Rumor: Apple exploring pressure-sensitive iPhones with curved glass displays up to 5.5"

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Future iPhones from Apple could feature radically different designs with curved glass covers, displays as large as 5.5 inches, and even new sensors that could determine how much pressure a user is applying to a touch screen.

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Mockup of iPhone with 4.94-inch screen, created by Marco Arment.


Alleged details on Apple's potential future smartphones were detailed on Sunday by Bloomberg, which claimed that the company apparently plans to release two new iPhone models in the second half of 2014. Both of those models will supposedly feature "larger displays with glass that curves downward at the edges," the report said, citing an anonymous source.

The two new iPhone models will feature screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, reporters Tim Culpan and Adam Satariano claim. The larger screen sizes would position Apple to compete more directly with popular big-screen smartphones like Samsung's Galaxy Note lineup.

The rumored big-screen handsets with curved glass displays are expected to be released in the third quarter of calendar 2014, according to the unnamed source.

Beyond those rumored handsets, the report also claimed that Apple may enhance future iPhone models with more advanced touch sensors capable of detecting pressure. Such functionality is "unlikely to be ready for the next iPhone release and is instead planned for a later model," Bloomberg claims.

Some of Sunday's report aligns with earlier rumors, which suggest Apple is indeed planning to release an iPhone with a larger display in 2014. However, well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said in September he expects Apple to release a handset with a screen sized between 4.5 and 5 inches -- not as big as the 5.5-inch display cited in the latest rumor.

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Concept for a larger-screened iPhone, via iMore.


According to Kuo, who has a strong track record in predicting Apple's future product plans, the company is unlikely to use any smartphone screen sizes larger than 5 inches due to its "unwavering principle of one-hand use."

Apple last changed the iPhone's form factor in 2012 with the iPhone 5, upping screen size from 3.5 inches to 4 inches. Instead of increasing the phone's width, Apple chose to stretch the screen's height, and boasted that the larger screen still allowed for easy one-handed operation. This year's two new iPhone models, the 5c and 5s, both kept the same 4-inch Retina display.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    The best use for curved glass with a flexible LCD display is to simply have the display curve over the edges of the phone. This would make the screen more than edge to edge. It would have the same effect as an infinite pool. It would be visually stunning. It would require some minor changes to the UI design of all apps since there would need to be a touch safe region of the screen (on the top surface slightly inset from the edges) since you don't want touchable buttons curving over the edges where you can't really press them.
  • Reply 2 of 92

    You can already determine how hard you're pressing - by the change in shape your finger makes as it exerts more pressure.

  • Reply 3 of 92
    I truly hope the rumour "The two new iPhone models will feature screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches" is correct.

    This would put Apple squarely in the game with the flagship devices of all other smartphone makers.
    I realise some people here think a 4" screen is normal for a high end device, but that's clearly not the view of the majority. Such a move will help Apple in winning over additional users of Samsung, HTC, LG devices. It's very hard to move from a 5" screen to a 4" screen. Will be interesting to see if Apple will retain the 4" size or instead risk the wrath of the vocal minority.
  • Reply 4 of 92
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,193member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JamesMac View Post



    I truly hope the rumour "The two new iPhone models will feature screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches" is correct.



    This would put Apple squarely in the game with the flagship devices of all other smartphone makers.

    I realise some people here think a 4" screen is normal for a high end device, but that's clearly not the view of the majority. Such a move will help Apple in winning over additional users of Samsung, HTC, LG devices. It's very hard to move from a 5" screen to a 4" screen. Will be interesting to see if Apple will retain the 4" size or instead risk the wrath of the vocal minority.

     

    There's no way in hell Apple is going to release TWO larger, separate sizes. If anything, the flagship "S" line will increase in size slightly, and the C will remain at 4".

     

    And 5.5"? No way in hell. 

  • Reply 5 of 92

    Wait....I thought 3.5 inches was the perfect size??

  • Reply 6 of 92

    I did not know Apple was sensitive to pressure. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 7 of 92
    Wait....I thought 3.5 inches was the perfect size??

    If that is what she told you she was lying.
  • Reply 8 of 92
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

     

    There's no way in hell Apple is going to release TWO larger, separate sizes. If anything, the flagship "S" line will increase in size slightly, and the C will remain at 4".

     

    And 5.5"? No way in hell. 


     

    Give me one good BUSINESS reason why Apple will not develop a 5.5" phone.  

     

    I'll give you FOUR reasons why they should:

     

    1. Apple is forgoing a large and growing market by not entering into the phablet category.

     

    2. Phablets are expensive and consumers are accustomed to paying a premium for then.  This is right in Apple's strike zone.

     

    3. Phablets are popular in Asia, a stated growth area for Apple.

     

    From Business Insider...

    Phablets have experienced phenomenal growth in shipments across the Asia-Pacific region.

    Shipments increased by an average of 88 percent quarter-on-quarter between year-end 2011 and June 30 of this year, according to IDC. 

     

    4. Apple is relinquishing this category to Samsung and will cause damage to Samsung if they can grab some of this market.

  • Reply 9 of 92
    Originally Posted by jobsonmyface View Post

    Wait....I thought 3.5 inches was the perfect size??

     

    She lied.

  • Reply 10 of 92

    I hate to repeat myself, but if Apple releases a phablet, it will be 5.7" not 5.5". 

     

    5.7" is exactly half an iPad mini screen which would make it 1536x1024 at 326DPI. Two apps optimized for this screen format could run side by side on the iPads.

  • Reply 11 of 92
    Apple will release a phat ass phone!
    Nonsense!
    That is RnD.
  • Reply 12 of 92
    Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

    Two apps optimized for this screen format could run side by side on the iPads.


     

    The purpose of which being what? <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 13 of 92
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    The purpose of which being what? <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />


    Split screen multi-tasking?

  • Reply 14 of 92
    Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

    Split screen multi-tasking?

     

    That answer’s implied; my question is for it:p

  • Reply 15 of 92
    froodfrood Posts: 771member

    oooohhhhh...... nice.

     

    Less on lawsuits and billboards, more on this as info becomes available please.

     

    If any Apple execs read this site, open invite for you to take me out to lunch next time I'm in the San Jose/Cupertino area (I get out there about every 3 months).  With a screen that size lets talk about how Apple can finally redefine widgets and make them better than what Android currently offers.  Love the ideas or hate them, either way I'd be happy to add to the scope of possibilities.  Leave the 'grid of icons' as an option for those that love that too.

  • Reply 16 of 92
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    That answer’s implied; my question is for it:p


    Judging from this rhetorical question you seem to imply that split screen multi-tasking would be useless on an iPad, I have a feeling that any example I can give will be dismissed in one way or the other.

  • Reply 17 of 92
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,193member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JamesMac View Post

     

     

    Give me one good BUSINESS reason why Apple will not develop a 5.5" phone.  

     

    I'll give you FOUR reasons why they should:

     

    1. Apple is forgoing a large and growing market by not entering into the phablet category.

     

    2. Phablets are expensive and consumers are accustomed to paying a premium for then.  This is right in Apple's strike zone.

     

    3. Phablets are popular in Asia, a stated growth area for Apple.

     

    From Business Insider...

    Phablets have experienced phenomenal growth in shipments across the Asia-Pacific region.

    Shipments increased by an average of 88 percent quarter-on-quarter between year-end 2011 and June 30 of this year, according to IDC. 

     

    4. Apple is relinquishing this category to Samsung and will cause damage to Samsung if they can grab some of this market.


     

    None of that shit matters to Apple if they believe 5.5" for a phone is a ridiculous size. If they release a larger phone, it will be between 4.5-5.0, and probably leaning towards the lower end of that range. You're a bit out of touch if you actually believe "most" people want a 5.5" phone. If that was the case, 9 million iPhones wouldn't have been sold in a weekend. 

  • Reply 18 of 92
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Bloomberg is wrong more than its right with Apple rumors. So I take this with a HUGE grain of salt.
  • Reply 19 of 92
    The only reasons that any competitor (of which there is really only one) is successful is due to a massive advertising campaign to convince us that all the drawbacks of their mobile phones are actually advantages. The truth is the competitor can't make a comparable mobile phone the size of the iPhone 5s. There is no market for a 6" mobile phone. There is only a market for "not an iPhone" from the competitor who "isn't Apple" but can't make a comparable mobile phone the size of the iPhone 5s.
  • Reply 20 of 92
    jamesmac wrote: »
    I truly hope the rumour "The two new iPhone models will feature screen sizes of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches" is correct.

    This would put Apple squarely in the game with the flagship devices of all other smartphone makers.
    I realise some people here think a 4" screen is normal for a high end device, but that's clearly not the view of the majority. Such a move will help Apple in winning over additional users of Samsung, HTC, LG devices. It's very hard to move from a 5" screen to a 4" screen. Will be interesting to see if Apple will retain the 4" size or instead risk the wrath of the vocal minority.
    This isn't the view of the majority iPhone still owns the high end market. Apple following the example of Samsung is the worst thing the company could ever do in the history of the brand. Apple doesn't follow, it leads, they introduced the iPad for a reason. Anything much bigger than 4 inches is no longer a phone, it's an undersized tablet. If apple really has to make bigger screens just add phone capability to the iPad mini but don't humor anything by calling it an iPhone. It'll be a cellular enabled iPad. Note 3 isn't a phone its an undersized tablet that can call.
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