I still get excited about new phone announcements. Even if the mystery is pretty much destroyed before the event, thanks to leaks, rumors, and wild speculation, I’m still eager to see what a company showcases on the stage that they’ve chosen. HTC, Samsung, BlackBerry. They’ve all done their duties. They’ve all shown what their next big bet is. What they’re hoping you’re so eager to have that you’ll throw down your hard earned cash to make it yours.
We’re only three months into 2013, and we’re already seen some remarkably exciting smartphones unveiled.
With these announcements, I believe my focus on software over hardware this year is justified. Just look at the options. First we had BlackBerry, formerly Research In Motion, take the wrappings off their BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 devices. Both handsets aren’t powerhouses when it comes to physical specifications. They aren’t slouches, either, but they aren’t trying to win you over with the most powerful devices on the block. No, BlackBerry’s focus is their software, with BlackBerry 10. Gestures, gestures, and more gestures. It’s a whole new game for the company, and one that people here in the United States seem to be excited about.
(Skip one event for just a moment, while we keep the train rolling.)
Samsung’s event proved the point even further, going as far as to reuse the design aesthetic from the Galaxy S III in the Galaxy S 4. Sure, there are some improvements in hardware, like processor (for us here in the U.S.), and screen size-slash-resolution, but for the most part the S 4 looks like its predecessor. Samsung wanted to put the focus on the phone’s features, on the software they are working hard on making a truly unique experience for the user. They’re succeeding with things like Smart Pause, for example.
HTC went the other way, though. Their big focus is on hardware and bucking the megapixel norms. They want to provide the best hardware possible, and make sure that you jump on board with UltraPixels moving forward when you choose your smartphone camera. Admittedly they do have some interesting software features, like HTC BlinkFeed, but for the most part HTC was pretty tame on the software side of their new device.
There isn’t anything wrong with that. I believe that the HTC One is garnering enough praise from its hardware (seriously, our very own Aaron Baker loves the hardware) that the lack of major software innovations won’t hold it back in the slightest.
With the plateau that we’ve found ourselves on in the hardware department for the majority of 2013, I’m not the only one that thinks this year is going to be about software. But while I’m happy BlackBerry and Samsung are putting the focus there, I’m now beginning to hope that one other company does something else entirely.
A few days ago I wrote about how Apple needs to go ahead and fix what isn’t broken. They need to just take the chance that so many people are practically demanding of them, and redesign iOS. Not completely, but just something new. Give it a facelift. Do something. But the truth is, it isn’t broken. Sure, it’s looked the same since 2007, more or less, but it’s still functional. It gets the job done. It works.
So you know what? Instead of asking for Apple to change the software, I want Apple to do something else instead. I want them to go right in line with the rumors we’ve heard for the last year, and make a bigger iPhone. Yes, again. We got a bump from the iPhone 4S to the 5, from 3.5-inches to 4-inches, but it isn’t big enough.
The main reason why I leave the iPhone is its display size. I want a bigger phone. Do I want something as big as the Galaxy Note II? No, no I don’t. Why? Because I don’t want Apple copying Samsung and doing something with a stylus. But, I do want an iPhone with a display size between 4.5- and 4.8-inches. That, to me, would be the absolute perfect size for the next iPhone.
Glutton for punishment. I expect Apple to start taking even more cues from the competition, to start really being different from their past efforts, even though I should know that that’s just not going to happen. They’ll stick with what they know. We’ll get a 4-inch iPhone 5S, and iOS 7 with a whole bunch of new features but the same user interface.
Par for the course.
What do you think? What are the possibilities that Apple lets loose an iPhone with a larger display than four inches? If it doesn’t happen this year, what about next? Or do you think Apple will stick with the iPhone 5’s display size for several years? Would you buy a new iPhone if it had a bigger display than four inches? Let me know.