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Rumor: Apple leaping to 4.6-inch screen on 2012 iPhone

updated 11:35 pm EDT, Wed March 21, 2012

Claim has Apple breaking iPhone screen size mould

A contentious rumor late Wednesday had Apple leaping to a 4.6-inch screen for the next iPhone. The Maeil Business Newspaper had Apple making its first part orders ahead of spring plans, dropping the familiar 3.5-inch size for the first time in five years in favor of a size comparable to the Galaxy Nexus. Unlike Samsung, though, Apple would keep its shorter but wider ratio, and would keep using an LCD instead of AMOLED.

The larger panel would hike the price, although DisplaySearch data had the difference being about $3 US.

Such a rumor is very much unconfirmed and has historical reasons to suggest it might be false or misinterpreted. A plethora of "iPhone 5" cases had shown up with roughly a four-inch screen in mind, even just weeks before the iPhone 4S appeared. As Chinese case makers are known to pay off staff at Foxconn to leak legitimate Apple designs, they may reflect plans Apple had for a larger screen before backing off.

Other rumors, which themselves would be corroborated by all the larger cases, have raised the possibility that the late Steve Jobs objected to a larger screen size as splintering the iPhone platform. Even if it kept the same resolution, it would change the required sizes for interface elements.

Ergonomics has been cited as a problem: phones like the Galaxy Nexus are big enough that it's often difficult or impossible to reach all parts of the screen in one-handed use. A different ratio might compensate for this, although it could make the phone too wide and create the same problems faced by the five-inch LG Optimus Vu.

Whether any truth exists to the claim, pressure has mounted for Apple to up the screen size. It would both reflect the realities of the smartphone market's preference for larger screens as well as the shifting role of smartphones. Where calls were still important in 2007, many smartphone users are more focused on the web, text, and apps than voice.

by MacNN Staff



  1. DaJoNel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Just keep spreading those rumors... Better not quit your day job!

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There should be 2 iPhones

    One a bit larger than the current model(3.8"?) but not too much so as to keep current users happy, and one smaller; sort of like a Nano version.

    The Nano Phone would in itself create a whole new category. Maybe even a different screen aspect ratio just to make it more portable.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I like

    the new, reasonable, non-trollish Arne. Please keep it up.

  1. chas_m




    Obviously I could be wrong, but the new screen will have to have a Retina Display for iPhone, and Apple's already locked in the resolution and ppi that requires. So I doubt they're going to make a huge, expensive jump like that. Four inches much more likely IMHO, yes, the bearpaw Android models will have a bragging point for bearpaw customers, but women and normal people will keep buying the iPhone like crazy.

  1. facebook_Sabrina

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    Good thing

    Good to know about it. Waiting for it.

  1. Orbifold

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too big for my pocket

    If they have to make it that big for battery life with LTE it won't work for me. Google gave me an HTC EVO which was almost that big and it was too big to carry in my pocket.

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Its a way to trick Apple cloners into building oversized POS. While those idiots are busy mucking and slapping together their Frankenphone, Apple is busy, quietly working on the next blockbuster version.

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Joined: Dec 1969



    . . . chance.

  1. ASathin8R

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bigger screen please!

    ....just that 4-inches is ideal - 4.3-inches max. But it really boils down to resolution and how Apple can increase the screen size without creating too many problems for developers...

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $3 is a hike????

    Any way...won't happen. Closer to 4" screen is more likely.

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