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iPhone 6 could be one-handed 5-inch device, report claims

updated 10:14 am EDT, Tue October 29, 2013

Apple may attempt to play up current iPhone advantage

Apple may give the iPhone 6 a 5-inch, 1080p display, but design it such that people can still use it one-handed, claims Japanese magazine Mac Fan. A number of smartphones -- like the Galaxy S4 -- are already at or over the 5-inch mark, but are so wide that one or both hands have to be dedicated to holding them. The iPhone 6 may get around this by making its side bezels as "thin as possible," presumably taking design cues from the iPad mini and iPad Air. On the Mini, at least, Apple uses palm detection technology to allow people to rest part of their hands on-screen without making accidental taps or gestures.

The iPhone 5s and 5c still feature 4-inch displays in an era when most competing phones are at least 4.5 inches. Apple has tried to spin this to its advantage by pointing out that an iPhone can still be used single-handed. A one-handed 5-inch display would allow Apple to both compete with rivals and retain a distinct feature.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-27-09

    Ridiculous. Physics is physics and hands haven't changed proportions since Neanderthal was still around.

    I have largish hands and can only barely touch the top right of the screen on the current phone when using one handed. If you completely eliminate the side bezels, that still only gets you to 4.5" and a lot of people will already have areas they can't reach. To make a 5" screen, even without side bezels again, the phone would have to be a full half inch wider and considerably taller as well. There would be large areas that are not reachable at all in that scenario.

    If the report had said that Apple was making a bigger phone, then maybe they are, but it says they are making a bigger phone that can also be used one handed and that's simply impossible. So ... doubt entire report.

  1. azrich

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-19-10

    Personally, I suspect 5" is a bit large. 4.3" @ 16:9 is kinda tall already.

    I've thought about this. It could be this simple. As long as you can support the device in one hand and have your thumb work from a corner you can do this. Cluster controls in the lower right corner for right handed users. You might even be able to work a whole keyboard this way.

    If Apple puts out a huge screen then there will certainly be a new way of interacting with it.

  1. mgpalma

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 09-27-00

    I love the size of the iPhone, as is. If I want a bigger screen, there's the iPad mini. Having the option is fine, but frankly I find the desire to plaster a book next to your head to make a phone call ridiculous at best. Though it does provide me something to laugh at when I see people with these 'superior big screen' phones glued to their faces. ;)

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I'm all for a 4.3-4.5" iPhone (and I mean the diagonal screen size). This would make the iPhone ~2.5 in wide and still within the ergonomics of a single hand operation, in my opinion.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Apple and their 'Me Too' large phone.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by wrenchyView Post

    Apple and their 'Me Too' large phone.

    Every Android fanboy's fantasy.

    Not Apple's.

  1. RockoBoffo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-12-13

    You all generally seem to be treating the operation of a phone with being able to touch ever corner of its screen - as if they were synonymous concepts.

    Imagine this, you have a 50" plasma television, and you somehow operate it with a remote control much smaller in size than the entire screen. I expect if I go to your home I'm going to find finger prints on every inch of that television, but trust me, it's possible to operate it within a much smaller area.

    Now I'll grant you - Apple doing something with the OS so that you can operate a 5" screen using a 4" space - is out there. It's out of the box. It may not work - they may not take that route.

    But, you know, until we see the device we don't know what Apple has in mind.

    But I really don't need 5" of controllable area on my phone, what I need is 5" of screen when I watch my movies - it's more pleasant. or 5" of screen when web browsing, you know I can use two hands when I've stopped to web browse...I"m not dismissing one handed operation - but you have to know when you need it, and what you are doing when you need it - can can Apple get those functions within the 4" usable area - I think they could, if they wanted.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    If you have a 5" phone, it would be profoundly stupid to use only the lower two-thirds of that.

    The point is that a phone that cannot be operated with one hand doesn't qualify as a phone for many usage cases.

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