Print 37 comment(s) - last by retrospooty.. on May 29 at 12:31 PM

iPhone rumored to have 16:9 aspect ratio either a 3.999 inch or 4.1 inch screen

Late Apple CEO Steven P. Jobs once blasted competitors like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) for making larger phones.  He called larger handsets "Hummer" phones, remarking "you can't get your hand around it" and "no one's going to buy that".

Well, with Mr. Jobs gone, it appears Apple is finally ready to "follow in Android's line" and make its own "Hummer" phone.

Reports from ReutersThe Wall Street Journal, and various blogs are unanimous that Apple is cooking up a larger smartphone for its sixth generation iPhone and iPod Touch. What the various sources can't seem to agree upon is the precise details of the larger display, which is reportedly sourced to multiple South Korean and Japanese display manufacturers.

MacRumors recently published a report, based on supposedly leaked parts pictures, indicating that the display will have a diagonal of 4.1-inches and that "the display would be taller than the current model".  The latter indicates a change in aspect ratio.

9 to 5 Mac published slightly different details.  While it agrees an aspect ratio change (from 3:2 to 16:9) is incoming, it argues that the new display will be 3.999 inches in diagonal (1.9632 in. wide x 3.484 in. tall).  It bases its report on alleged insider leaks from Apple, where prototypes are reportedly being tested.

To add to the chaos and confusion Taiwan news outlet Liberty Times (English translation) is reporting that Apple will be selling a "Mini iPad" later this year, in the 7-inch niche.
mini iPad
An imaginative render of the 7-inch "mini iPad" [Image Source: CNET]

A 7-inch iPad variant could do very well, particularly at a correspondingly lower price point.  After all,, Inc.'s (AMZN) Kindle Fire has seen hot sales at the $199 USD mark.

A mini iPad would have likely caused the late Mr. Jobs much consternation.  Mr. Jobs was also a notoriously staunch critic of smaller tablets.  In a late 2010 rant he commented:

The reason we wouldn't make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit a price point, it's because we don't think you can make a great tablet with a 7-inch screen.  The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.  [Increasing screen resolution on small devices is] meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size.

Well get that sandpaper ready, Apple faithful, because a small iPad may be on its way.

Sources: Mac Rumors, 9 to 5 Mac

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RE: Interesting fact
By Tony Swash on 5/23/2012 6:05:20 AM , Rating: -1
The key factor about Apple product differentiation, and this is particularly true in their tablet and iPhone business, is that they keep their number of SKUs to an absolute minimum and only very carefully and very slowly ever expand a product range. This offers many advantages, it allows for enormous economies of scale in Apple's supply chain, it significantly simplifies the design process for developers and third party peripheral makers, and it makes it easy for consumers to browse your product range. All these factors have paid off handsomely for Apple.

I expect a change of form factor in this year's iPhone iteration because Apple seem to have a tick-tock approach, one year sees a new form factor and the following year sees a feature enhancement within the existing form factor. The current iPhone form factor is two generations old so a new one is due. But nobody knows for sure what will happen. Apple could surprise us, it could broaden it's product range but if it does it will be done very carefully.

Currently Apple has just three phones, the 3GS, the 4 and the 4S. Compare understanding that iPhone product range from a consumers point of view to trying to under stand, say, HTC's current handset range which consists of HTC One X, HTC One S, HTC One V, HTC Desire C, HTC Sensation™ XL with Beats Audio™, HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio™, HTC TITAN, HTC Rhyme, HTC Radar, HTC Explorer, HTC Sensation, HTC EVO 3D, HTC Incredible S, HTC Wildfire S, HTC Desire HD. Some people love exploring such extensive and obscure product options and would positively enjoy discovering what each of these hand set had to offer and what differentiated them, but most people would see it as tedious and boring.

What we do know with a high degree of certainty is that whatever handset Apple announces in 2012 it will go on to be the top selling handset in 2013.

By the way can we drop the tedious defensive fragile male ego posturing that drives some posters to insult complete strangers en mass - it's getting tired. We all get it that some people are very touchy because they think that other people think that they are uncool because they don't use Apple products. Guys - nobody even notices :)

RE: Interesting fact
By kleinma on 5/23/2012 9:59:37 AM , Rating: 1
Tony, why do you write so much when people just vote you down to -1 without even reading your totally unbiased take on the situation.

RE: Interesting fact
By retrospooty on 5/23/2012 10:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
"Tony, why do you write so much when people just vote you down to -1 without even reading your totally unbiased take on the situation."

No woman in the picture, thats for sure ;)

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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