Apple reportedly testing 6-inch displays for future iPhone

Apple is reportedly testing some new devices that would have 6-inch screens built in to them. It looks like these are probably future iPhones in the works, but interesting since Apple has never seemed willing to step into this territory.

The scoop comes in from Wall Street Journal's Ian Sherr who sent out a tweet with the news.

 

 

The full report reveals Apple is actually testing multiple screen sizes including 4.8 inches as well and all the way up to a maximum of 6 inches. Perhaps Apple could be taking a cue from the likes of Samsung, which already has devices on the market with screen sizes in this range.

It's thought-provoking that Sherr specifically says that these are iPhone screens. 4.8 inches would almost certainly be a phone, but 6 inches is right in between iPhone and iPad models. The iPhone 5's display is 4 inches diagonally while the iPad mini's display is 8 inches diagonally. (Okay, they're both technically 3.99 inches and 7.9 inches respectably but for the sake of argument let's round off.) Instead of a larger iPhone, a 6-inch device could also be just a smaller iPad. Better yet, it could be a phablet.

Apple is known to test out various products, components, and features without ever releasing any of them to the public. On the underwhelming side of this report, it could all just be a little experiment Apple is conducting and nothing more. We'll just have to see what 2014 brings.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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I suspect they are constantly trying all kinds of different size devices all the time. I seriously doubt we will be seeing a 6" iPhone. Maybe a just-under-5-inch iPhone, but 6" is ridiculously large. Their test results will likely conclude: 6" is ridiculously large for a phone that is intended to be mobile.

Joswin said,

/s ?

I don't think /s. Steve Jobs was very vocal about the 3.5" form factor being ideal for a smartphone. At the same time, Steve Jobs said a lot of stuff was impractical or he considered it "bad design" but later Apple (under him) ended up following. Video on the iPod for example.

What can be said about CEOs? They say all kinds of stuff.

Shadrack said,

I don't think /s. Steve Jobs was very vocal about the 3.5" form factor being ideal for a smartphone.

Then. Not forever and ever and ever and ever. Times change, and so do Apple.

Steve Jobs specifically said never to ask 'What would Steve do?' when moving the company forward. I find these 'Steve wouldn't approve this.' or 'Steve is turning in his grave.' comments bizarre.

Joswin said,

Then. Not forever and ever and ever and ever. Times change, and so do Apple.

Steve Jobs specifically said never to ask 'What would Steve do?' when moving the company forward. I find these 'Steve wouldn't approve this.' or 'Steve is turning in his grave.' comments bizarre.

The point was if Jobs was around, he would not approve these changes.

He was very adamant in public and in his biography that Apple had the perfect format. They worked on it for years to find the right ratio. 3.5 inch was the most optimal and comfortable size and made fun of bigger screen phones.

If you thought Jobs will follow behind with bigger screen competitors if he was still alive then all power to you.

mr_sock_00 said,

The point was if Jobs was around, he would not approve these changes.

Untrue. Remember how vocal he was about 7" tabs in 2010? He made fun of those too. But he was changing his mind. I read the biography too. No way in hell Jobs was shortsighted enough to declare 3.5" is the perfect screen size from now until eternity. That's just insane.

Usage patterns of devices change, just like the evolution of mobile phones to mobile computers.

Ok, maybe I misstated Job's comments some. He never said 3.5" was ideal (at least not that I can find off hand), but he did point out in 2010 that he thought it was important to have a phone that you could get your hands around:

Steve took the opportunity to rip on bigger rivals, saying that making a phone so big "you can't get your hand around it" helps, but that "no one's going to buy that." We're assuming he's likely talking about the latest crop of 4-, 4.3- and 5-inch phones that include the Galaxy S series, the EVO 4G, Droid X, and Dell Streak, even going so far as to call them "Hummers" (we take it you don't ever drive a Hummer, Steve?).

source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/0...s-going-to-buy-a-big-phone/

But that is a bunch of CEO talk. That is what they typically do when it comes to interviews and such. They promote their product and sometimes trash talk the competition. Sometimes with little regards to what they may do or what direction their company may take in the future.

Oh well, Jobs is dead anyway so it doesn't really matter. I think Tim has done a good job so far. The shots at him for Apple not "innovating" I think are just ridiculous. Jobs didn't pull magic out of his ass every damn year. People need to get over the Steve Jobs worship.

I see that this site has once again not disappointed with all the childish penis innuendo comments here. Oh who am I kidding, gives the site some class. LOL

Waiting for Apple to spin this into a we somehow did it first situation.

I hope they don't do this. While I am no fan boy of Apple I cant stand 6" phones, I just think they are stupid and clunky and weigh your pocket down. People mock the iPhone 5 because its 4" display is tall but by doing that it allows most people to hold and use the phone with one hand, something you struggle to do even with 6 hands when you have a massive 6" phone. At a push I'd say they would make the device a bit wider and go for a 4.3" screen which wouldn't ruin the phone or make it the size of a brick!

Richard Cousins said,
I hope they don't do this. While I am no fan boy of Apple I cant stand 6" phones, I just think they are stupid and clunky and weigh your pocket down. People mock the iPhone 5 because its 4" display is tall but by doing that it allows most people to hold and use the phone with one hand, something you struggle to do even with 6 hands when you have a massive 6" phone. At a push I'd say they would make the device a bit wider and go for a 4.3" screen which wouldn't ruin the phone or make it the size of a brick!

6 hands eh? Now that would be handy.

Testing but not manufacturing. Most likely if they go bigger then 4.5 will be the biggest but it will be scale from the iPhone 4 size to 4.5 inches. 5 will be too long to it 4.5.

Another device to further erode the tablet niche, on which Microsoft "bet the ranch" with their Windows-8. No sympathy there.

Not really, since Nokia is releasing a 6" phablet this fall for WP.

MS' ultimate goal is for WP and Win 8 to mix, so I don't think they care if the market demands more 6" phablets or 8"/10" tablets.

Honestly, I cannot tell you how much I hate the sound of this. While I love WP, I'm definitely not looking forward to the questions people will ask me between how WP, Windows RT, and Windows 8 are different. Why this gets Office and why the other doesn't, why this one can only install any apps and the other not being limited... it's just... ugh. I need to get a new job already...

Hey, I know how it is, I field the same questions.

Its not terrible though. WP and RT are platforms like any other mobile OS, so I tell people that they rely on an app store, where you go and find software that is useful on a tablet or phone. They both offer Office applications built in.

Windows 8 is your standard windows environment as far as installing programs like your use to. It also happens to offer access to that app store if you want to use it.

For me, this line has worked well. People understand what an app store is and it puts them in the right mindset for using the devices.

One thing that MS seems focused on is merging WP and Windows. The sooner they get to that point, the easier it is to explain to customers.

It won't be more fragmented than today, because by the time anything like this is done, Apple will no longer build non-Retina compact devices.

I love the apple hardware, but they are getting way behind in software, the latest Android 4.3 is way better than any iOS so far. Apple was a nice company.

john.smith_2084 said,
I love the apple hardware, but they are getting way behind in software, the latest Android 4.3 is way better than any iOS so far. Apple was a nice company.

I am not one to defend iOS as it is architecturally a mess.

However, when compared to Android, even the latest builds, iOS has a significant performance and responsiveness advantage.

Android's OS design has inherent latencies that cannot be corrected without redesigning how input is handled at a core level, which would break compatibility with a majority of Apps .

Even adding some GPU acceleration to UI elements like WP and iOS already uses cannot compensate for the input latencies, and even these additions cannot be fully/universally implemented as they would also break a lot of App compatibility.

Google messed up by not putting time and/or engineers into the Android purchase to create a more extensible OS model before popularity gained and locked the OS to a problematic design.

Remember when the iPhone 4 had the perfect sized screen and other brands were only making larger screens as gimmicks because they couldn't compete with the almighty iPhone?

Eh, both sides are guilty really. Remember when Samsung made fun of Apple for their devices looking so similar? Then they released the S4 which looks almost just like the S3...

Looks like Apple are looking at expanding their offerings into other segments of the smartphone market, surprised they didn't do it sooner really.

CygnusOrion said,
Isn't competition good? If Samsung hadn't sold 20 million Galaxy Notes, Apple wouldn't have considered this.

Absolutely, competition is always good (as long as it's in the form of innovation rather than lawsuits)

Javik said,
Looks like Apple are looking at expanding their offerings into other segments of the smartphone market, surprised they didn't do it sooner really.

Jobs didn't want to. He really held things back just because.

Dot Matrix said,
Jobs didn't want to. He really held things back just because.

I disagree. When you have a massive hit on your hands, there's not much reason to compete with yourself. Samsung have released some good phones, but also many bad ones. Not saying innovation is bad, but when you don't put the same amount of time, thought, and resources into your projects, it shows.

dead.cell said,

I disagree. When you have a massive hit on your hands, there's not much reason to compete with yourself. Samsung have released some good phones, but also many bad ones. Not saying innovation is bad, but when you don't put the same amount of time, thought, and resources into your projects, it shows.

Despite the criticism their phablets have actually been pretty popular, which devices were you referring to?

Javik said,
Despite the criticism their phablets have actually been pretty popular, which devices were you referring to?

Speaking more on the budget side of things. It's annoying seeing someone complain about their phone, and they pull out some obscure Samsung, LG, or Motorola model that works just well enough for calls and texts, but doesn't perform very well for everything else.

I guess it's more disheartening for me, knowing that those people likely spent way too much money for a phone that isn't up to par. It happened to my dad, and he just last week got things situated this time around with real Samsung devices that him and my brother can be happy with.

dead.cell said,

Speaking more on the budget side of things. It's annoying seeing someone complain about their phone, and they pull out some obscure Samsung, LG, or Motorola model that works just well enough for calls and texts, but doesn't perform very well for everything else.

I guess it's more disheartening for me, knowing that those people likely spent way too much money for a phone that isn't up to par. It happened to my dad, and he just last week got things situated this time around with real Samsung devices that him and my brother can be happy with.

If people buy a 150 buck phone and expect it to do the same things as a 500 buck phone of course they are in for disappointment

Javik said,
If people buy a 150 buck phone and expect it to do the same things as a 500 buck phone of course they are in for disappointment

You mean an Android phone that's more on the budget side that offers the capability of browsing the web and playing games shouldn't be expected to do such things? Sorry, but that's a fail in my book.

Honestly though, that wouldn't even be so bad if it wasn't "as good", if that meant the build quality of those phones weren't awful to begin with.

Edited by dead.cell, Sep 6 2013, 9:09pm :

dead.cell said,

You mean an Android phone that's more on the budget side that offers the capability of browsing the web and playing games shouldn't be expected to do such things? Sorry, but that's a fail in my book.

Honestly though, that wouldn't even be so bad if it wasn't "as good", if that meant the build quality of those phones weren't awful to begin with.

What specifically can it not do?

dead.cell said,

I disagree. When you have a massive hit on your hands, there's not much reason to compete with yourself. Samsung have released some good phones, but also many bad ones. Not saying innovation is bad, but when you don't put the same amount of time, thought, and resources into your projects, it shows.

Yes, but look at the iPhone now, it's weak compared to other phones on the market.

I suspect they settle around 5", which is pretty much where one handed operation ends for the vast majority. That said, why the hell don't they just offer 4, 5 and 6...might reverse the exodus

If they do this, they'll definitely need to add some sort of stylus capabilities, as that's the one thing I admire from the Note/Note II. If we can have a big screen, decent pen, and not have to be stuck with Android, then by all means.

Well, yeah, a stylus will work on most touch capacitive devices. The problem is how well they work compared to what you'd see on the Note or Surface Pro with that digitizer.

shozilla said,
You can get stylus for your iPhone or iPad... they are available at any stores you go to. Or buy online.

You can get a stylus but it's basically a fake finger. You need a different type of screen for a precision pen.

I know that, spicoli. There are many stylus with different tips which allow you to draw or handwriting.. At least it works for me on my iPad. That allows me to change sizes of the line so I could draw whatever or handwriting notes.

dead.cell, I have note 2 and iPad. my iPad stylus works on both iPad and Note 2. But my Note 2 stylus won't work on my iPad.

I picked up a $10 stylus from walmart and used it on both my phone and ipad to play draw some. It's extremely accurate. More than enough for note taking purposes. Really all that needs to be added is some sort of writing to text conversion software.

shozilla said,
You can get stylus for your iPhone or iPad... they are available at any stores you go to. Or buy online.

Just to be clear...

There is a difference between a capacitive stylus and a true digitizer class stylus/screen.

When people compare a stylus on an iPad to the digitizer class stylus/screen on a device like the Surface Pro there is a massive disconnect in understanding the technology.

A digitizer class stylus inputs points at a higher resolution than the display, where an iPad cannot even accept input on a pixel by pixel basis, let alone at a higher resolution. This also applies to touch, as you can in theory 'touch' a single pixel on a Surface Pro, where you cannot on an iPad (3).

If you reference a technology like Microsoft Ink, there is more information stored in the stroke than just the pixels that were touched as captured through a digitizer class screen/stylus. (Speed, Angle, Pressure, Vector stroke, etc.)

Even the Galaxy Note devices do not provide a true digitizer class input, even though they provide basic pressure sensitivity.

Mobius, I know that. It is up to the user depends on what he/she uses it for. I was testing my styluses to see if any of them works on alternative tablets/phones.

And I know that the user can not rest the hand on it during draw or write... I am not that stupid.

shozilla said,
Mobius, I know that. It is up to the user depends on what he/she uses it for. I was testing my styluses to see if any of them works on alternative tablets/phones.

And I know that the user can not rest the hand on it during draw or write... I am not that stupid.

I apologize if my response seemed to address you personally. I have no way of knowing what information or misconceptions anyone has. I picked your post as it was talking about an iPad Stylus and was at the beginning of the discussion.

My intent is to provide general information for anyone reading or responding to this thread, it wasn't directed at you or anyone else specifically.

Mobius Enigma said,

I apologize if my response seemed to address you personally. I have no way of knowing what information or misconceptions anyone has. I picked your post as it was talking about an iPad Stylus and was at the beginning of the discussion.

My intent is to provide general information for anyone reading or responding to this thread, it wasn't directed at you or anyone else specifically.

No problem.


Jobs was against the idea of having to use a stylus just to use your phone, and I still very much agree with that sentiment. Building it around our hands was the first step after all.

Touch is much better today, and the things you can do with a stylus provided you have supporting technology is quite impressive. I think the Surface Pro is a prime example of something that feels really good in your hands. I love grabbing a demo unit just to sign my name or draw something funky.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Why don't they modify the Ipad minis and make them into 7 inch iPhones

The phone stores have the minis in stock with data plan of your choice.

Instant sellout. Millions of iPhone users such as myself have wanted a bigger screen. Millions more will jump onboard. Make it happen Apple!

Mulsivaas said,
So you've been settling for a subpar and dissatisfying experience this whole time just because you're an Apple fan?
If you are not aware, this article is from September 5. Pretty late to the party! To answer your question, I'm a tech fan. In my beautiful home I have an iMac, two iPads, one MacBook Pro, one MacBook Air, a Dell laptop, a Haswell beast I built in July running Windows 7, two iPhones, one Galaxy Note 2, and a old Windows 7 phone. I've been a hardcore Windows fan since 1992, probably since you were still in diapers. Do I hate Windows 8? Yes! Do I love tech? Hell yes! Anymore questions?

Nashy said,
Good. The only thing stopping me buying an Apple phone is they are too small!
My two brothers, a Galaxy user and a Note user, have always said the same thing.

Thanks for your opinion.

However, disregarding me as wrong in this instance is a little silly. Quite clearly it is not up to you, or Apple to make the decision for me. If it was, I'd be using a little iPhone 5, but I'm not.

So "Samesung" copiED "Applequal" after they came up with a "plastic" and a "6' " smartphone right? What about Galaxy Wear?