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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, Amazon.com, 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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