When the original 9.7-inch iPad was threatened by the rising popularity of small Android tablets in early 2012, Apple had to respond and issue the compact iPad Mini at 7.9-inch. The move paid off as the Mini emerged as the market leader, even surpassing the bigger iPad both in sales numbers and popularity.
The iOS tablet was deemed too big last year. Now, the 4-inch iPhone 5S is seen by analysts and consumers alike as gradually losing its allure. Giant-screen Android mobile phones are coming out in droves and even Windows-powered devices are answering to the call of the raging phablet fever.
There is little doubt that the existing iPhone make has become too small and below are the three pressing reasons why Apple needs to stretch its imagination a bit in designing the optimal iPhone 6 screen dimension.
Mobile phone screens are not shrinking
Research firm IDC has reported that smartphone screens are not going back to the standard seen a few years ago. Per reports by The Huffington Post, the phones that were shipped out by manufacturers in the first half of 2013 were noticeably comprised of large-screen handsets. The ratio is around four out of 10.
This percentage has nowhere to go but up and if Apple will not upgrade its screen size offering, starting with the iPhone 5, it stands to lose a big chunk of the global smartphone market. Take note that after dominating the market since the iPhone became a hot commodity, Apple ceded its top seat to Samsung last year.
And the company could slide further if it remains adamant in not playing the phablet game, which most phone makers are now into.
Phablet-size phones could soon replace small tablets
When the first iPad came out, it took the planet by storm, causing the near-extinction of conventional PCs. Consumers discovered that there too many things they can do with a slate to hardly require computing tools like a laptop or desktop.
Then came the first phablet, Samsung's Galaxy Note, and gradually people realised that its hybrid functions of a tablet and smartphone offer more portability. At first, analysts scoffed at the idea of merging the two devices. Now they're singing a different tune, with some even projecting that phablets would soon make 7-inch and 8-inch tablets unnecessary. With phones already out and boasting of screen beyond the 6-inch mark, that is not a remote possibility.
Obviously Apple would hate to be labelled as a laggard when that happens.
Steve Wozniak says bigger smartphones are better
In a tech gathering held this week, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak declared that he remains an iPhone lover, wielding even his champagne gold iPhone 5S. But he admitted that he constantly experiments on devices running Android and he was impressed by the later builds.
What really got his attention is the Samsung smartphones, specifically the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3. The iPhone 5S, compared to these handsets, is a disappointment, Mr Wozniak said. Androids with wider screen offers more space for the fingers to navigate, making it easier to manipulate the device, he added.
Rumours said that Apple is planning a radical redesign of the next iPhone, giving it more power under its virtually indestructible LiquidMetal case and covering a big portion of its body with a wraparound screen.
It will be a durable, thin and incredibly light smartphone that Apple can easily call it as the iPhone Air on release date, just like it did when the MacBook and iPad were morphed into the MacBook Air and the iPad Air.
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