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The Internet is rife with speculation that Apple will release an iPhone with a larger screen. This has been going on for years. I doubt that Apple will ever release a significantly larger iPhone, as the device is designed for one-handed use and easy storage.
Should There Be a Larger iPhone?
For years, cell phones were designed to be as small and slim as possible. With the advent of smartphones, there is some justification to make the device bigger. Smartphones are small computers. A larger screen makes the device easier to use, up to a point. If the device is too big, as many are, it is no longer possible for most people to use the device with one hand. This is important, because you may have an umbrella, drink, food, leash or subway handle in the other hand. It also makes the device difficult to pocket.
The fact is, many smartphone manufacturers developed larger devices out of necessity. Many of the components are “off-the-shelf” and not really designed for smartphones. Apple delayed implementation of 4G networking because the components were not suitable for smartphones. Other devices need bigger batteries and more powerful processors, as the operating systems aren’t as efficient as iOS. All of these factors necessitated larger devices. The only option was to either make the device wider and longer, or increase the thickness. Either option has its advantages and disadvantages. A thicker device feels more bulky, but offers easy one-handed operation. A wider and longer device is more difficult to use with one hand. Both make pocketing the device more difficult.
Many smartphone manufacturers do offer “mini” versions of their large-screen models. These smaller smartphones typically offer very limited battery life and scaled-down functionality. The impetus for a larger smartphone is to house a bigger battery and larger components.
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a smartphone war going on. Pundits on both sides are touting the superiority of either platform. Since one faction has bigger screens, some people claim these are superior. The allegation is that Apple doesn’t have the competence to make a device with a larger screen. If one looks at market research, however, there is a right size for smartphone screens — no bigger than four inches.
Some people may want a large screen, even a phablet. Most people want, at most, a four-inch screen. Consumers want the device to fit in their pocket. While it’s nice to have screen size options, designing and manufacturing many different models negates economies of scale. If Apple did this, iPhones would cost more and would be less profitable.
Apple made the decision that if you want a device with a large screen, buy it from another manufacturer. The people complaining about the iPhone’s “small” screen size are not customers, for the most part. They are tech pundits. Most of them don’t even own an iPhone. Would they buy an iPhone if it had a five-inch screen? Probably not. They would just move on to another talking point. (Perhaps that Apple copied the larger size from a competitor.) Apple designs devices for consumers, not to placate tech bloggers. (continue…)