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It's taking a lesson or two from the Samsung playbook

Apple is finally breaking its mold and testing different screen sizes for its mobile gadgets like the iPhone and iPad. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has asked its Asian suppliers for larger prototypes of its smartphone and tablet screens. The Cupertino, Calif. company wants prototype screens for the iPhone to be larger than 4 inches, and the prototype screens for the iPad to be just under 13 inches diagonally.

Currently, the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen, and the iPad's screen measures 9.7 inches. The iPad mini has a 7.9-inch screen.

This is a big step for Apple, and further shows how much has changed since former CEO Steve Jobs left the company. Jobs used to say that an iPhone screen size any larger than 3.5 inches (which was the screen size for all iPhones up until the iPhone 5) didn't make sense. He insisted it was the perfect size for holding it in your hand.


But Apple is now watching competitors like Samsung offer screens of various sizes for both smartphones and tablets, and customers are responding favorably to it. It offers consumers a variety to choose from, depending on what's best for them and their needs. 

This method seems to be working for Samsung. The Android-powered device maker now has 33.1 percent of the smartphone market worldwide while Apple only has 17.9 percent worldwide.

Apple still holds the top spot for tablet market share, though. As of Q1 2013, Apple had 39.6 percent of the market while Samsung only had 17.9 percent. However, Apple's tablet market share fell from 58.1 percent in the year-ago quarter while Samsung's market share grew from 11.3 percent in that same time period. 

Last month, Reuters reported that Apple was looking to launch two new iPhone screen sizes next year: 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch versions.

It also reported that Apple wanted to release a more affordable iPhone -- possibly with a $99 price tag and a variety of colors. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal



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I like this direction
By Mitch101 on 7/22/2013 9:45:42 AM , Rating: 3
To me tablets are getting to the power of them being considered ultrabooks. I would prefer a larger tablet and them utilize an SSD drive also allowing for a bigger battery and larger size keyboard over trying to cram more resolution into a size that I personally find too small to replace a laptop ever. At some point ultrabooks/tablets merge and its close to reality. However this being Apple the price will be the deal killer. hopefully they also allow more icons on thier desktop its going to look silly with all the open space and just 20 icons.




RE: I like this direction
By jimbojimbo on 7/22/2013 10:18:56 AM , Rating: 5
Where have you been? They're called hybrids with Windows 8 on it.


RE: I like this direction
By retrospooty on 7/22/13, Rating: -1
RE: I like this direction
By chripuck on 7/22/2013 10:54:32 AM , Rating: 3
No, that would be Surface RT, the direct competitor to the iPad. Ultrabook replacement hybrids run x86 hardware which means you can actually do real work on it.

As MS and Intel up their game, Apple will need to expand the functionality of the iPad to compete. It's a great media consumption device, the best in my opinion, but if it has to compete against a hybrid ultrabook that can be a tablet or laptop AND run all legacy Windows software at a similar price point it will lose, eventually.

Note, this is still years away, but it's a reality that's coming.


RE: I like this direction
By karimtemple on 7/22/2013 11:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
this is still years away
Correction: months away. Both Silvermont and Kaveri are right around the corner, and they'll be bringing an asskicking with them.


RE: I like this direction
By TakinYourPoints on 7/23/2013 3:11:55 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately it is tied into an RT app ecosystem that developers aren't supporting and traditional Windows desktop apps that still don't work well without a mouse and keyboard (existing problems with Windows 8 is a whole other conversation).

A unified desktop/tablet OS is a great idea but practically speaking we're years away from it happening.

At best something like the Surface Pro competes in price and functionality with a laptop. The problem is that it is both a poor laptop and a poor tablet, and the market has responded by continuing to buy actual laptops and iPads. Another thing people here aren't talking about is that you get a tablet partly so you don't have to deal with the negative aspects of a desktop operating system (ANY desktop OS, whether it is Windows, OS X, Linux, etc).


RE: I like this direction
By karimtemple on 7/23/2013 9:22:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfortunately it is tied into an RT app ecosystem that developers aren't supporting
This isn't even why I worry about 8. This problem is fixable. The real point is that the device will actually exist: an affordable, well-performing, interface-uniform Wintel convertible.

Developing on newer Microsoft systems is actually kind of cool; they've done some great work in terms of easy, clean programming and availability of powerful tools. The problem is 1) they box you in too much (e.g. they make you use DirectX) and 2) Windows Store is not presently perceived as a healthy market.

Both problems are super-fixable with simple blunt-force solutions. For #1, open it up. Reduce restrictions. And support OpenGL for Christ's sake. For #2, use a couple of those hundreds of dev groups you've bought up and put out some killer apps. When a $400 Bay Trail convertible comes out that has some really amazing software that everyone's talking about, Windows is back in business.

Done!

The problem I see is that "interface-uniform" isn't actually true. They fumbled way hard on the Start Screen and multitasking, which is darkly hilarious since the "Windows" part of Windows is a multitasking feature, and they did away with it.

Windows 8 is interface-uniform in that when you're using a desktop, you still have to use a touch-focused interface. It's uniform lol but they failed to create an actual hybrid interface. You can do the same thing 8 does by hooking up your Android device to a monitor and kb/m or buying an ASUS Transformer.

The crazy thing is they're not stuck. All they have to do is just change it. They don't even have to get rid of Metro; they just need to make the Start Screen use Metro better, and they really need to figure out a better multitasking mechanism (which is where the true "unification/hybridization" work comes in). And they took the flat thing waaay too far.


RE: I like this direction
By Xplorer4x4 on 7/23/2013 11:17:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Windows 8 is interface-uniform in that when you're using a desktop, you still have to use a touch-focused interface.

I still don't understand this idea. I dont use Win 8 often but when I do, and I am in the Start Screen, I move my mouse and click on a tile(big icon). If I need to scroll across the start screen, I use the mouse wheel to scroll like a web page. If it ain't on the Start Screen, I just start typing and see a list of search results like I did if I typed in the Search box in the out-dated Start menu.


RE: I like this direction
By karimtemple on 7/24/2013 8:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
It's not that the ergonomics of touch impede pointing, but that they don't take advantage of pointing. But far more importantly, they do impede pointing when it comes to multitasking. Start Screen multitasking is kind of bad even for touch, but for pointing it's just nonsense. It's the Number One thing that kills 8 for people.


RE: I like this direction
By retrospooty on 7/22/2013 12:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
The surface is a hybrid device laptop/tablet, and that was the post I was responding too... Simply adding that maybe MS shouldn't be jumping on it since no-one seems to want it. 900 million is not chump change.

I get it, I have played with a Surface RT and Pro both... Very nice, especially the Pro... I would LOVE to have one, but I would NEVER pay that much $$$ for it. Just not worth it to me.


RE: I like this direction
By nikon133 on 7/22/2013 6:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that is the problem of RT.

Here in NZ, you can get Windows 8 Pro tablet from Asus for less money than RT offerings, while offering comparable size and battery life. Granted dual-core Atom will not break speed records, but is actually quite capable and will do much more Windows desktop software than just Office (in addition to Modern apps both platforms will run), and even Office will run significantly smoother than on RT. Add to that a simple fact that OS is not crippled, can be made part of domain, can deal with group policies... it is just so much better than RT. For same or less money.

Only bright point with RT is that Office is included in price, but it is crippled Office and without Outlook. Even if you have to purchase Office Home & Student on top of tablet, you are still better with Windows Pro tablets, and still in the same price range.

RT really has no reason to exist in current incarnation. MS should merge it with Windows Phone, ditch classic desktop completely, improve Windows Phone Office, do some exclusive bundle with B&N (Nook Reader) and push that platform as cheap as possible, maybe sub-10" only. Small,cheap tablet for reading, media consumption, light gaming and everyday tasks (web, email, calendar, social). Leave classic desktop completely to Intel option.


RE: I like this direction
By cditty on 7/23/2013 10:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
Let's remember that 8.1 adds Outlook.


RE: I like this direction
By Rage187 on 7/22/2013 12:56:23 PM , Rating: 3
My Acer W700, donkey punches my iPad 3.


RE: I like this direction
By retrospooty on 7/22/2013 1:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, its nice... As are many laptop/tablet hybrids... My point was that people just aren't buying them. Not in any significant #'s.

To me, I look at your W700 vs an iPad and see the W700 smoking it on many, many levels too. I see it being worth quite a bit more $ than an iPad... Unfortunately, techy types that visit sites like this aren't the norm and there aren't enough of us to drive sales.


RE: I like this direction
By Bateluer on 7/22/2013 4:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody wants Windows 8. Where have you been? :P


RE: I like this direction
By Ammohunt on 7/22/2013 11:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, seems like there is sweet spot somewhere between standard tablets and laptops that a larger tablet could fill. A 13" iPad would interest me.


RE: I like this direction
By karimtemple on 7/22/2013 11:36:25 AM , Rating: 2
These are the sweet spots as I see them, devised with a mixture of arbitrary and mathematical:

Tablet: 8", 10", 12". All 4:3.

Phone: 3.6", 4.5", 5.4". All 16:10.


RE: I like this direction
By zorxd on 7/22/2013 11:43:37 AM , Rating: 2
4:3 is a very bad aspect ratio for tablets.
The only reason this aspect ratio exists is because it was easier to build during CRT's era.

Laptop, tablets and phones should all have the same aspect ratio.


RE: I like this direction
By inperfectdarkness on 7/22/2013 1:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. 16:10 or GTFO. Damn you 1080p idiots.


RE: I like this direction
By retrospooty on 7/22/2013 1:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Damn you 1080p idiots."

That is kind of the sad thing... There arent alot of people that like 16x9. It was just sort of pushed by all of the LCD makers to becoming the norm. I agree 16x10 is perfect and I wish it were more of a standard. If I never saw another 16x9 screen, I would be extremely happy. Desktop, laptop, or tablet. The only possible exception would be phone. Some people like it less wide fore easier one handed use.


RE: I like this direction
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2013 4:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Damn you 1080p idiots.


LOL dude the consumers had virtually NOTHING to do with 16:10 going away. The industry just unanimously went to 16:9 overnight, and that was that.


RE: I like this direction
By Donkey2008 on 7/30/2013 12:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
Thats my only complaint about my iPad; That it doesn't have a 16:10 screen :-(


RE: I like this direction
By karimtemple on 7/22/2013 1:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
4:3 is better for the consumption of texts, which is the vast majority of the media one will consume online. Most pieces of paper are 4:2.84.

4:3 is also much more manageable and natural in portrait than wider aspects.

In the case of video, you simply get black bars, which have no real impact on battery life anymore and no effect on the media. "4:3 is very bad" seems like a trite notion.

Laptops, tablets, and phones all having the same aspect ratio seems fairly obtuse. They're completely different form factors. Phones should have wider aspects for better single-handed portrait and easier pocketing. Tablets are in the middle and benefit from being more like sheets than slabs. Laptops should probably just come in all the major aspects.


RE: I like this direction
By Bateluer on 7/22/2013 4:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
"4:3 is better for the consumption of texts, which is the vast majority of the media one will consume online. Most pieces of paper are 4:2.84."

False. I read on my 16x9 Note 8 all the time, far better for reading because you get more of the text on the screen at the same time in portrait.

"4:3 is also much more manageable and natural in portrait than wider aspects."

Most definitely not.

4:3 is a muddy kludge of the weakest parts of 16x9 without its, or any, strengths.


RE: I like this direction
By karimtemple on 7/22/2013 4:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
False. I read on my 16x9 Note 8 all the time, far better for reading because you get more of the text on the screen at the same time in portrait.
The Note 8 is 16:10. And if someone magically turned your Note 8 from 16:10 to 16:9 right now, you would jump off a bridge. Promise.

"You get more text on the screen" makes no sense lol. Text can wrap around. What you're looking for is readability, which is going to be a lot more natural on a sheet than a bar, and is going to have more usability with extra room for tools and controls.
quote:
4:3 is a muddy kludge of the weakest parts of 16x9 without its, or any, strengths.
What does this even mean? Its strength is that it's taller in landscape and wider in portrait. Only in situations where that's a problem is 4:3 "weak." And there aren't really any situations like that outside of the phone form factor, or a device that's only used to play video.


RE: I like this direction
By kmmatney on 7/22/2013 2:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
I don't mind 4:3 ratio. I still have an old Viewsonic 20" 4:3 LCD at the house (1400 x 1050) and it's a great monitor for general work. It's was a godsend during the early days of LCDs, before most games were made for wide-screen. It recently stopped working, and I was able to repair it by replacing a few capacitors inside - I don't want to give it up anytime soon. As for tablets, 4:3 does make them useful in either portrait or landscape mode, although I could live with 16:10.


RE: I like this direction
By TakinYourPoints on 7/23/2013 2:58:08 AM , Rating: 3
Incorrect. 4:3 provides more vertical room for web browsing and applications when a tablet is in landscape mode. When in portrait mode it is almost exactly the same aspect ratio of an A4 sheet of paper. It is perfect for reading PDFs.

Smartphones work in 16:9 simply because a taller more rectangular shape fits better in your hand than a more square one. It makes practical ergonomic sense there.

16:9 is actually poor for any tablet or desktop monitor under 27" 1440p, and the 27" works because it has enough vertical pixels for web pages, etc. Anything smaller than that and taller aspect ratios work much better for web pages and applications.

16:9 only has the advantage of no black bars when watching video, but that's a big tradeoff for an inferior aspect ratio in every other scenario. 16:10 or bust for my monitors 24" and below, and 4:3 on tablets is even better from an ergonomic and reading standpoint.

I really dislike how 16:9 LCDs have been forced on consumers in laptops and desktops for no reason other than that its cheaper. For small 10" and 7" tablets its even worse. People are suckered into it because it is marketed as "16:9 HD".


RE: I like this direction
By Ammohunt on 7/22/2013 3:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
What about 8.5"x11"


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