Don’t expect Apple to deliver a 5.5-inch iPhone

“Rumors are abundant with new screen sizes with for the iPhone 6,” E. Werner Reschke writes for T-GAAP. “The rumors continue to pour in that Apple will launch the iPhone 6 with a 4.7″ screen and a 5.5″ one. It is that later rumor [with which] I take issue. 5.5″ is really a tweener product. It’s a tablet and a phone, or as people like to call it, a “phablet”. The problem is that it makes a really awful phone. It’s almost like holding your shoe up to your head for talking.”

“Looking back at the first Motorola ‘brick’ phones, we all laugh how large, how heavy and how silly people look with those monsters next to their heads. Do you think Apple wants to go back that direction and have people laughing at their products? No,” Reschke writes. “Moreover, people in the phablet market are looking for two different devices merged into one. That has never been Apple’s way of doing things. Apple will continue to lead the smart phone market as well as the tablet market and let others fumble around and get laughed at when holding a 6″ device next to their head like the old Motorola brick phone.”

“Expect a well designed 4.7″ iPhone 6 to join the current screen size in the iPhone 5s line-up at WWDC or this summer,” Reschke writes. “Anything else would be, un-Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Users in emerging markets like China, Apple’s focus these days, cannot afford a smartphone and a tablet. They buy phablets for that reason. That is why Apple is strongly considering a 5.5-inch iOS device (Apple may not call it an “iPhone”) with traditional cellular voice-calling capability.

As for people looking for different devices merged into one:

Reschke’s prediction has been iCal’ed.

Related article:
Analysts expect Apple to finally offer iPhones with larger screens this year – April 21, 2014


    1. You are right, Apple doesn’t do bad tradeoffs. But expanding the screen size options does not create a bad product, it creates a product best suited for people who use their pocketable touch screens as pocketable computers first, and as phones a distant second.

          1. I have an iPad mini, I did not want a full sized iPad. I bought the mini to replace my e-ink Kindle. I felt like the Kindle was kind of the perfect size, and the iPad mini gave me a larger range of functionality (O’Rielly’s Safari Books Online for example.)

  1. Using a phone the size of a Samsung Galaxy note 3 is really not that bad to use or to put in a pocket of your clothing. I was almost tempted to go with an Androld Phone with a 5.5 inch display size before I decided that I wanted to stay with iOS and the iPhone 5S. And as Mac Daily News pointed out, people in Asia who use their phone as their one and only computing device really prefer the phones with the larger display.

      1. The same thing could be said about the current iPhone screen size. “It’s not that bad”.

        Remember Apple did go to a larger screen size with the iPhone 5. If customers are still requesting a larger screen, why wouldn’t Apple deliver?

        1. Yes, why didn’t Apple just stick with a 3 1/2 inch screen size? Why did they make a larger phone? They made it because people wanted it that’s why. And people want larger than 4 inches too. Clearly a 5 inch and probably a 5.5 inch phone also is what people want.

          1. Apple went with that 4-inch size because it didn’t take away from the phone’s usability. It still allowed one handed usage. It was a smart move on Apple’s part to add screen real estate without downgrading the user experience.

    1. “people in Asia … really prefer the phones with the larger display.”

      Where does this come from? As far as I understand, Samcopy, themselves, sell enormously more small, cheap phones than they do phablets.

  2. We have seen plenty of leaks for the 4.7 phone and none for a supposed 5.5 yet.
    I am with Reschke that we will not be seeing s 5.5 2014. The 4.7 is a pretty nice size and a big bump for Apple. If they do release a bigger one, I say early next year, spaced evenly in year to take the air out of all Samsung releases.

    1. Besides, I always have to point out that despite rumours it is never going to be 4.7/5.5 dichotomy as there is no way Apple will cease releasing normal-sized models. Bigger device is going to be an addition for those who want bigger screen at expense of need of second hand to operate devices and lesser mobility in pockets.

  3. What if you just use your earphones with the mic? What if all you do is text, email and Facebook and you rarely even make phone calls? The author’s analysis is premature bordering on infantile. Hell, we have many people around here who want to make calls with their iPad mini.

    Maybe this device won’t be an iPhone. Maybe it will be the iPad nano with telephony. But don’t tell me it’s not viable.

    1. Good point, well made. I’m waiting on the new iPhone to upgrade from my iP5, but I’ll wait to see what happens size-wise before jumping in this time. I love my iP4, and 5, but there are often occasions when I could really use a bigger screen, particularly when using the device for navigation, either using street-level satnav like CoPilot, or more detailed contour maps like the UK’s Ordnance Survey 1:50/25k maps; a larger, 5.5″ screen would be ideal. I rarely make phone calls, and receive even fewer, text, email and social media are my usual communication media, so I would abandon my idea of getting an iPad Mini for daily carry.
      I can, however, understand why those who use their phone a great deal would prefer the smaller screen size.
      It’s nice to have a choice.

  4. “Users in emerging markets like China, Apple’s focus these days, cannot afford a smartphone and a tablet”

    This argument may work only if Apple has plan to release “inexpensive” big iPhone. But I suppose that bigger iPhone 6 (“iPhone MAXI” or however it will be called) will be not cheaper than normal-sized iPhone 6.

    1. I know someone who uses his iPad mini as a phone just by running Skype on it. He connects via free WiFi hotspots whenever he needs to connect to the Internet. A cellular iPad mini would even relieve him of this burden, while giving him calling access, but he doesn’t even want to incur that $15/month charge.

      So, a gigantic Apple phone option already exists for those who wish to pursue it. They just have to use a third party Internet calling service, so I just don’t understand why Apple needs to move into the phablet arena.

      There are people like me who could make use of a slightly larger screen just because age is catching us with us, but a new mid-size phone/tablet device is of no interest to me.

  5. I do believe there will be a 5.5″ something but agree it may not be an iPhone. It could be the new iPod touch which makes sense. Personally, I think the iPod touch is too small today which is why I got my son an iPad for gaming and watching netflix. But, occasionally I wish he had something smaller so he can use it more discreetly.

    1. Tell your son that if he can’t use his iPad more discreetly, you will block the incoming porn.

      I told my son he would go blind if he didn’t stop. He said he would keep doing it until he needed glasses.

  6. While I’m interested in a slightly larger screen because of my failing vision, it must still fit easily into my normal jeans. The suggested 4.7″ screen may fill that desire nicely for me.

    The suggested 5.5″ model raises some interesting issues, not least of which is maintaining Apple’s quality. Samsung, and others, can crank out huge phones in plastic enclosures and still break even. But, how much case quality is Apple willing to forego to make the larger device affordable for people who, notably, can’t afford Apple’s products already? It seems very un-Apple for them to make a larger device that isn’t priced to maintain its quality and margins. That means a larger device will be more expensive. While the larger design would still be less expensive than an iPhone + iPad, it certainly wouldn’t be less expensive than a 5.5″ phone in a cheap plastic case running a free open source OS.

  7. I take issue with the author’s framing of the argument that “has never been Apple’s way of doing things” for make “two different devices merged into one”.

    What is an iPhone anyway? Isn’t it an iPod, a cell phone, and a whole lot more merged into one?

    For that reason alone, I dismiss this author’s entire argument.

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