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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 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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