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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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RE: I like this direction
By retrospooty on 7/22/2013 10:30:00 AM , Rating: -1
Is that those things that just lost MS $900,000,000 this past year? ;)

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
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
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.


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
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.

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