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The next iPhone might feature a screen that is less than 4", contrary to popular beliefs

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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The next iPhone might feature a screen that is less than 4
Despite persistent rumors that the screen on the next iPhone will be 4"-4.2", extrapolated from some hearsay, concept renders, or alleged leaked bezels, the almighty "upstream supply chain sources" of Digitimes report that this might turn out to be just the public's opinion on it.

They say that the screen will most likely be 3.5"-3.7", but the thinner bezel surrounding it is making it look bigger. Another nugget of info from the news piece is that the back of the phone will be crafted out of metal, not the easy to shatter and heavy glass it has now. The rest of the rumored specs are regurgitated - A5 dual-core processor, 8MP camera and uber-thin design.

If Apple has only upped the screen size to 3.7", or kept the size intact, the next iPhone will look and feel even more minimalistic, as it will be thinner, lighter and with unobtrusive display bezel. The main iPhone competitors lately are flagship Android handsets with massive 4"+ displays, so it will be interesting to see if a large screen has become something to aspire to in the last year or so, or Cupertino has hit the performance/usability sweet spot. Apple has shown numerous times that it can sell successfully with only incremental upgrades, not following trends, but it's hard to go back to a small screen once you've been lured to the dark side.

Analysts have pointed out that Apple is saving its spectacular screen gunpowder and LTE connectivity for the iPhone 6, or whatever the one after the 5th generation is called, so with the next iPhone it might have just aimed to keep the pixel density and resolution closer to current levels, without other bells and whistles, for developers' sake.

source: Digitimes

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posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:25 13

1. cheetah2k (Posts: 1578; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)

3.7" just doesn't cut it these days. 4" really is the perfect size that all manufacturers should be targetting.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:40 3

4. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

I have a 4.1" screen with the Motorola Triumph and the resolution sucks when compared against the iPod Touch 4G. I watched the same HD video on Youtube and it wasn't close. I got the Triumph to try out Android and to surf the web with its large screen. I will not buy the iPhone with a 3.5" screen but may consider a 3.7" screen.

Also not all 4" screen have the same viewing area since the aspect ratios are different. You can have a slender 4" screen without sizeable real estate.

My next cellphone must have retina display with a generous viewing area to surf the web.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:47 1

6. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Hi ardent1. Have you heard of the Nexus Prime? : )

And retina is not as important as it seems. Look at the SGS2. It's only 800*480 on a 4.3" display - but because it uses a special color matrix - the text does not appear pixelated.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 12:31 4

41. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

i am not sure u know what u mean on that... all the updated matrix does is add more red and blue pixels so that it looks the SAME as other screens of the same ratio... it doesn't make the screen any better than a simple 800x480 ... and although people don't think so,the retina display makes a huge difference with text.. although people get caught up in "retina"-- it is simply a moniker that means past 300 ppi which not very many phones have... and when u are watching an hd movie, it makes all the difference

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 03:33

66. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

What? Retina display is not as important as it seems? HAHAHAHAHA. What would you say if an android phone produces a phone with the retina display's resolution? I bet it would suddenly be so important huh, lol. Android fanboys are a crazy bunch, lol.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:01 7

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

Retina is a brand name from LG. All it means is it has a high pixel density. You are comparing a crap phone with a generic screen against a retina display... of course its going to look like crap beside it.

Look at the SGS2 with super amoled+, look at the sensation or Evo3d with QHD, then look at your moto and at the iphone. Super Amoled+, qHD, and Retina all look pretty similar. The difference is apple's retina display cant be achieved at larger screen sizes.. its a trick of the screen size. If you want a large screen size and keep it good looking, go for an SGS2, Nexus Prime, or an HTC phone that uses qHD.

You dont have to go smaller to achieve a nice looking screen.. you just have to know where to look. And no buying crap phones! :)

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:23 1

18. Bob (unregistered)

Qhd kinda blows...its no good because of the crappy pine tile matrix!!! Videos are even pixelated at times!!!! So forget qhd and omg everyone follow the ban wagon on the new sgs2!!!! Not

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:39 5

19. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4837; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)

What are you talking about? I have a qHD display on my HTC Evo 3D & I STILL never have seen any "pixelated video". So sir you lie. I have had the phone since it came out on June 24th & never have I noticed that. If you have noticed that on a video, then you saw a very low quality video. It's as simple as that. Sorry to burst your bubble BUT NO!

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:52 2

20. calamazoo (unregistered)

SAE, that's because HTC's qHD screens are using the regular RGB matrix, only Motorola uses the pentile matrix for qHD... even then, pixelated video is probably the result of crappy clip quality, not the display itself.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 08:00 2

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

thats exactly why i made the distinction and said "HTC qHD" :)

sorry, but I have pentile on my SGS1. Unless your nose is on the screen you dont notice it at all.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 08:00

22. Simba501 (Posts: 28; Member since: 06 Jul 2011)

qHD appears to only suck on the Atrix

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 03:35

67. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

You remix are an android fanboy. A monochrome display android device would look spectacular for you and would be better than the iphone's retina display, lol. You're a complete joke :-)

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 08:14 2

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

alright iDiot, if you going to call me out, where exactly did i diss your precious LG Retina display? I didnt.
The only joke is you and your instant "gotta attack" mentality without actually reading the comment your attacking.

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 13:58

75. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

I don't need to read your comments. It's a given already that it would be a hateful one against iDevices, lol.

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 14:04 1

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

commenting without reading. your officially dumber than Taco. He at leasts reads most of the time before saying something stupid.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:55 3

21. iKingTrust (banned) (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

I think 4" is over KILL

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 10:24 1

38. twenti7 (Posts: 152; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)

Try using something bigger for some common apps and web browsing. I thought my iPod Touch was pretty good (as well as my buddy's iPhone) until I got my EVO. After having a 4.3 inch screen, I will never buy a phone with a screen smaller than 4 inches. Yes, the display on the iPhone is gorgeous, but for me that small of a screen is almost unusable.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 13:40 2

45. NotTooBig (unregistered)

That's your opinion. Personally, I wouldn't carry anything that wouldn't fit in my pocket. The current iPhone size is perfect. I wouldn't want a huge case hanging off your belt like a geek.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 14:12 2

48. iKingTrust (banned) (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

I agree i have used my friends extra HTC for a day and its way too much. If i need big screen then i use my iPad. But i like my phone mobile. I cant stand brick phones.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 17:33 2

52. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

There is enough real estate in the current form factor to support a 4" screen. Basically the current shape won't change, but Apple will have to shift the layout of their phone.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 20:22

57. s (unregistered)

thank god it s not 4' otherwise apple would start to sue everyone that has a 4' screen because they have magically reinvented the big screens

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 14:23

80. iKingTrust (banned) (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

shut up

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:28 8

2. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

4 inch screen is for me the perfect size for a screen. Not too small, and not too big.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:02 2

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

the screens can get as big as they want with me... as long as the bezel keeps shrinking so the phones dont get any bigger. I'd say the galaxyS was about the perfect phone size for me, but there is still plenty of room for that screen to grow inside that phone by shrinking bezels.

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 03:38

68. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

Another uber biased comment from the blind android fanboy. Like I said, an android phone can have a 60inch display and it would still be a perfect size phone for a blind andoid fanboy like you, lol. What did you think of the Samsung Armani phone? LOL. I bet it was the perfect size back then huh? LOL.

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 08:17 1

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

what are you talking about? you really are showing how much like taco you really are. I didnt even mention that stupid iphone nor did i say anything about android, you iDiot. Screen sizes are UNIVERSAL.. Last I checked WP7, Bada, symbian, and the whole group used similar screen sizes.

OH yea.. to everyone exept ibots... ha, do i hear the sounds of jealousy that the iphone might still not be the average 4 inches? feeling below average? that would explain the unrequired hostilities.

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 14:23

81. iKingTrust (banned) (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)


posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:33 6

3. PhoneLuver (Posts: 481; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)

I completely agree with you! Why would anyone upgrade from an iPhone4? The only "real" new feature will be the 8MP camera.

To be quite honest, I'm getting very bored with my iPhone 4. I definitely wont buy a new one, just because it's thinner!

There has to be that 'something' extra!

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:43 5

5. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

If you're not going to buy a new iphone, i'd recomend you check out the Samsung Wave 3 to be launched at the Samsung Unpacked event on september 1st.
My guess is that it will have some really awesome specifications.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:54 2

8. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

The problem with Samsung phones is the lousy software. I had two previous Samsung phones and never upgraded to their smartphones because of their software. On paper Samsung products have great specs and super-amoled display is goregous, but I never got comfortable after demo-ing their products in the store.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:55 2

10. ilia1986 (unregistered)

That's why there are custom roms. : )

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:56 2

11. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

In fact, Samsung has really good software. I remember back in 2009 Samsung did not have very good software support, but in later years samsung has changed that, and are really good at software support.
And samsungs software is actually really good. Just check out bada 2.0.1 and you will see that samsungs software is in fact very good (i do agree though that android software is not the best)

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:06 4

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

samsung updates their software. Its the american cell companies that hold it up. If your outside of the americas, your samsung phone gets very regular updates.

That said, samsung also embraces the developer community. They gave away free SGS2's to the cyanogenmod team when they were released. Heck, they just hired cyanogen and the guys from MIUI to work on their software as real employees. They also leave the phones easily unlocked as well as constantly "leaking" the updates to samsungfirmwares.com.

They make it easy to get around carrier BS slowing down updates. You just have to be willing to do it. No other cell company does that.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:49 3

7. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

Besides a faster processor, lighter, thinner, easier to switch carriers, better antenna, better 8 MP shooter, better battery technology, new materials, new iOS, etc. -- just what extra else are you asking for? I will be thrilled if it came with a 3.7" retina display screen.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 06:54 3

9. ilia1986 (unregistered)

ardent1 - I think that the "iOS" part is what gets most people bored with the iPhone. Certainly got me.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:09 2

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

ardent, all those are guess speculations. we have no idea what the iphone5 will ACTUALLY have except for iOS5.

So far its biggest changes were supposed to be dual core (which it doesnt make use of anyways), 8mpx camera, and 4 inch retina screen.

now 1 of those 3 might have already been shot down.

who knows about the rest.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 08:04

25. Simba501 (Posts: 28; Member since: 06 Jul 2011)

Dual core definitely won't make a difference. A single core, non-multitasking device is already snappy.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 08:56 2

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

i have a feeling the dual core was mostly for the tech geek iOS users and for gaming. as far as i can see there isnt anything about the actual OS that needs it since it doesnt have true multitasking or acceleration.

I'm 90% positive its really just there to say it "has dual core" and to try to keep its edge on gaming quality.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 08:49 4

27. p0rkguy (Posts: 685; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)

1. Faster processor? You can run the iPhone 4 with 800Mhz just fine. Chances are it won't even need 1Ghz dual core.
2. Lighter? Maybe.
3. Thinner? Probably by .3mm.
4. Easier to switch carriers? No, Verizon and Sprint have their phones locked down, so they're interchangeable.
5. Better antenna? No, just fixed antenna.
6. 8MP? MP hasn't meant anything in picture quality for the past couple of years.
7. Better battery technology? Highly doubt it's implemented in iPhone 5.
8. New materials? Metal over glass should have been the iPhone 4.
9. New iOS? Pretty much the same iOS with a few new kinks.
Also, there's likely to be a huge fault with it given its past history. (4, antennagate. 3GS, overheating. 3G, wasn't exactly 3G speeds.)

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:05 3

30. ilia1986 (unregistered)

lol the iPhone 5 will probably dissolve into atomic matter in your hand.

If you hold it correctly.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 17:45

53. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

1. Faster processor has to do with disruptive technology -- the faster processor allows the cellphone to do more things than previously imaged. For example, think about Atrix and it's docking ability. Remember techonology opens doors to new opportunities.
4. Yes, easier to switch carriers from ATT to Verizon or the reverse -- this wasn't true with iPhone 4.
5. Yes to better antenna, more antenna's, etc.
6. My iPod Touch 4G with 5MP kicks the Motorola Triumph's 5MP when recording HD videos. However, the iPod 0.7 MP camera sucks. I was so upset when the first 30 or so videos on the Triumph as these videos did not meet my standard.
7. Yes better technology as we are going to cloud computing and no longer need large data storage. So I no longer see a need for 128 GB or 64 GB flash storage.
8. Yes to new materials because you can't shrink a device without changing the existing material or packaging. The new screen might be considered a new material.
9. I am looking forward to iOS5 once it comes with the faster processor.

I stated I will not buy an iPhone with a 3.5" screen so unless Apple delivers 3.7" or better, I will be context to pick up the next generation iPod Touch and just wait.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 23:46

59. ilia1986 (unregistered)

You are looking forward to iOS5? Really? Because iOS 5 is the least feature-wise version so far.

Have you taken a look at Android? I own an iPhone 4 - and I did. I was blown away by all the widgets, customization options, custom roms, live wallpapers (some of them are even useful i.e. showing date and time when tapping on empty space!) and everything else.

A faster processor is nice - but the thing is that iOS 5 does not require any - because graphically it's not much different than iOS 4.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:01 1

12. gargoyle (Posts: 14; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)

i have the atrix and can tell u 4" screens are nice. there is no way i would go with something lower, though i would say 4.3" screens would be the best size big enough to not strain your eyes but small enough to still fit in your hand comfortably. the 4.5" look really nice but there so big that they don't fight in the hand very well.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 07:14

17. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

3.7-3.8? Maybe its related with how the OS works and a big difference may cause issues with their way to get things going. Will find out soon enough tho

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 08:02 5

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

if I had to shoot a guess I'd say its for app compatability and they didnt want to lose the "retina" moniker, which if they use the same screen can only keep that pixel density up to so large a screen. Maybe at 3.7 inches they aren't changing the resolution of the screen itself since its such a minor 0.2 inch change?

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 13:18

44. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

yeah that could be too, many apps fixed to work on a screen size may not do so well

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 08:19 2

26. gotti88 (Posts: 101; Member since: 06 Jul 2011)

apple dont go backwards please

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 08:49

28. bayhuy (Posts: 320; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)

Fail. Everything smaller than 4' is a fail.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:09 1

31. andro (unregistered)

Everyday new stories like this when everyone in the industry knows its minimal updates again,a slightly larger screen,slightly better camera and same exact everything in the ui and os from iphone 1,larger price tag and even bigger claims of changing everything again again and maybe even again.

isheep will prob be programmed to salvate at those universe changing mini updates and splash even more money out.

Talking now about iphone 6 having a better screen is ridiculous as that is over a year at way at least,even so that screen will be behind even then as super amoled plus hd is almost here and the second incarnation of even that will be around by the time of iphone 6 no doubt.

An APPLE can be rotten an have worms inside.......isheep will still eat it!

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:15

32. Allday28 (Posts: 283; Member since: 19 Nov 2010)

I was actually thinking about going to the Iphone adn trying it out for a bit cause I love how fast and smoothe the OS is, but if it doesnt have at least a 4" screen I wont even think about it. I still have the OG Droid And its 3.7" screen feels small to me specially when playing games..

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:19

33. rbyham (Posts: 7; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

Makes sense... if they go the larger screen route people will increasingly discover that they don't need that huge Ipad...

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:19

34. snowgator (Posts: 3586; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

As we get closer to our upgrade date in November, we kicked around some cell phone stores this past weekend. After playing with the Motorola Photon (4.3"), the Echo (Tons of acreage over two 3.5" screens), the Arrive (only 3.6", but with a keyboard), the HDH7s (4.3"), the Focus (4.0"), the Infuse (4.5"), the Droid X2 (4.3"), and the Droid 3 (4.0" with a keyboard), I picked up the Trophy for the first time (3.8") and could not believe how small that was for an all touch screen. It was unmanageable, and I love W7. The onscreen keyboard was so cramped. I do not understand if you are only going to give one choice to your customers, like the Trophy for W7 on Verizon or what the iPhone would be, why not go to the size of screen most used on average on phones that sell well? Go to 4", it is the best medium. Not to small that people won't buy it due to it's cramp on screen commands and keyboard, not to large to fit in a pocket.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:31 2

36. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)

I remember the time when the Omnia HD came out with a 3.7 inch screen, i thought "WOW, this phone has a huge screen !!!" A year later when the Desire came out with a 3.7 inch screen, i still thought "WOW what a screen!!!"
Nowadays 3.7 inch screen is small...

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 13:59

46. snowgator (Posts: 3586; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

Gawd, you are so right Peter!! I am not spoiled in too many ways,but this is one of them!! Points for you!! ;-D

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:29 1

35. Deluxe (unregistered)

Apple's millions and millions of iworshipers is why they can hardly to anything to a product for its next gen release (as in the case of the iphone 3g to iphone 3gs) and expect it to sell well.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 09:37 2

37. person287 (unregistered)

To be honest I think when you get to a 4" screen it just becomes too large. Phones stop fitting in lots of pockets, it becomes harder to hold, it's just not something I like. I'd much rather it stay the same, or very slightly larger, size with the 'padding' becoming smaller.

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 11:30 1

39. Tmachaveli (Posts: 425; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)

who cares?? it could have a 10' screen it will be the same iphone ..my bad i mean the ipad LOL

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 12:33

42. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Yup.. apple should patent this magical and revolutionary shape:

[] [] [] []
[] [] [] []
[] [] [] []
[] [] [] []
[] [] [] []

Cause that's what you'l be seeing on your iJoke until iOS6..

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 12:23

40. thu (unregistered)

Just f**king leave this thing why every one is hyper about this piece of s**t just wait for some time you will get what you guys are f**king talking about

posted on 29 Aug 2011, 13:17 2

43. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

4" screen is NOT too big for your pockets. I have owned a 4" screen phone for 13 months now and would never consider a 3" something phone, unless it had specs that blew my phone out of the water. So far, the IPHONEs 4 and 5 do not appear to do this.

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