Why Apple will likely roll out iPhones with bigger screens in 2014

“There’s growing speculation that Apple Inc. will roll out iPhones with bigger screens next year, a move that some experts say makes sense given trends in a steadily evolving mobile market,” Benjamin Pimentel writes for MarketWatch.

“In fact, Apple may not have any choice if the tech giant wants to stay competitive, some analysts say,” Pimentel writes. “‘We believe that screen size is becoming a more important feature to mobile devices given the inherent advantages for media and content consumption,’ Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Douglas Clinton told clients in a note last week. ‘We believe that screen size is one of the top two factors in consumers opting for Android devices over an Apple device in the U.S.'”

“‘The real reason is Asia,’ Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White told MarketWatch,” Pimentel writes. “‘What’s happening over there is consumers prefer 4-inch to 5-inch screens. So Apple missed out on some market share opportunities. In the last 18 months, the trend of these 4-inch to over 5-inch screen sizes in smartphones has really accelerated.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple developing two iPhones with bigger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch curved displays for Q314 – November 10, 2013
Analyst: Apple to launch ‘iPhone 6′ with larger screen as soon as Q214 – October 10, 2013
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claims Apple’s iPhone 6 will offer a 4.8-inch Retina display – October 7, 2013
Apple’s worst kept secret: Bigger iPhones in 2014 – September 7, 2013

68 Comments

  1. who are these clowns? talk about an overworked exercise in mental onanism. I think AAPL is on the right track with the product differentiation of the 5s/5c/4s, and the thoughtful trade in and finance program in emerging markets like India. Not a hurkin’ phablet.

      1. Nothing wrong w/Apple adding another size iphone (as they did w/ipods and ipads). Jus hope they somehow keep the current size as well for those wantg a smaller/compact version

        1. I concur. I have posted the same thing in the past. Some people start screaming “iPhone fragmentation.” But there are two sizes of MBP, two sizes of MBA, two sizes of iPad, and several different iPod models (after starting with just one). Why not add a second iPhone size if that is desired by a lot of consumers? As long as Apple maintains the same number of display pixels as the current iPhone 5s/c (i.e., reduce the ppi for the larger screen), there won’t be any fragmentation. If Apple want to maintain ppi for a larger iPhone display, then it could either change the aspect ratio (as Apple did in the transition from the iPhone 4s to the 5), accept a new display format (app fragmentation), or finally implement some level of resolution independence/autoscaling.

          1. Choice is the issue. Those that argue that a small screen size is all they need are correct. However, saying that a small screen size is what everyone needs is incorrect. There are different reasons for both sizes. I for one have a hard time reading the iPhone font, especially in the evening when my eyes are tired. I would love the larger screen size. Give us the choice of small or large screen size, PLEASE!!

          2. The Macbooks have a history of different resolutions. Apps weren’t designed to the screen size. They were designed to scale (within reason).

            This is a case where iPhone’s strengths have become its weakness. A fixed size. While it offered a comforting framework for developers, it didn’t force developers to think of what happens when you scale the app. It DID make the iPad ecosystem more robust, but it means that changes are more painful.

            It’s all about carefully treading down the fragmentation road. Android, in my opinion, has the right idea when it comes to phones. Make everything flexible. Apple should have strongly encouraged or REQUIRED most assets to be vector graphics and layouts to be percentage based, aside from games.

        2. I couldn’t agree more! I have an iPad and an iPhone, why would I want a large iPhone?

          The iPhone is for portability and keeping in my pocket. When I want a large screen I use the iPad. Also my wife doesn’t carry a purse and hates how phone size has been creeping upward. I’m glad I’m a guy and have decent sized pants pockets. Have you ever tried to cram anything into the pants pockets of a woman? Pockets on women’s clothing is just decoration most of the time. If you want a large butt phone, then I hope you get what you want, I just hope Apple keeps around the small smartphone (even the 5s is starting to get awkward in the pocket).

          People complain about companies oversizing everything, yet they claim they want the iPhone oversized? Go figure.

  2. Apple will make up for “lost time” quickly when larger phones are introduced. Of course that’s more of a peril for Android since Apple already makes the lion share of profits. But might as plunder some more away from Shamelessdung & BoonGoggle.

    1. Why does it need to exist?
      The killer app is making phone calls. How will a large screen help you make a better phone call?
      If you want a large screen to watch movies on, on the go, there is another device that is perfect for that…

        1. Because an iPhone fits easily in your pocket… A phoblet does not. Simple as that.
          Form -follows- (not leads or determines) function; that means it needs to function as a phone first and that requires that it be easily carried.
          Phoblets fail at the word go.

      1. My daughter has had her iPhone 4s for about a year and almost never makes an actual phone call. Many people, especially younger people, choose to communicate via text messaging, tweets, etc., rather than voice. That is rather ironic considering that we used to believe that a videophone was the next logical step. Instead, we are backing away from even the audio.

        Telephony is a required function on cell phones, but not a “killer app.”

        1. But that just defeats what you just said about needing a larger screen.

          Others may make a larger screen phone but they aren’t overtaking the market by a long shot. It might get the press, but it’s not getting the numbers. Muenster and others can spout it as much as they want but it doesn’t make it true…

      2. Wrong. Making phone calls on a smartphone is, believe it or not, a SECONDARY function. It’s an important secondary function, but a secondary one nonetheless for MANY people.

        In the same way the the killer app for computers is the ability to connect to the internet via web browser, and no longer desktop publishing software… or before that. the command line… or before that the text editor.

        The Smartphone killer app is it’s ability to connect to the internet wirelessly and from most places. Making a phone call is secondary and I bet if you looked into usage stats, you’d find people use their browser, play games, text message and email all more more than they use the phone capabilities.

  3. I know folks that have small businesses and bought ipads to take with them on calls, but ended up just using their phones for a lot of their work. Carrying around multiple devices is inconvenient for some. A smartphone will be the go-to or only device for many for a while to come, so a bigger screen as the sole gadget makes sense for a lot of people, not just for financial reasons like in developing countries, but for practical reasons too.

  4. If Apple follow the silly phablet trend I hope the still offer the current 4 inch. I was looking forward to a bigger screen prior to the iPhone 5 and was disappointed when they came out with the a screen only a bit taller but after handling some android monstrosities I have no intent to own a phablet. They good to use for web browsing ect on the couch but not as good as an iPad and a silly size for a phone.

    1. I think Apple is moving toward a larger screen with the iPhone 6. It makes sense because the 4S will be dropped, leaving the 5C, 5S and larger 6.

      The real question will be the size. I don’t see Apple getting into the 5″ market, but something like a 4.3″-4.7″ screen so that it is wider than the 5/5S size and slightly taller. This would be particularly true if, as the article says, Asia (and especially China) is moving toward larger screen phones. Remember, China Mobile just obtained its 4G licensing, so the door is now wide open through China Mobile for large volume iPhone sales.

  5. Apple isn’t going to waste its time with a true “phablet” (5″ or larger) phone. That’s such a niche market that it wouldn’t be worth Apple’s time–as Samsung recently proved with the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 makes up only a few percentage points of its total sales (and only 10% of their premium phone sales).

    I can, however, see Apple releasing something above 4.5″ (maybe just shy of 5″), but it remains to be seen. But it saddens me to see so many people gravitating for these cartoonishly large phones …

    1. Yeah, in the early ’90s we had bag phones, and couldn’t wait for something smaller. I still like smaller. But I do want my iPad to be 13″. But that’s not intended to be carried around in my pocket all the time.

  6. One advantage of slightly larger screens is the larger widgets on the screen. It might be a smart idea for Apple to allow some customization of the screen too, say with larger apps with less on each panel.
    5″ would be the max though.

  7. I held off buying the iPhone 5S because in terms of usability it is no better than the iPhone 5. The 4″ screen is still too small and I’m not convinced with the 16:9 screen ratio, being too tall on one side. A 4.8″ screen and a ratio closer to that of the iPad would be great.

    1. At least your arguments about screen size and aspect have made sense from a personal perspective. But I have nothing but contempt for those who scream about competitive advantage and market share, neglecting the only really important thing — personal useability. Apple has a winning formula, one that does not mandate that they leap to conform to abstract market pressures. One day they’ll make the ideal phone for you, BLN. On that day, I’ll ring you from my 3.5 inch iPhone, and we can laugh about all the silliness.

      1. Yeah. Here’s the thing they aren’t looking at. A bigger screen is not really an advantage. It may be bigger but it’s also…bigger. That’s a drawback to portability. So really it’s just different. And what you have is people who have bought these cheaper phones because they are cheap or can’t afford an iPhone. They likely won’t point to that reason as the deciding factor. They are gojng to say it’s something about the screen size. Me? When I want a bigger iPhone screen. I just hold it about an inch closer to my face and then comfortably put it back in my pocket.

    2. The reality of this is that an larger iPhone “middle age edition” wouldn’t really be larger screen, (as in more content like the iPads) just the same retina iPhone screen resolution only magnified a bit. (they could not introduce a yet another new resolution phone, particularly given that the phoblet segment is minor market share)

      The only people such a product helps is those unwilling to wear reading glasses. Those with unaffected close vision or willing to correct their vision, can read a regular retina screen just fine without enlarging it and making it difficult to carry

  8. Yes, Apple will likely roll out big-screen phones because a lot of analysts speculate that they will. Yes, that’s sound analysis. The more one speculates, the more likely a thing will happen. Magical thinking, by Wall Street analysts no less.

    S o o o t i r e d o f t h i s m e m e . . .

    dmz

      1. No, an iPad is too big. iPad mini, perhaps, but a slightly larger (4.3″-4.7″) iPhone 6 could be the sweet spot for gamers.

        I’m talking about using the device as a gaming controller in particular, with the games streamed to a large TV via AppleTV.

  9. My prediction: they’ll release a larger screen phone when ready, and when it does come out, it will be considerably different than the 4″. I mean in terms of software, but of course hardware differences may exist if Apple deems them necessary.

    Apple never does important things (like a new product line) the easy way. They’ve been building this thing (if it exists) for several years at least.

    Whenever you think Apple won’t do something, remember: Apple switched to Intel.

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