Would the 6.5-inch Apple iPhone XS Max exist if Steve Jobs was still at the company's helm?

Would the 6.5-inch Apple iPhone XS Max exist if Steve Jobs was still at the company's helm?
Yesterday, Apple introduced the largest screen to ever adorn an iPhone, the 6.5-inch OLED panel that you will find on the iPhone XS Max. That is a full three-inches larger than the display found on the original iPhone. While consumers' desires have changed since Apple CEO Steve Jobs put a charge into the smartphone industry in January 2007, would a 6.5-inch iPhone been produced if Jobs had not succumbed to pancreatic cancer?

Jobs favored the 3.5-inch display because it allowed an average user's thumb to cover most of the screen. Back in 2011, we showed you the difference in the amount of real estate that the average thumb could reach on the Apple iPhone 4 vs. the coverage on the 4.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S II. And while the Samsung Galaxy Note became the first smartphone with a larger than 5-inch display in October 2011, it wasn't until the following year that Apple increased the iPhone's screen size with the 4-inch iPhone 5. Two years after that, Apple exceeded the 5-inch barrier for the first time with the 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 6s.

Besides thumb coverage, Jobs also felt strongly that no one was interested in buying a big phone. Back in 2010, Apple's co-founder said that there were no large screen iPhone models because "no one's going to buy that." But even back then, several Android models, including the popular Motorola DROID X and its 4.3-inch display, carried larger screens than the one on the iPhone. Considering Jobs' contempt for the Android OS (he called it a "stolen product"), one thing he did not want to be accused of was copying the larger screened handsets that were running on the rival platform.

With two of its three 2018 models sporting a screen measuring in excess of 6-inches, Apple's policy toward the iPhone's screen size has certainly changed under the leadership of current CEO Tim Cook. Since Jobs passed in 2011, there is no way of knowing what might have happened had he continued to steer the company over the last seven years. Would his so-called rule of "thumb" and his feelings toward Android kept the iPhone's screen at 3.5-inches even in 2018? Or would the late Apple co-founder have conceded to change and increased the size of the iPhone display?

At this point, it is a rhetorical question. The Apple iPhone XS Max sports a massive 6.5-inch display, which ironically means that you can expect even larger-screened Android handsets to hit the market late next year.

Related phones

iPhone XS Max
  • Display 6.5" 1242 x 2688 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2490 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3179 mAh(25h talk time)

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41 Comments

1. Ghost04

Posts: 521; Member since: May 03, 2014

I think Job said that Samsung Note is too big. Now apple has a bigger phone then Note 9 .

9. Phullofphil

Posts: 1797; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

I think that at this size I don’t know. But jobs can admit when he is wrong I am sure. He would have done the smart thing and made what sold the best and I think these phones would have been on the herizon

14. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1324; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

I don't think Jobs was known for admitting he was ever wrong. On a side note, he claimed that great artists steal. By calling Android a stolen product he was admitting that it's creators were great artists. We all know how he felt about being on the receiving end of his own tactics. I don't think that iPhone screens over 4.5" would currently exist nor the Apple pencil is he was still around.

25. tedkord

Posts: 17358; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

While I don't think they'd be quite as big as they are today, I think at least 5 inch displays if Jobs were still alive. One thing is certain - they'd look better. The iWatch quotient exist in its current form, either.

42. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

He'll skip apple watch series 1-3 and wait for series 4 design before releasing it.

22. sirohunter

Posts: 200; Member since: Sep 23, 2017

The iPhone is actually a little shorter. Not sure about width though

29. Trex95

Posts: 2381; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

It’s wider than note 9, but note 9 taller due to the aspect ratio 18.5:9 and curved display.

30. RoyalMike unregistered

Better dead for good

41. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

But it's still a sweet spot, anything with apple logo behind it has a sweet spot screen size.

2. toukale

Posts: 632; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Can we stop with this nonsense already? Who cares? Jobs is dead, let's move on.

3. NateDiaz

Posts: 1089; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Things change with time and the humans are considered superior than other species because they have ability to adapt to things. We should not quote what Steve said in 2010. "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - IBM president, 1943 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Founder of DEC, 1977 People often have predicted things but time always proved them wrong.

16. torr310

Posts: 1661; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

This! This kind of question is nonsense because there is no answer. Nobody is able to prove the answer.

36. Vokilam

Posts: 1215; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

You bring up great points. I remember Microsoft said that no one will buy an iPhone - and then they started producing touchscreen devices themselves. Porsche were planning to end the 911 line in the 80’s then in the 90’ again, but they keep building them because customer wants the 911 - and customer wants the 911 to be the same as the previous 911 - customer is always right. And now even Apple changes paths, creates a large device and makes a stylus. And I bet stev jobs would have change of heart too. At the time he never really said that they wouldn’t build big devices, he said that 3.5” screen device was best for one hand use - and he’s still right. I think t was confusious who said something like “only a fools never changes mind”.

4. midan

Posts: 2909; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Jobs would have released it too, world is changing all the time and people habits with it. Nowdays people use their smartphone with two hands because the screen is so big, it's compromise to have that big screen. When i used my 5s i always used it with one hand and it was so effortless to use.

27. Valinor

Posts: 175; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

True true. i do think prices would be lower though if he had been alive. Tim Cook cares only about max profit. Jobs would at least taken a step back and cared less about making shareholders happy. Jobs was running the company based on a vision. Cook is running it for the shareholders.

5. Rigmaster

Posts: 234; Member since: Jan 22, 2018

Of course Jobs would be escorting even bigger, more advanced screens. Apple probably would already have a foldable screen. The same guy that said, "1000 songs in your pocket," would definitely have done more if he thought that's what would sell. He'd also have a yacht the size of those mega-cruiseliners too. Stop it with the would he. Of course he would.

6. monkeyb

Posts: 413; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

YES. Steve would have definitely done this. He used to say a lot of things for marketing reasons and ultimately ended up doing things differently in some instances.

7. macawmatt

Posts: 137; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

He probably would of, but while also eloquently explaining why the Apple implementation of the larger screen was a superior method then how Android phones had been doing it for years.

23. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

He also would've said would've, as in would have, instead of would of.

8. Nionx

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

Not sure, but I sway towards no. I commented to my brother during the Apple event that Steve Jobs must be turning over in his grave. When he was there Apple was a respected and dear I say innovative company. Now they are just money hungry ( despite being a trillion dollar company). $1000 for 64gb with no options for personalization or a headphone jack? Madness

26. tedkord

Posts: 17358; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Jobs would have been more concerned about the ugly designs Apple has adopted since his passing (iPhone 6,7,8, iWatch) than the phone size.

10. ahmadkun

Posts: 591; Member since: May 02, 2016

Jobs was a human and we humans are not perfect not everything we predict is right

11. JCASS889

Posts: 539; Member since: May 18, 2018

who cares, he dead, can we stop treating him like some kind of holy prophet. all he is now is worm food

13. gamehead unregistered

Harsh but true. Some people treat Apple like some religion. I remember them closing stores on his death's anniversary.

12. gamehead unregistered

God I wish Steve jobs was still alive to run the company.

15. torr310

Posts: 1661; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Why would this question even raise? There is no answer as dead people won't answer! Also, people change/adapt over time! The only thing won't change is the change.

17. _KIRA_

Posts: 108; Member since: Dec 25, 2013

"Hummer Phones"

18. apple-rulz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Next up on phonearena, if Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz were still alive, would Mercedes Benz be making the S-class cars? Come on phonearena, don't jump on the ridiculous if-Steve-Jobs-was-still-alive bandwagon, it's asinine. Steve Jobs had his reasons for picking Tim Cook as his successor, and Cook has parlayed Apple into an incredible powerhouse. Yeah it sucks that none of you phonearena people, nor none of us readers, will ever make the short list to be considered to run Apple, but stop chewing on sour grapes and move on. Jobs is dead, Cook runs the company, end of story.

19. ShadowWarrior

Posts: 165; Member since: Aug 08, 2017

People in general want everything big, because their egos need to be inflated. Big houses, big cars, big phones, big bank accounts, etc.

20. shortkey

Posts: 53; Member since: May 19, 2017

I don't think he would have stopped it, but I do think he'd keep a compact model in stores at all times. The SE got discontinued, which means that there are now ZERO good smartphones with 4" screen. At that size today, you can only get a piece of Chinese junk to make calls and type messagese with, but even if it has Android in it, it will lag all over the place and completely decompose in two years. What we need is a savior to make a good compact smartphone. PALM's got the right idea but it's still looking to be a poor execution, what with its huge screen resolution, tiny battery, and no headphone jack.

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