iPhone 5, 4-inch Display: Pros and Cons
Posted on May 18, 2012
The rumors of the much anticipated 4-inch screen on the Apple iPhone 5 abound this week on the web. Since Reuters reaffirmed them yesterday, citing an anonymous source, it has become internet gospel and the source of countless artists’ mockups (some of the niftiest here on The Verge).
So how different is the reported new screen size? Apple’s Old Faithful screen size, 3.5 inches, is growing to a whopping 4-inch (on the diagonal) screen. And how can we visualize the increase? Some analogs for the actual size of that half-inch include.
- A half-inch ear gaug
- The hem on your pants (usually)
- A stack of about 10 pennies
- One half of an inch worm
For the ladies, the ½ inch barrel of a curling iron, for when you want those sassy spirals.
Really? Half of an inchworm is going to make a revolutionary difference in the way we interface with the world? Around the repair shop, we are not impressed. Really, how much difference can 10 pennies worth of screen size actually make? Apple doesn’t need to compete with Samsung’s Note, or the Android. Come on people, they’re Apple. They defined the smartphone. Heck, they invented it. Literally invented it. So in that spirit, let’s think of reasons to abandon this cockamamie scheme that Apple has apparently entered into.
- You’ll have to move your thumb to navigate the whole screen. We’ll lose the ability to swipe in a single motion.
- iPhones have always had a 3.5 inch screen. Always.
- A bigger phone? Less Pocket space? Who wants to hold a brick up to their ear? (It all depends on whether Apple will increase the size of the entire phone, or just the screen, as illustrated in our mockups above.)
- Crowding the other features: ear speaker, mic, camera, and Home button, especially if the rest of the phone stays the same size.
- The rumored smaller pill-shaped doc connector (what about all of my accessories??? Am I gonna hafta buy more adapters??)
- Rumored to be slimmer, or rounded, so you have to buy a new case. Again.
- A bigger screen could also require longer loading time. Not great when you’re trying to load a map.
But not so fast. In the interests of ‘journalistic integrity’ and fair and balanced blogging, maybe I should adopt the position of Devil’s Advocate and consider some of the benefits this increase in screen size. Consumers have begun to use their smartphones like we used to use laptops, for anything from watching videos to playing games, to reading the news to, DJing parties. Those little devices live in our pockets and backpacks and handbags. They go to the park and museum with us. We don’t like to be without them. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt if the screen was just a little bit bigger…
Samsung has, after all, managed to sell some 20 million Galaxy II devices, which boast a 4.8-inch display. And the fact that not all of my Con points are precisely related to the ‘screen size’ gives me pause. Maybe this isn’t the absolute worst idea I’ve ever heard…There are a few good points to a larger screen size, providing I won’t experience even the tiniest inconvenience way from the change.
- More room for Angry Birds.
- Good for guys, with large, clumsy fingers or “Sausage Hand Syndrome.”
- Bigger view when running the apps.
- Better gaming.
- Reduced eye strain. Seriously, I’ve found myself holding my phone closer and closer to my face to read it.
- Larger screens happen to be the hot trend right now.
- Better widescreen videos.
- More Message History at a glance.
- Bigger Maps.
- Fitting 4(!) more App Buttons on the Home Screen. Yesssssss. I can already feel my productivity skyrocketing.
- Screenshots (See the link to the Verge above.) Look at how much Internet you can fit onto that baby! Check out the ‘Safari.app’ photo.
- Now that I look at my 4S, it doesn’t reallllly seem to use all of that room around the screen, well, *ahem, efficiently. There’s kind of a lot of space by the home button and ear speaker. In fact, next to the Galaxy II, it seems downright clunky and tiny.
Shame on you, Apple, for making me feel clunky and tiny at the same time! How dare you? It makes me wonder why we simply didn’t have 4-inch screens to begin with. I guess that I will admit that I’ve been converted. In fact, I demand a 4-inch screen immediately. With production expected to start in August, and the device anticipated to be released (in high Apple Release-Date Tradition) in the fall, looks like I’m going to have to wait a few more months.
Looking at it this way, I’m willing to concede that maybe the change will do some good. As @HAL9000_ on Twitter points out:
“The iPhone 5 will have a 4 inch screen; Apple is finally admitting 3.5inches isn't enough, even if you do know how to use it.”
What do you think? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Does size really matter?
by Curtis Taylor, Tech Expert, Freelance Writer.