You know I always take supposed insider leaks about unreleased Apple products with a grain of salt - but since this one came from a rather reputable source, I thought I'd share it with you.
"The new iPhone screens will measure 4 inches from corner to corner."
That's what Reuters' source recently disclosed to the news agency.
The 'insider' even added that production is in now progress with three suppliers working together - via a Japanese-government-brokered merger - to assemble the screens. The three companies cited are LG Display Co. Ltd, Sharp Corporation and Japan Display Inc.
Interestingly, Samsung Electronics - a known Apple display supplier - was left out of the merger; Now, is this a result of the Korean giant's recent riff and legal battles with the Cupertino company? You tell me.
Long-Planned or Because of Pressure from Competition?
Augmenting the iPhone's current screen size to 4-inch will represent around 30 percent increase in viewing area - that's "assuming Apple keeps other dimensions [in proportion]."
Back in 2007, during the first generation iPhone's introduction, Steve Jobs himself described the 3.5-inch display as already 'very big'. And considering that Apple has kept that screen size in all of its five iPhone releases thus far - spanning around 6 years, there's reason to believe that the company indeed deems 3.5-inch as the optimal size for a smartphone screen. So why change it now?
These in mind and the fact that Samsung - via its Galaxy handsets flaunting massive 4.3-inch to 5.3-inch displays - had recently beaten Apple to become the top 'smartphone' maker in the world, one is led to ask, "Is Apple suddenly increasing the iPhone's screen size because of pressure from competition or has it all been long planned?"
So Are We Getting a Redesigned iPhone This Year?
I'm not sure if you'll agree with me on this - but I don't really think there's much more we can ask for in the design of iPhone 4S, the company's current flagship handset. The glass-and-metal-sandwich construction is incredibly gorgeous - heck, for me, even its fragility is part of its charm. Personally, if Apple decides to just release a bigger version of the 4S (which I own), I'll still be a very happy guy.
Then again, I also understand the sentiment of those who think that the current design is already a tad old and that consumers deserve something 'new'. After all, Apple iPhone 4S, which was launched in October 2011, practically has the very same form factor of iPhone4 from 2010! I guess Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee, is likewise correct in saying that "Not only do users pay for features, but they also pay for aesthetics and design. That's as important, or more important, than features. People love the current design, but it's 18 months old."
Well, anyway. Some of the more creative ones who are wishing for a redesigned iPhone have already gone out of their way to show Apple how they want their next smartphone, which some are already calling iPhone 5 (I think Apple will just call it "The New iPhone", though), to look. Here's a 2012 iPhone Concept from a fan;
Do you like it? I think it looks like a Magic Mouse. Next!