26% larger 16:9 iPhone screen would retain single-hand operability

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
By making a new iPhone with a taller, 4.08-inch screen, Apple could offer users the benefits of a larger 16-to-9 display while also retaining the ability to operate the device while holding it with just one hand.

As reported earlier Wednesday by AppleInsider, Apple's next iPhone is expected to have a new display with an exact size of 4.08 inches. It will remain a Retina display with a resolution of 1,136 by 640 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16 to 9, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

By retaining a screen width of 640 pixels, the next iPhone is expected to grow only in length. At an estimated 1,136 pixels tall, it would become a 16-to-9 display, an aspect ratio the same as high-definition TV content and HDTV sets.

But more importantly than the ability to natively view 16-to-9 content, the 4.08-inch iPhone screen would also allow users to continue to operate Apple's handset by using just one hand. According to Kuo, Apple takes single-handed use of the iPhone "very seriously," and wishes to maintain that ability with its next handset.

On smartphones wider than the iPhone 4S, it becomes more difficult for users to safely hold the handset in their hand while simultaneously stretching their thumb across to operate it. The wider the screen, the larger the potential for an area of the screen to become out of reach, requiring users to use two hands to operate the device.

The width of the screen is of particular importance when typing on the virtual keyboard in iOS. If Apple were to increase the width of the display, a right-handed user might have difficulty reaching letters on the left side of the keyboard when operating with a single hand.

Screen


The larger 16-to-9 screen could also make typing on the virtual keyboard easier when the handset is used with two hands in landscape mode. The additional space in that orientation would make the individual keys larger and easier to hit.

While the user interface is said to be the driving force behind Apple switching to a 16-to-9 screen with the same width, it is not the only benefit that could be seen with a display that measures 4.08 inches diagonally. Keeping the width of the next iPhone screen the same 640 pixels would also ensure that existing iOS applications written for the iPhone 4S and prior will still run on the device, simply with black "letterbox" bars on the top and bottom.

"If developers don't want to adapt software for iPhone 5, the App can still successfully show on the screen except for the blackened areas on two flanks," Kuo wrote. "That, however, won't prevent the app from functioning the way it's supposed to."

Kuo also doesn't think Apple will go any larger than a 4.08-inch diagonal display because of battery life. A KGI Research survey of smartphone screen sizes and accompanying battery sizes found that batteries in smartphones with 4.3-inch displays must be "visibly bigger" to provide enough uptime.

Screen 2


For example, Kuo noted the the iPhone 4S and its 3.5-inch display has a battery capacity of 1,430mAh, while the 4.3-inch HTC sensation has a battery capacity of 1,520mAh, the 4.5-inch Sony Xperia ion is 1,950mAh, and the 4.7-inch LG Optimus 4X HD is 2,150mAh.

With a 4.08-inch screen, the new iPhone will presumably also become longer. Kuo said this should provide a better phoning experience for users, as the handset's speaker will be located slightly closer to the mouth when the iPhone is held up to the ear.

The next iPhone screen is also expected to use in-cell touch panels that will make it 0.4 millimeters thinner. A new metal back could result in further reduced thickness of 0.96 millimeters, which would allow the next iPhone to measure just 7.9 millimeters thick —noticeably thinner than the 9.3-millimeter-thick iPhone 4S.

In all, the 4.08-inch display rumored to be the centerpiece of Apple's next iPhone would be 26 percent larger than the screen found on the iPhone 4S. Packing 320 pixels per inch, it would have a length of 90.3 millimeters, and a width of 50.9 millimeters.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 126
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Still completely unsold on 16:9. Will continue to be unsold on it after launch.


     


    But as long as I don't have to slide my hand up and down the thing like a TV remote, I'll give it a go, I guess.

  • Reply 2 of 126


    I guess all those crappy 16:9 4in Android phones were ahead of their time 2 years ago?

  • Reply 3 of 126
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member


    That's an interesting article.  I buy the battery life thing, but do Apple really need to worry so much about one handed use?


     


    Out of interest, how many people find their interaction with the iPhone is with one hand?  Personally, with the exception of answering a call, I never use it with only one hand.

  • Reply 4 of 126
    jason98jason98 Posts: 763member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    I guess all those crappy 16:9 4in Android phones were ahead of their time 2 years ago?



     


    Large screen is not the issue. Larger case is the problem!


    Apple, welcome to the world of shovel-phones!


     


    iphone5.png

  • Reply 5 of 126
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,202member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    I guess all those crappy 16:9 4in Android phones were ahead of their time 2 years ago?



    Don't you know anything. It's not size that matters, it's what you do with it that counts.

  • Reply 6 of 126
    starbird73starbird73 Posts: 538member
    [QUOTE]The larger 16-by-9 screen could also make typing on the virtual keyboard easier when the handset is used with two hands in landscape mode. The additional space in that orientation would make the individual keys larger and easier to hit.[/QUOTE]

    Am I the only one that thinks not only will the user experience in landscape mode not be improved, [B]but degraded[/B]? With additional width, we will see less of a web page at a time, not more. I can't be the only one to think this, can I?
  • Reply 7 of 126
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,114member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Still completely unsold on 16:9. Will continue to be unsold on it after launch.


     


    But as long as I don't have to slide my hand up and down the thing like a TV remote, I'll give it a go, I guess.



    Agreed.


     


    Also, I'll bet most iPhone users cup it in their left hand and type with both thumbs.

  • Reply 8 of 126
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,202member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post



    With additional width, we will see less of a web page at a time, not more.


     


    As long as the zoom is the same, you are likely to see more.

  • Reply 9 of 126
    lerxtlerxt Posts: 184member
    Yes! Agreed that you will see less of a page.
  • Reply 10 of 126
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,283member
    Agreed.

    Also, I'll bet most iPhone users cup it in their left hand and type with both thumbs.

    Lots of people type with one hand. I personally use my second hand to type, and first to grip. However holding in one hand is really secure, but holding in landscape mode is less secure, as you lose the cradling grip. Android phones have this problem with the bigger screens.

    Apple are obsessed with portrait mode, they recommend portrait for most standard functionality.
  • Reply 11 of 126
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,283member
    Why would you see less of a page? Text will wrap.
  • Reply 12 of 126
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,544member
    That's an interesting article.  I buy the battery life thing, but do Apple really need to worry so much about one handed use?

    Out of interest, how many people find their interaction with the iPhone is with one hand?  Personally, with the exception of answering a call, I never use it with only one hand.

    I always prefer one-hand use on a phone. When I see those monster Android phones, I just shake my head in disappointment.
  • Reply 13 of 126
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member


    I agree with Paul above, except for answering the phone almost all my activity on my iPhone like texts, web browsing, most apps is two handed use. What is this silly obsession that Apple seems to have about the importance of one handed use when most people use it with two hands already? I know they will never go as large as some Android phones, but I would love to see at least a 4.3" screen since I think that is the real sweet spot. 

  • Reply 14 of 126
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,755member
    Still completely unsold on 16:9. Will continue to be unsold on it after launch.

    But as long as I don't have to slide my hand up and down the thing like a TV remote, I'll give it a go, I guess.

    First let me say this is another garbage AI article better suited for a slow news day!

    As to your comments I'm not sure why everybody gets hung up on aspect ratios. Going 16:9 gives both the user and developer more screen to work with, without making the device awkwardly larger. A longer device will fit the pocket much better than a wider device.

    The big advantage comes when viewing documents and doing just about any sort of editing. The current iPhone screen is a real pain in the butt when working with documents or web edit boxes like this one. I really don't understand the negativity here. Further if Apple was smart this really wouldn't be a "new" iPhone but rather a new cell phone added to their line up. Different people have different needs and the single form factor iPhone solution makes about as much sense as having a single size laptop.
  • Reply 15 of 126
    bmason1270bmason1270 Posts: 258member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


     


    Large screen is not the issue. Larger case is the problem!


    Apple, welcome to the world of shovel-phones!


     


    iphone5.png



    You act as though what is above and below the current screen on the iPhone is nothing but air and pixi dust. Perhaps to accomodate the look you mocked up with the internals would actually require the phone to be thicker? Either way they have to go somewhere.

  • Reply 16 of 126
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,755member
    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
    Agreed.

    Also, I'll bet most iPhone users cup it in their left hand and type with both thumbs.

    Not unless you have very small hands. My iPhone usage is often in a single hand. Then again I have size 15 shoes and could actually benefit from a larger phone with a bit more roomy spacing of keyboard keys.
  • Reply 17 of 126
    bmason1270bmason1270 Posts: 258member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post





    I always prefer one-hand use on a phone. When I see those monster Android phones, I just shake my head in disappointment.


    You shouldn't need two hands to use a phone.

  • Reply 18 of 126
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,912member
    I guess all those crappy 16:9 4in Android phones were ahead of their time 2 years ago?

    Android phones have been experimenting with different screen sizes since their beginning. Since many manufacturers have many models... there are tons of different screen sizes.

    And now... tall 4 inch and larger 16:9 models make up the bulk of Android phones sold today.

    People don't seem to mind them.

    371
  • Reply 19 of 126
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member


    Purely hypothetical because I know this would never happen, but what if Apple sold two or even 3 sizes. For example a 3.5", 4.0" and a 4.3", which do you think would sell in the greatest numbers. I would jump at the 4.3" but even I think it would probably not sell as well as a 4" version. I do think the 3.5" would be the least popular at this point in time. 


     


    P.S. I never had any trouble fitting my HTC Evo in any pocket and my best friend who is only 5' 6" and weighs only 145lbs has no problem using his 4.65" Samsung or carrying it in his pockets. So why all the fuss about making the iPhone incrementally larger? 

  • Reply 20 of 126
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,755member
    starbird73 wrote: »
    Am I the only one that thinks not only will the user experience in landscape mode not be improved, but degraded? With additional width, we will see less of a web page at a time, not more. I can't be the only one to think this, can I?

    Did you flunk math or geometry in school. Seriously how does more area on screen lead to less of the web page being viewed? A wider screen will be of huge benefit to those that view the web on their iPhones. Frankly if you visit these forums on your iPhone it should be pretty damn obvious.

    Honestly how did you come to this point of view? Has your mind been twisted by the Democratic party?
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