Will Apple release a 5-inch iPhone this year?

Yesterday Marco Arment of Instapaper fame, published an article in which he does the heavy lifting, and suggests that Apple could easily create a 4.94-inch iPhone that would measure nicely within their own product lineup and be comparable to competing products.

Apple has certainly expanded product lines to hit different price points before. The iPod line is the most obvious example. First came the iPod (later rebranded as iPod Classic), then the Mini (which later morphed into the nano) then the Shuffle, and finally the iPod touch. There have been many iterations of these products over the years, and with them the expansion into lower and higher price points.

With Apple recently expanding all of their existing iOS lines to include new screen sizes, and with their track record of introducing new sizes to their consumer electronics lines, it would make sense that Apple would create a larger iPhone.

This is purely my speculation, but this could meld nicely with another rumor floating around. Recently reports have surfaced claiming that Apple is working on a new, low-cost iPhone offering. I recently dismissed the idea. Since the Arment piece, I’m reconsidering the idea under the following scenario: The 4-inch iPhone becomes the standard baseline iPhone, the 3.5-inch iPhone becomes the smaller less-expensive (thus why it would be manufactured more cheaply) offering, and a hypothetical 4.94-inch iPhone could be the new deluxe model. Total speculation on my part, but I can see it playing out like this.

On the other side of things, does Apple really need to make such a device due to competitive pressures? Are larger, almost comically-sized phones posing a real threat? I’d say no, but that’s mostly because such a device does not appeal to me, my wallet, or my soft, tiny little hands. Despite Apple not offering anything in that of that size, the iPhone is still selling really well. Then again, the comically oversized (at least I think so) Galaxy Note II is reportedly seeing strong sales as well.

There is seemingly no downsides to Apple moving into this part of the market. They can compete against other manufacturers, consumers have another option, and developers won’t have to do much to make their applications compatible with the new screen size. However, I think this would begin to muddle the line between iPad and iPhone. Sure, Apple probably doesn’t care which device they are selling, so long as you are buying from Apple, but this would most certainly make it harder for a consumer to decide. That is, if they aren’t confused by it.

The iPhone and iPad share iOS as their foundation. Apple is moving to make the Mac more like iOS with the slow addition of iOS-like features with the past two releases. Perhaps Apple is indeed hoping to morph the two platforms into one. It certainly seems like it is headed that way. We would be one step closer, at least from a end-users perspective if Apple would introduce a 5-inch “iPhone Plus”

Just a few years ago, I could never have predicted Apple making an iPhone screen any larger than 3.5inches. Here we are in 2013 and the iPhone screen has been expanded and the iPad screen has been reduced. Things can and will change. Although I personally have no interest in a larger iPhone, there is certainly a market for it. It remains to be seen if it a sizable enough market for Apple to enter.

The atmosphere is right for a larger iPhone to emerge. The technology is there as well. Perhaps we’ll see one alongside standard 3.5 and 4-inch iPhone models. Then again, as the speculation mounts in regards to Apple entering the television market, just because Apple can or even should enter a market, doesn’t mean they will.

Would a 5-inch iPhone be something that interests you? We’d love to hear what you’re thinking. Please leave a comment below!

 



  • http://twitter.com/suzyz40 SuzyZ

    Since you asked, I would like a 5 inch I phone and have no interest in a mini I pad.

  • http://profiles.google.com/edvislee Edmond Lee

    Did you know that Apple stock is taking a blood bath because of public and analyst perception that they are dead in the water with respect to innovation? Android and Samsung have made MAJOR strides in the last few years. I have owned every ipod, iphone, ipad, and macbook. I have recently purchased a Galaxy Note 2 and I now laugh at the “comically small” iphone 5 ( I sold mine! ). Apple needs to stop introducing old technology in tiny increments to milk their user base. The “sheep are catching on!”

    • roger

      perfect analysis!!!! thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wilfred.tull Wilfred Tull

    I have big hands, and I would not purchase an I-phone unless they come out with the 5″ screen.

  • me

    i too would love a 5″ iphone but at some point the rumors were saying the low cost iphone would be the big one (to be more androidy-like) for china but i dont want a laggy low class iphone for the price of screen size. i would even guess it would have better specs than a 4″ iphone due to more room for well… stuff.

  • phinn

    I highly doubt it.

  • Jay

    I’m ready! Not only am I jealous of the larger screens, my eyes are suffering at the size of text on my favored iPhone 4S

  • http://twitter.com/ZoomZoooom Steve A-B

    I’ve gone with Samsungs for the last few years, partly because I like android, but most because of the screen size. I prefer the outward design and finish of the iPhone, and I guess I could get used to iOS. So I would definitely be up for an 5″ iPhone as the current and previous are dinky in my opinion!

  • Sam

    yes, i would purchase an 5 inch or bigger iphone, my son has a samsung and i really like the bigger screen, i love my iphone 4 and holding on for a bigger iphone, if not i may lean towards the samsung4, since my contract is up, just waiting on apple.

  • Samuel

    Apple is overlooking the entire generation of us ‘with-it’ Senior Citizens that passionately embraced the FIRST iPhone, and loyally upgraded to each new version. Due to old age failing eyesight, SMALLER screens are NOT a viable option for the greater majority of us.

    Reward our loyalty and give us BIGGER screens!

  • http://twitter.com/marky_yo Marky

    I would be very very tempted to switch over back if they made 5″ size!!!

  • goldilox

    I’m hoping Apple will release a 5-inch soon; if not, I’ll switch to the Samsung Galaxy Note.

  • Dan

    So Apple will more than likely produce a 5inch screen for their next gen iPhone.
    How are Apple going to get around their hands, thumbs & common sense excuse for the iphone 5? Samsung will have a field day and It is going to make for comedy gold for their commercials. Once again Apple will be in the following others category. Look at the Ipad mini for example why did they release an inferior product (mini ipad2) at a cheaper price point to compete with Nexus 7 and others?. Their excuse “we need to compete on price point so we produced something to fit that space” Apple do not belong in that space Apple can not compete on price without compromised its core values. The Apple of old under Jobs (had he approved the ipad mini) would probably have released the mini equivalent of the iPad4 expensive but more in line with Apples values. Even if it was at the SAME price point as a full size IPAD 4 you are paying for the convenience of a smaller IPAD (He would have released both together) so neither oner are eating into each others profit margin. If you are looking at Apples core audience given the choice between a Nexus 7 and a Mini version of an Ipad 4 what do you think would be a more profitable tablet? Apple have forgotten who they are.

  • Ronycee

    I would like a 5 inch screen also!!