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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 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".

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