An iPhone phablet would be good as long as they keep the smaller phonesAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Among all of the news and mayhem that comes with IFA 2013, we had a very interesting rumor spark today from Wall Street Journal that claims that Apple may be dabbling with iPhones that have screens ranging in size from 4.8 to 6 inches. When news that Apple was planning on releasing a 4-inch iPhone hit the media, it was huge news as Apple hadn't strayed from it's 3.5-inch screen size since the iPhone's inception. Now that the iPhone 5 actually shows that Apple was serious about increasing the size of the iPhone, could it be that they're already considering increasing the size of the iPhone again?
For a long time I had been very pleased with the 3.5-inch size of my iPhone 4S. For the most part I was just happy that I could easily reach any part of the screen with my thumb and using only one hand. Before my iPhone I had been using larger screened Androids like the HTC EVO 4G, HTC EVO 3D and a brief stint with the Samsung Epic Touch 4G (Sprint's variant of the Galaxy S II). It's not that I hadn't ever used phones with larger screens before, but it was discovering that I could have a smaller phone with an extremely smooth UI that made me fall in love with it. If I had wanted a smaller phone on Android the interface would be clunky, slow and choppy. At the time the iPhone 4S was a breath of fresh air for me.
It continued to prove its worthiness by being the phone that I've used for the longest period of time, which was over a year and a half. Even if you ask me today what the best phone I have ever owned was, I would have to tell you that the iPhone 4S was my favorite by far. My new HTC One is great and all, and I'm definitely impressed with how far Android has come, but the iPhone 4S is the first phone that really wowed me with how smooth and responsive it was. The HTC One is also smooth and responsive, something that has since disappeared with my 4S with age, but it's just not the same once you've already experienced it once. It just looks different is all.
But even though I've decided to move on from my iPhone 4S doesn't mean that I wouldn't recommend an iPhone to a friend or family member, depending on their wants or needs. Unfortunately, if one of those wants or needs happens to be having a large screen, that automatically nixes the iPhone out. The iPhone does not have a large screen in today's standards. Perhaps a few years ago, sure; 4" could have definitely be seen as a device with a "large" screen. But this is the day and age where companies like Samsung are releasing top-selling phones with screen sizes that are 5-inches, 5.5-inches, 5.7-inches, 5.8-inches or even 6.3-inches. Comparable flagships like the Sony Xperia Z have a 5-inch display, while the HTC One follows closely behind with a 4.7-inch display. And all the while here sits the iPhone at 4-inches. While that's still around the preferred size for me, that's not the preferred size for everybody. As more phones come out with bigger screens people have already casted their votes for them with their wallets. Simply put, larger phones sell, and sell well. There's more room for bigger batteries and better hardware, not to mention you can see more at one time on a larger screen without necessarily having to zoom in. This doesn't seem like a trend that's going to die out anytime soon, so Apple might as well take advantage of the sitation.
I honestly think that making larger iPhones would be a good move on Apple's part. There are a lot of people who switched from iOS to Android with the main reason being that an Android device was more comfortable to hold because of its larger size. Like smaller phones are more comfortable to hold for me, larger phones are more comfortable to people with bigger hands. At this point in time, it would make sense for Apple to release larger phones, and if the iPhone 5C is as true as it seems, I wouldn't really be surprised to see this within the next year or two. Apple might have said in the past that they have no intention of doing action x or action y, but things have changed.
The only reason I wouldn't want this to happen is if Apple didn't just offer bigger phones, but take the smaller 4-inch devices out of the equation. I think Apple has a great thing going for it by offering such great phones in small packages, because it's becoming more and more rare these days. But as a company it is also their duty to keep up with current trends, and the current trend is that people just like big phones. Even if it's just one phone that fit into the phablet category, I think Apple would be doing itself a favor... just as long as they keep the smaller devices in the lineup.
Readers, do you think about an iPhablet? Would it be a device you are interested in, or is iOS just not your style? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!