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A reason why the iPhone display may stay at 3.5"

0. phoneArena 31 Oct 2011, 19:58 posted on

Many complain that the iPhone display needs to get bigger, but there is a very specific Steve Jobsian reason why the display is 3.5 inches, and it's a reason why the phone may stay that way...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:57 2

31. earle.evans (Posts: 27; Member since: 07 Mar 2010)


What is the possibility that due to the size of the phone overall, the placement of palm restricts the distance the thumb can travel? Thus, a phone that is not just larger in screen, but in size overall could conceivably limit how far your thumb could come over the top.

posted on 01 Nov 2011, 14:43

147. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Perfectly agree, unless you are the "I'm just asking for my phone to fall and crack" crowd that walks while balancing a larger phone on your fingers to allow extra thumb reach.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:18

5. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)


An example on a baby thumb is for iPhone and adult thumb is for Galaxy S II.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:24 11

6. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


1)this news is old.. quit slouching!! lol

2) even on the "mock up" the circles are not the same. They are about the same radius from edge to screen, but top to bottom they are obviously difffent with the iphone having the LARGER radius.

This was done by someone with a personal preference, not a point to prove.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:30 2

10. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


I am beginning to wonder why I continue to come to this site for an unbiased approach to mobile phone journalism.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:42 2

19. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)


It's old news, but something we hadn't posted here before, and it adds an interesting element to the argument. It's definitely the kind of detail that Jobs would push for.

Of course, no one in the comments seems to understand the term "average", because we just keep seeing the same "well MY thumb is long enough for a 4.3" screen, so obviously EVERYONE must be the same as ME."

Ugh...

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:47

24. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Not at all, but who holds their phone at the very base of their thumb? When I hold my phone it rests on my fingers, allowing my thumb to reach the full extent of the screen.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:51

27. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)


yeah, i covered this below.

posted on 01 Nov 2011, 14:48

148. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Actually the drawing is spot on.

Because the SGSII is wider. When gripping the phone, usually your fingers are on the far edge of the device, and your palm curls around the other end. Your thumb can't curl as easy around a wider device. Therefore, your thumb doesn't have as much room to freely rotate as much as a less-wide device allows.

Unless you attempt balancing the device on your finger tips, thus increasing thumb rotation and reach. This is hardly practical when walking.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:25

7. iankellogg (Posts: 155; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Hey man, it isn't big enough unless you can get two hands on it.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:43 3

20. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I can't believe it took this long to get that kind of comment. I had to be so careful while writing to not use awkward phrasing.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:52 6

28. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


thats what she said :)

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:16 2

46. biophone (Posts: 1976; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Everytime there is a discussion on size there is bound to be a remixfa comment thats what she said : ). I would like to meet this woman who says all these things.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:17 5

47. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


you dont know taco's mom?

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:24 3

54. biophone (Posts: 1976; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


We should all hold tacos mom in high esteem for dealing with such a vocal son

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:34 2

63. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


im sure she locks him in the basement while he watches blue elf porn.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:39 2

69. biophone (Posts: 1976; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Hey there is nothing wrong with elf porn:)
Lol

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 23:16

86. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


+10 bajillion OMGROFLMAO

posted on 01 Nov 2011, 00:13

91. NVPMOTHAF (Posts: 78; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)


That's the funniest thing I've read thus far

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:27 2

8. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


The problem with the mockup above, is that it assumes you place your phone at the base of your thumb. I have a 4.3" screen, and can reach every corner of the screen without problem. Did the author even attempt to validate the mockup at all?

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 20:47 4

23. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Have you done the full work needed to disprove this? It's AVERAGE hand size, so just your hand and the way you hold it isn't enough. People with smaller hands need to hold the entire phone deeper into the palm, which means closer to having your thumb at the side of the phone. Those of us with bigger hands, or better dexterity can hold the phone more on our fingers, and therefore will be able to reach a larger area of the screen.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:01 3

37. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


And so because some guy drew a mockup, I have to actually do work to disprove it? A little detective work and an UNBIASED approach is all I'm asking for. Instead we get another biased point of view (as evidenced by the inaccurate mockup) that shouldn't have made it past a journalist's edit.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:08 5

42. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)


You have no responsibility until the moment you decide it's necessary to call BS on it. At that point, you need a better argument than just "it works for me".

I felt this was worth posting, because regardless of if the specifics are completely accurate, it is a good illustration of the types of details that often drove the design decisions from Steve Jobs' point of view. So, if it turns out to be true, it provides an interesting insight into why Apple designed it's products as it has, and why it hasn't changed that design.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:34 2

62. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Initially I gave my perspective, yes. But the second point remains.. the mockup is inaccurate and biased.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:37 2

66. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The mockup may be inaccurate, but that doesn't prove bias, and it also doesn't prove that the idea behind the mockup is incorrect either.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:53 1

72. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Nor does it prove it is correct, and the fact that it is most assuredly an inaccurate mockup certainly doesn't lend credence to it. Correct or not, if the next i*hone comes out with the same screen size, many people will view it as a big let down.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 22:10 1

77. maxican16 (Posts: 364; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


And I disagree, the very fact that it's inaccurate proves the mockup is biased.

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 01:14

161. jazzman11 (Posts: 2; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


It works for me :) and that's all I need to know

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:07 4

41. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


just out of curiosity.. what is "average"? average male? average female? average combined? and what is that "average"measurement.

Just going by the last few polls here where the large majority in one poll said that the screen was the biggest issue to be fixed, and then in another poll voted the large screen android phones the next likely purpose by nearly 90% says that the "average" hand its quite fine with a 4+ inch screen.

That last poll had what.. 4000-5000 votes in it before it closed? Thats more than most national political surveys by far and well more than the average poll quoted by PA or other sites. So as far as validity from the sample size goes, it was quite valid. So thumb swipe size or not, screen size is more important than "1 handing" it all the time.

Just as a validation, medically I use a "large" surgical glove.. which is pretty average for a male to use. Ive seen more "XL" gloves pulled for males than "Medium" gloves.. so its a fair assumption to say that the "large" glove size is the male adult average.
Most of us know that I use a Tmobile Vibrant 3g as my main phone. Holding it in my hand right now, i can make a comfortable swiping motion from the home button, across to the far side bezel, and up to where the reciever speaker is. Concidering I can "Swype" comfortably one handed, Id say thats a pretty fair screen size for me. This would be my ideal comfort 1 handed phone at 4 inches (technically, whatever the phone diagonal spec is since i can 1 hand most all of it) My max screen size that i KNOW im comfortable one handing is 4.3 with the current phone configurations. The Tmobile Hercules 4.52inch is definitely stretching it for me for any type of one handed use.. thats a guaranteed 2 hander for me..

So just off of my own assessments, off of the polls that have been on PA and elsewhere, and life experience, I would have to say that the 4 inch screen size is going to be most people's "sweet spot" between size and function.

The trick is also not the screen size itself but the size of the actual phone. The SGS1 as a reference, if it were all screen it would be around 5 inches and i could still one hand 85% of it. The 3.5 screen on the iphone is small because they lack the technology to increase the screen size without losing the "retina" moniker, not because of "thumb size".
Knowing SJ's reputation, he was more held back by the possibility of losing 1 PPI in pixel density more than he was about keeping the same size phone and increasing the screen size.

posted on 31 Oct 2011, 21:10 1

43. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2705; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I would assume "average" means average human hand, meaning male and female. I'd also assume that any poll we've run didn't have many females voting in it, which would push our average hand size bigger.

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