iPhone 6 rumored to get 4.7 and 5.5-inch displays

iPhone 6 rumored to get 4.7 and 5.5-inch displays

Summary: A research firm reports that the iPhone 6 could ship with a 5.5-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, yielding a density of 401 pixels per inch (ppi). It's about time.

TOPICS: Apple, iPhone

One of the most frequent criticisms of the iPhone is that its screen is too small and Apple might finally be addressing the iPhone's puny screen size relative to other competing smartphones. The current iPhone 5s ships with a 4-inch display with 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 PPI.

By comparison the Motorola Moto X ships with a 4.7-inch screen and the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Google Nexus 5 ship with 5-inch displays. And they're getting even bigger. The forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 is rumored to ship with a 5.25-inch display. The Galaxy Note 3 comes with a larger 5.7-inche screen pushing it into "phablet" territory.

iPhone 5s vs. Galaxy S4 vs. Nexus 5 - Jason O'Grady
Photo: PhoneArena.com

Research firm DisplaySearch reports in their new Quarterly Worldwide FPD Shipment and Forecast Report reports that Apple is likely to launch two new versions of next-generation iPhone with two larger display options. According to the report Apple will launch a 4.7-inch model with 1600×900 resolution, 386ppi and LTPS TFT LCD display technology. A larger version of the "iPhone 6" could pack a 5.5-inch display with 1920×1080 resolution at 401 PPI utilizing the same display technology.

While I find the 4-inch screen on my iPhone 5s perfect for my needs, it seems downright puny compared to my second phone, a Moto X. Large screened smartphones aren't for everyone though. I know a number of users that don't like 5-inch smartphones because they become unwieldy and don't fit in pockets and small purses. Large phones also start to encroach on tablet and notebook territory and many users prefer a more "pocketable" phone and simply switch to their tablet when they want to look at photos and videos. 

It's important that Apple diversify into two screen sizes on the iPhone 6. It provides options for both camps and addresses the growing screen-envy problem that Samsung and Google/Motorola are clearly capitalizing on.

What's your sweet-spot for a smartphone display size? 

Topics: Apple, iPhone

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  • Funny...

    After using reality distortion to convince people that 3.5 inches was the "perfect" size for human hands, they finally surrender.

    Can't wait to see their marketing justification now.
    • oh?

      Galaxy S4 Mini. Enough said.
      • For a brief moment... Apple dominated

        During the decline of Blackberry (which you could argue, the iPhone caused) and before the rise of Android - for a brief period, the iPhone was dominant. They controlled the smarphone paradigm - what they did, everyone had to follow, because people vote with their wallets. People were demanding iphone-like things, and so everyone produced iphone-like things.

        However, the same mechanisms that caused Blackberry to decline - Apple is now guilty of! Stagnation, the belief that their hardware paradigm is perfect and no one would possibly want anything different, therefore we aren't going to change it significantly save for a few token changes to quiet the critics a little bit... it's the same game that Blackberry was playing right up until they themselves started panicking.

        At least Apple has proven they are smarter than Blackberry in this way - once Android started leading the smartphone paradigm, Apple HAS begun to copy "Android-like features" so that it didn't feel as obsolete as a pre-BBX Blackberry device. Increasing screen size is simply another smart thing to do.
        I don't care who you are - you need customers.

        Apple has limited the hardware available to it's customers.
        Android has not - your "Galaxy S4 mini" comment is ironic - it's a choice, that people have available to them on the Android side - and you'll note the tiniest minority of people choose that option. Most people choose (key word) a larger screen. Apple customers simply don't have that choice.
        And that partly explains why they've lost the lead and are now in 2nd position in a 2 horse race (Windows Phone with it's piddly sub-5% marketshare isn't even in the race).

        So - thanks for helping prove the point.
        • Android innovation?

          For people like myself, it is a very desirable to have a larger screen, but innovation? A larger screen is NOT innovation. it is merely a larger screen.
          • Apple innovation?

            Rectangles, rounded corners, fingerprint reader, icons, and touch screens aren't innovation either , unless Apple says so.
          • Baloney

            Oh please, like this hasn't been said before over and over and over again. With only 20 percent of the market big phones, and big phones looking stupid and not fitting in pockets easily, the whole idea is just nuts.

            I do think my iPhone 4s was a bit small, once I saw the iPhone 5 and 5s, but it's right about the perfect size now. Much bigger and I don't want it. Too big. Now a bit thicker to give us better battery lives? Yeah, I'm all for that. But bigger screen? Nope, I have an iPad already.
          • Exactly!

            Although I now have an iPhone 5S, I still prefer the 4/4S form factor (but not the weight). I got the 5S because I wanted the better camera (I know, if I want a better camera, I should buy a camera, but I don't want to carry an addition dual function device (stills and video) and faster speed not to mention I wanted the speed of LTE.

            Why do people want larger screens? Simple, so that they can have a phone that doubles as a tablet, thus the phablet was born(e)
          • The real innovation with larger screens...

            is a mobile OS that has a scalable UI which isn't resolution dependent so that larger screens is not a problem with apps as is the case with iOS.
            Android scalability is the real innovation behind the innovations.
          • Nonsense, as usual

            All resolution independence gets you is small phone apps blown up onto larger screens because the developers now can't be bothered with different versions to take advantage of different form factors. This is NOT a benefit.
          • SO a good OS...

            is one that is resolution dependent and encourages developers to bitmap the UI for each form factor.
            welcome to 80's programming.
    • It will happen

      I don't recall the exact number, but something like 20% of smart phones sold have screens 5 inches or bigger. Apple cannot continue to ignore that segment. The iPhone is great, but the selection sort of sucks. The choice is either the newest model, last years model covered in plastic or the 2-3 year old model that is outdated.

      Adding two screen sizes on phones that are current (not 1-3 years old) will be make it tough for Apples competition.

      As you point out it will be funny to see the fanatics spin the new iPhone screen sizes as the definition of what a perfect phone has.
      • "the selection sort of sucks"

        For whom? A great deal of the iPhone's success comes from Apple's restraint on form factor. It makes the iPhone easier to support for Apple from the OS side, for developers from app side, for retailers from the marketing side, and for customers from buy side.
        • Let's not forget accessories

          Easier for accessory makers to build around a few standard sizes instead of 100.
        • "the selection sort of sucks ??? LOL What Selection???

          One phone....5 revisions.

          Two phones if you want to count the Iphone C.
          • Of course the timing is probably more sales strategic than you may think...

            Apple makes tons of money on selling a new phone to its millions of current IPhone owners.

            Apple may have waited to sell as much of the last revsion of the IPhone, before coming out with yet another version that many recent buyers will "Have to have".

            Think of who you know will be jumping in line to replace their newly purchased IPhone5S with a larger screen.

            It's pretty ingenious really, and this is why Apple has Billions.....Billions in the bank.

            I'm sure they laugh at how quickly many people rush to part with their money, only be first on their block to have the newest revision of cell phone.

            The old adage is true IMO.

            A fool and his money are quickly parted.

            ~Best wishes keeping what you earned.
          • Strangely, they continue to make even more money...

            by selling to former Android users as well. Each year, Apple sells more iPhones than the previous year. I don't see this trend stopping any time soon.
          • That's just plain dumb

            As the only alternative to your scenario is for phone makers (ALL of then) to stop making new models.
          • You miscounted.

            Imagine that. Okay let's get a realistic count based on form factors.

            iPhone 2G - 1

            iPhone 3G/3GS - 1

            iPhone 4/4S - 1

            iPhone 5/5S - 1

            iPhone 5C - 1

            So 5 phones with 1 revision for 3 models.

            Choice is a wonderful thing as 3 of those models are available right now at various price points. Interesting thing is that even with Apple being a close second to Android Apple is crushing it on profit - the Android OEMS are running razor thin profit margins. And Apple devices are still the benchmark - no one is saying what is going to be the latest "note killer" but are after the latest "iPhone killer" and thus far the iPhone is not dead.
          • iphone killer?

            every premium phone kills the iphone, so nobody says iphone killer now since it is standard.
          • Since the iPhone ain't dead, those so-called 'premium phones'...

            aren't doing their job.