they’ve done it on some Android phones. A Motorola Atrix is nearly identical to an iPhone 4/4S in length and width, but it has a 4″ screen. This may be harder to do on an iPhone, though, because of the large home button. We’ll see.

        1. Take a look at that Siri button. From the first time I saw it, I figured it’s going to be the “home” button of the future. Tap it to do what home normally does, Hold it and Siri is invoked.

    2. Posted on MDN on October 15, 2011:

      In order to avoid fragmenting the iOS App market, I believe that Apple will maintain the iPhone aspect ratio and number of pixels for some time to come. The current resolution is quite high, so there is no real reason to add pixels unless the display size increases substantially.

      The current iPhone display is 960 x 640 pixels. The current resolution of the iPhone is 326 ppi and its dimensions are approximately 2.912″ in height by 1.941″ in width (3.5″ diagonally).

      If you increase the dimensions of the iPhone display to approximately 3.328″ in height by 2.219″ in width (4.0″ diagonally), the display resolution would drop to around 288 ppi. I would be fine with this slightly reduced resolution, even if Apple could not call it a “retina” display anymore.

      The increase in dimensions from a 3.5″ to a 4.0″ diagonal display seems rather small – 0.416″ in height and 0.278″ in width, or approximately 14.3%. In fact, it might even be possible to squeeze the 4.0″ diagonal display into the current iPhone 4S form factor. But the effect on display area is substantial – an increase of approximately 30.6%. I sketched the two displays to scale and overlaid them, and I assure you that the increase would be quite noticeable.

      iPhone Display Size Comparison Graphic

      The current iPhone 4S display is very nice. But a larger 4.0″ multitouch iPhone display would be welcomed by many, IMO.

  1. All such statements should be completely ignored if they don’t include answers about resolution of the display and reconciling the resolution change within the OS and apps. Sans that, any speculation of screen size is completely BS. Maybe Apple is releasing the Jitterbug version, in which everything is just bigger for the sight deficient people.

      1. One of the cool things about the iPhone is the high resolution screen. Make it bigger with the same number of pixels and it’s a lower resolution screen. It would look worse.

      2. Well, for one thing, it reduces pixel density 15%. Not only will the display 15% less sharp, the sizes of all the UI elements on the screen will change. Everything from icons, typography, to basic UI controls will all be 15% larger. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is.

        1. Assuming the a larger, 4″ diagonal iPhone display remains the same 960 x 640 pixels, you are correct regarding the 14.3% stretch in linear dimensions unless vendors released a variant of their apps that shrank the on-screen controls appropriately. As far as being “less sharp,” 288 ppi is still very high.

  2. How reliable are Mr Ed’s predictions? How many times have we heard this already? What good reason is there to increase screen size?

    This report should have hit the circular file. Or better yet, the suggestion processor, that whirring sound you hear is your suggestion or report being given the attention it deserves. Pay no attention to the little bit of paper falling to floor. When the whirring stops your report has been processed. 🙂

  3. I doubt they’ll do it… The competition made bigger screens to allow components to fit while remaining thin, or to just have a point of difference with the iPhone.

    Apple nailed the screen size 5 years ago, and they did it again with the iPad. The knock offs are just scrambling to create selling points.

    People now want their iPhones to become iPads… iPhones are meant to be small and fit in your hand/pocket. People also want their iPads to become iPhones… iPad are meant to be big, and not truly “mobile”, but portable.

    The same people wanting a bigger iPhone are the one’s wanting a smaller iPad.

    I’d like to see someone’s dreams come true and let them have a 4″ iPhone and a 7″ iPad.

  4. I have a hot piece of news for everyone here:

    “Ballmer’s Left Nut” is, in fact, a guy who posted under the name “StockBoy” several years ago. At that time he criticized and condemned everything Apple did and proclaimed–no, GUARANTEED–that AAPL was going to tank from the low 100’s and settle forever at $40 per share.

    His idol and mentor at the time was Laura Goldman, and I used to engage him (and though him HER) at every turn. Then, when AAPL began to soar into the stratosphere and head into the 200’s and 300’s he suddenly disappeared from this site.

    Well, HE’S BACK NOW . . . but under the BLN monicker. Same brains, different name. Nothing to see or read from him.

    1. Thanks for the info, Randian.

      I well remember “StockBoy” and his stupid posts. Just confirms my conviction to disregard anything / everything BLN posts.

    2. I appreciate the information, and I am curious as to how you discovered the linkage to StockBoy.But BLN has already been flagged as a total crotch monkey. I don’t need any more reason to ignore him.

  5. I thought the larger screen was necessary to cover the large size of the 4G chip. I can’t imagine Apple adopting 4G until they improve its power consumption, and reduce its size.

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