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Apple's next iPhone could have 4-inch screen with next-gen A5 processor

post #1 of 93
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A pair of reports coming out of the Far East on Tuesday claim that Apple is looking to expand the screen on at least one version of the next-generation iPhone to 4 inches, while also adding an upgraded A5 chip processor to its smartphone offerings and an enhanced version of the A4 to the second-generation iPad.

Size matters

According to Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, upstream component suppliers report that Apple will expand the screen size of the fifth-generation iPhone to 4 inches in order to compete with a growing class of 'super phones' in the 4- to 7-inch range. By comparison, the iPhone 4 sports a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 960 by 640 pixels.

The screen bump could also serve to push the iPhone toward the smaller end of the tablet market. "The component suppliers noted that the production lines for Apple's next generation iPhone have begun testing, and Apple is interesting in expanding the screen size to 4-inches to support the tablet PC market as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market," said the report.

Google Android-based phones appear to be driving the screen race, the report noted. For example, the 5-inch Dell Streak, which has been called a "tweener," has been marketed as a competitor to both the iPad and the iPhone.

If accurate, the DigiTimes report could dovetail with recent rumors of an "iPhone nano," as Apple may be looking to differentiate its iPhone lineup with bigger and smaller displays. Though rumors of a smaller version of the iPhone have persisted for years, recent reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal of an upcoming cheaper, smaller iPhone have lent credence to the rumors.

A recent unverified report from another Taiwanese website claimed that Apple has built three prototype models for the "iPhone 5," including a version with a "sliding cover" that conceals a keyboard.

A4 and A5

A second report from DigiTimes claims that Apple is hoping to outsource the production of its A4 processor and the next-generation A5 processor, which will likely utilize the ARM Cortex A9 design, to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company due to concerns over increased competition between Samsung and Apple. At this week's Mobile World Congress, Samsung has shown a number of new products, such as the Galaxy S II smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, that will directly compete with Apple's iPhone and iPad.

Though Apple's A4 processor is currently exclusively produced by Samsung Electronics, Apple has tapped TSMC for help producing the A4 in the past when Samsung's capacity was unable to meet demand for Apple's devices. Sources indicated to DigiTimes that "the move at that time was perhaps to test TSMC's capability."

"According to Digitimes Research," the report continued, "the iPad 2 will support an enhanced version of the A4 and the A5 will power the iPhone 5. TSMC will initially produce the improved A4, and could likely become the exclusive manufacturer of the A5."

The report echoes rumors from January suggesting that the next iPhone will run atop "Apple's new A5 CPU (a Cortex A9-based, multi-core chip)."

DigiTimes, which bases many of its reports off tips from Asian suppliers, has a hit-and-miss track record with Apple predictions, so Tuesday's reports should be taken with a grain of salt.
post #2 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A pair of reports coming out of the Far East on Tuesday claim that Apple is looking to expand the screen on at least one version of the next-generation iPhone to 4 inches, while also adding an upgraded A5 chip processor to its smartphone offerings and an enhanced version of the A4 to the second-generation iPad....

With this, and the previous "story" about the new iPhone having a slide out keyboard, this day will go down in history as the day that AppleInsider jumped the shark.

PS - You know your in trouble when click whores like 9to5Mac look sophisticated and intellectual compared to your site.
post #3 of 93
Rumors are rumors, but if true.....fragmentation begins. At least two different screen sizes, maybe three if there is a nano iPhone. Plus the iPad's resolution. Hmmm. Doesn't matter to me, I am skipping this generation unless something awesome comes. LTE may convince me, but I'm not so sure it's ready for this refresh.
post #4 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Rumors are rumors, but if true.....fragmentation begins. At least two different screen sizes, maybe three if there is a nano iPhone. Plus the iPad's resolution. Hmmm. Doesn't matter to me, I am skipping this generation unless something awesome comes. LTE may convince me, but I'm not so sure it's ready for this refresh.

No fragmentation for the iPhone - it will simply have a larger screen at the same resolution. The iPhone Nano is another story.
post #5 of 93
I think this is a really bad idea. I can't believe that the company that gave us the amazing MacBook Air would make the beautifully slim and pocketable iPhone 4 into another oversized brick phone. What's next, a shorter battery life?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #6 of 93
I was thinking the rumours of an iPhone "nano" might be explained if the iPhone went to a 4 inch display and the "nano" had a 3 inch display. With an extremely small bezel it might not have to grow too much either. That said, I think it's more likely both rumours are nonsense.

I did enjoy the claim that they need a bigger display "to support the tablet PC market as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market." Apple now needs to "support" a market where it's the only player?
post #7 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I think this is a really bad idea. I can't believe that the company that gave us the amazing MacBook Air would make the beautifully slim and pocketable iPhone 4 into another oversized brick phone. What's next, a shorter battery life?

Since the bigger the iOS device is, the bigger the battery it gets - the answer is NO.
post #8 of 93
I think it would be nice to have a slightly larger screen, not because other makers are doing it but because it wouldn't feel like such a confined UI. I'm pretty sure 4" can be done without making the device noticeably larger, the frame of the iPhone 4 is 5" diagonal. Clearly, you would have a smaller bezel but it can be done.
post #9 of 93
Enhanced A4 for iPad 2? I hope not.
post #10 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

No fragmentation for the iPhone - it will simply have a larger screen at the same resolution. The iPhone Nano is another story.

Not if the iPhone Nano would have the 'old' 320x480 resolution but on a smaller screen. If Apple made something like that, I'd imagine it would be like the 3GS but with a 3" screen at the same resolution. For developers, nothing would change, and the 3GS hardware would remain the 'low-end target' for developers like it is right now. Test on 3GS/iPhone Nano/2nd-gen iPod Touch and on iPhone 5, and if your app runs great on both you'll have all iOS devices starting from 3GS/2nd-gen iPod touch and upwards covered. Screen size itself is not a concern as long as resolution and aspect ratio stay the same. Two devices to test on, ±200 million installed base, doesn't sound like fragmentation to me
post #11 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

Not if the iPhone Nano would have the 'old' 320x480 resolution but on a smaller screen. If Apple made something like that, I'd imagine it would be like the 3GS but with a 3" screen at the same resolution. For developers, nothing would change, and the 3GS hardware would remain the 'low-end target' for developers like it is right now. Test on 3GS/iPhone Nano/2nd-gen iPod Touch and on iPhone 5, and if your app runs great on both you'll have all iOS devices starting from 3GS/2nd-gen iPod touch and upwards covered. Screen size itself is not a concern as long as resolution and aspect ratio stay the same. Two devices to test on, ±200 million installed base, doesn't sound like fragmentation to me

Yeah, I agree but I had been thinking that the iPhone Nano would come in at some oddball resolution.

If this rumor is true, it actually makes the iPhone Nano rumor both more likely and less of an issue with regard to fragmentation in my opinion.
post #12 of 93
Once again, with these new "rumors". Shall I just upgrade on Verizon March 1st or wait until the new iPones come out...?
post #13 of 93
This is hilarious! Slide out keyboards, nano iPhone and now Apple has to compete with the "super" phones. I'm just waiting for a Something like the BB scroll wheel.
post #14 of 93
Maybe they have things backwards and the "iPhone nano" is actually the iPhone (3.5") which happens to be half the size of an intermediate phone/tablet (7') which would sit between it and the iPad (9.7").

There clearly is room for something between the 2.
post #15 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I think this is a really bad idea. I can't believe that the company that gave us the amazing MacBook Air would make the beautifully slim and pocketable iPhone 4 into another oversized brick phone. What's next, a shorter battery life?

There is no need to oversize iPhone. There is plenty of space to make screen larger. Here is how iPhone Nano and iPhone 5 may look like:

post #16 of 93
Both of these rumors, of a smaller iPhone and larger iPhone, will turn out to be about iPods. The iPhone UI won't work on a smaller screen (unless Apple includes sandpaper to make your finger pointy). And a 4" iPhone would not be big enough for the iPad UI, so you'd have no additional UI features than the iPhone already has. So what would be the point? The only option would be to create a 3rd (and even 4th) UI, which time and time again people here have dismissed as fragmentation and too much work for developers.

So I think these rumors are about iPods. Today's iPod touch will become a little larger, but with the same resolution as today's iPhone/touch (so you can use the same UI). And the rumors of a smaller iPhone will really be the replacement for the iPod classic, finally retiring the last of the hard drive iPods. It will have a smaller touch screen than the current touch, but the UI will be stripped down to focus on iPod features. No internet/web/email, no applications (so no new dev kit needed from Apple), may or may not have a camera. The hardware savings of a lower resolution screen, less powerful processor and graphics, less RAM, etc, will be used to cram a lot of flash storage into it so it can replace the iPod classic.
post #17 of 93
Looks like I might not be far off with this:



Though I do believe if they make a change this big - scaling up the screen, they will also do a new design with the whole phone. Get that antenna inside and put an end to "antennagate."
post #18 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

There is no need to oversize iPhone. There is plenty of space to make screen larger. Here is how iPhone Nano and iPhone 5 may look like:


And then what, you display the 50,000 apps already out there with letter-boxing and force developers to choose which aspect ratio to develop for? Or make them develop two UIs for every application?

Minor letter-boxing like you get when you scale and iPhone app to full screen on an iPad is probably acceptable to Apple, but I really don't see them accepting the huge letter-boxing that would be required to allow the same app to work on both of the devices in your mock-ups. Ain't gonna happen.
post #19 of 93
All these rumors of different models of iPhones must have competitors completely confused as to what Apple will do next. It reminds me of anti-missle defense measures for airliners:

"Decoy flares are infrared countermeasures used to protect aircraft from being detected by infrared homing missiles, that is those that detect heat sources like a jet engine. Like a planes guardian angels, the flares create false heat targets that confuse the guidance system of an enemy aircrafts infrared missiles."

I can't wait to see some of the missiles fired by CE companies at Apple's decoy flares.
post #20 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

All these rumors of different models of iPhones must have competitors completely confused as to what Apple will do next. It reminds me of anti-missle defense measures for airliners:

"Decoy flares are infrared countermeasures used to protect aircraft from being detected by infrared homing missiles, that is those that detect heat sources like a jet engine. Like a planes guardian angels, the flares create false heat targets that confuse the guidance system of an enemy aircrafts infrared missiles."

I can't wait to see some of the missiles fired by CE companies at Apple's decoy flares.

It does sound like a dis-information campaign, doesn't it..
post #21 of 93
At 4 inches, will it still be retina?
post #22 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

There is no need to oversize iPhone. There is plenty of space to make screen larger. Here is how iPhone Nano and iPhone 5 may look like:


Wow, a Fat Boy iPhone.
post #23 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think it would be nice to have a slightly larger screen, not because other makers are doing it but because it wouldn't feel like such a confined UI. I'm pretty sure 4" can be done without making the device noticeably larger, the frame of the iPhone 4 is 5" diagonal. Clearly, you would have a smaller bezel but it can be done.

Agree. I think I would like the 4 in screen. Anything up to ~4.5. Keep the same resolution. 5 is too big IMO. My brothers evo is not too big. But I can see people wanting the present size too.
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post #24 of 93
If true, I welcome it. I'm content with 3.5" screen, but I must admit having that extra .5" would be welcome and make viewing video and reading websites just a little easier and more comfortable on the eyes (to me). If it stays 3.5, so be it - I'll still buy iP5, but 4" would be nicer and a step-up. Especially if the half-size iP is true and the rumors of them going button-less in the future, that should give them more space to make a bigger display and keep the phone dimensions the same.
post #25 of 93
i would definitely buy a bigger iphone if it's released. although i am ok with the current screen size, but i would not mind a little bit bigger.
post #26 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

At 4 inches, will it still be retina?

It would need to have a lower pixel density to both keep the same resolution and to avoid fragmentation, would it not? Or larger pixels? I can't see Apple dropping the Retina Display advantage.
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post #27 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjayer View Post

Looks like I might not be far off with this:


Though I do believe if they make a change this big - scaling up the screen, they will also do a new design with the whole phone. Get that antenna inside and put an end to "antennagate."

They may be able to expand the display all the way to the edge. However, they better don't do the same with the touch sensitive layer, otherwise there would be a constant flux of false inputs. This would leave items close to the edge touch inaccessible. Don't know how they would solve this problem.
post #28 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by therealestmc View Post

i would definitely buy a bigger iphone if it's released. although i am ok with the current screen size, but i would not mind a little bit bigger.

Well most people wouldn't want a monstaPhone.
post #29 of 93
Apple is not willing to make a 7" iPad even though the form factor is proven to be interesting to customers. So why would they make a 4" iPhone just because larger Android phones are selling?

As mentioned, Apple is fastidious about minimizing the number of form factors in order to deliver consistent user experience. The only way they'd make a larger iPhone is if the pixels are larger and they maintain the same resolution. But this bastardizes the Retina display. Another possibility is that they extra screen space is used for user navigation rather than apps or videos.

More than likely, this is a false rumor.
post #30 of 93
Hopefully not...I don't need a bigger phone

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post #31 of 93
Wow, AI sure is throwing a lot of half-assed rumors out there. By reporting on 300 different "possible next-gen iphones" now, I guess down the road they'll be able to claim that they "broke the news first".
post #32 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Hopefully not...I don't need a bigger phone

I hope they do. Even though I don't need a bigger phone either.

But Apple needs a model range, not a single phone (+ last years a fraction cheaper).

As has been pointed out a 4" screen could have the same resolution as iPhone 4, and a 3" the same resolution as the 3GS. No further fragmentation of screen size by pixel.

Thanks for the mock up, mjayer.
post #33 of 93
I switched from my iPhone 3G to a htc HD7 and the 4.3in screen was a big deciding factor. Once you see something like this you won't want to go back. Yes the phone is slightly larger but it doesn't cause a problem. Apple could get a 4in screen into an iPhone and the phone itself would be barely any bigger.
post #34 of 93
An iPhone Nano would appeal to those people who mainly use the iPod and Phone capabilities without installing many app's. If priced right it would be a big hit amongst the non-contract pay-as-you-go generation of phone users. I don't see a smaller screen size being a problem, just look at the iPod Nano.

Add a 4" iPhone for users who mainly use it for the app's and you have a sensible product differentiation IMO which address both the mid and high end market segments.
post #35 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Rumors are rumors, but if true.....fragmentation begins. At least two different screen sizes, maybe three if there is a nano iPhone. Plus the iPad's resolution. Hmmm. Doesn't matter to me, I am skipping this generation unless something awesome comes. LTE may convince me, but I'm not so sure it's ready for this refresh.

You've hit the nail on the head. This won't happen unless the same resolution is met, which would mean larger pixels/less density = no retina display.

Two resolutions will be kept - iPhone and iPad - there will be no fragmentation. Maybe a smaller phone is on the way, if so maybe it won't run apps and be a dumbed down device like the new iPod nano - touch screen, but massively limited compared to the iPod Touch - again, I think this scenario is unlikely.

Apple don't need to play catchup or massively change anything - a slight polish on the form factor, larger storage, faster processor, further increases in battery life, maybe increasing camera resolutioin and some more work on iOS are all that is needed. iPhone 5 will launch, Apple will again surge into the lead for a few months, until the novelty wears off and android fill the gap again.
post #36 of 93
I see a lot of skepticism in the comments about these new iPhone rumors which I think comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of Apple and El Jobso. Despite popular misconception, Apple is a relentlessly pragmatic company. Jobs, and by extension Apple, fervently believes in the Truth of everything he says and thinks, right up until the time he changes his mind. We have always been at war with Eastasia!

Job number 1 at Apple right now is to defeat Android. And if defeating Android requires slide-out keyboards or varied screen sizes, then that's what Apple will do. Now, I don't mean to suggest that Apple would ever start throwing stuff up on the wall to see what sticks -- that is what clueless baboons do, and Apple is not run by clueless baboons. But Apple will meticulously analyze data on what features of competing phones are most useful to customers in the real world (not the features that people *think* they want, but the ones they actually really like and use once they have the product).

My hunch is that we might see two iPhones with different screen sizes... perhaps the larger one will have the same pixel dimensions as the current iPhone, while the smaller one will have the pixel dimensions of the old iPhone (thus keeping developers happy). We might also see the home button replaced by a four-finger double-tap (or something along those lines).

I also think the slide-out keyboard is less likely, but I wouldn't rule it out entirely. A slide-out keyboard is of zero appeal to me, but if Apple finds that there are large numbers of people who really, genuinely do buy an Android phone over an iPhone just because of the slide-out keyboard, then Apple will make a slide-out keyboard. I'm a little skeptical that the slide-out keyboard is a real driver of people to Android, but I don't have any data on that, so I don't know.
post #37 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

Not if the iPhone Nano would have the 'old' 320x480 resolution but on a smaller screen. If Apple made something like that, I'd imagine it would be like the 3GS but with a 3" screen at the same resolution.

Yeah, and it will ship with sandpaper to file down your fingers since all your touch targets would become 15% smaller.
post #38 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Enhanced A4 for iPad 2? I hope not.

A silly move unless it is to provide for a very cheap intro model. Even then I wouldn't be calling that iPad 2. That would be a very minor bump.

What I find crazy in this thread is the reaction people have to different sized iPhones. Do people really expect Apple to be successful long term with just one iPhone form factor? Using the logic expressed here people might as well demand that Apple cut the MacBook line up back to one machine. No reasonable person would expect Apple to sell only one size of laptop so why limit the iPhone lineup??? Seriously folks Apple needs to have a range of iPhones.
post #39 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjayer View Post

Though I do believe if they make a change this big - scaling up the screen, they will also do a new design with the whole phone. Get that antenna inside and put an end to "antennagate."

It has been put to an "end". Months ago. For 99% of users it' a non-issue.
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post #40 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Job number 1 at Apple right now is to defeat Android.

No. Job #1 is to make great products that make great money

Quote:
And if defeating Android requires slide-out keyboards or varied screen sizes, then that's what Apple will do.

This is the same argument for the xMac and market share. Might there be an iPhone nano? Sure. Will it to beat Android? Not really.
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