Could Apple get away with a larger, curved display on the iPhone?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Flexible and curved displays seem to be the topic of the weekend for me, as I've already made mention of flexible displays just yesterday when I asked whether you were still interested in the potential form factor or not. But before we even get into whether flexible displays would be worth the investment or not, we still have one hurdle we need to jump over before we get there: curved displays. Curved displays seem to be making headlines quite often lately, so it probably comes as no surprise that when you throw "curved display" and "Apple" in the same sentence, ears are going to perk.
Whether it's a good thing or not, you tell me.
My friend and co-worker Evan Selleck mentioned not too long ago that speculation and rumors start too early entirely too often, and while I do agree to an extent I have to say that it's where half the fun comes from in this industry. It could also be considered setting ourselves up for some serious disappointment, like we saw with the Moto X (wasn't it just this time last year where we were expecting the Moto X to be the smartphone to end all smartphones?) However, with Apple only releasing one (or as it seems, two) new smartphones once a year, it's hard to keep it out of our mouths the other 364 days of the year. Sometimes you just have to let the dreamers dream a little bit.
Considering the next iPhone is going to presumably be a fresh new start - the iPhone 6, I assume - I'm hoping that this time around we have a better chance of seeing something worth mentioning. The arrival of the iPhone 5 was all but exciting to me at the time, and the iPhone 5s was pretty much exactly on par with what the rest of the follow-up generations entailed when it comes to the iPhone: same body, a few new key features. iOS 7 also sparked more interest in iOS, but isn't mutually exclusive with the iPhone 5s or 5c. Regardless, a new year ahead means another shot at making the new "it" device that everybody's talking about, and the latest rumors regarding the next generation iPhone could make it something worth talking about.
It just wouldn't be an Apple rumor if it didn't include the phrase "bigger screen", which this rumor does indeed mention, but for once isn't the most important aspect of the rumor (unless that's most important to you). According to a source that was speaking to Businessweek, Apple is reportedly aiming to release two larger variants of the iPhone in late 2014, in 4.7 and 5.5-inch sizes, that also incorporate those curved displays that's been so often talked about this past month or so. Apple is also reportedly working on increasing touscreen sensitivity, hinting that they would be able to pick up different pressures applied to the screen.
And that's what we've been given to work with for now. Of course, with these rumors coming just a mere two months after the release of the iPhone 5s and 5c, it's best not to consider any of this set in stone by any means, but the notion that Apple is wanting to implement these features is far from impossible as we are already seeing two of the three rumors rise in smartphone trends at this very point in time.
But I do wonder whether Apple would be able to get away with changes like this, especially given the responses I see regarding curved displays. Throughout mine and other's articles that I read regarding phones already exhibiting curved displays such as the Samsung Galaxy Round or the LG G Flex, not everybody seems on board with the idea. However, both Samsung and LG both release multiple flagship devices per year and have some wiggle room to experiment with such devices. Apple, on the other hand, has typically only released one phone per year with the exception of this year. I can only say that I hope if they do end up coming out with two new iPhones again next year that one will keep the same flat display that most smartphones use. It would already be a big enough change for people if Apple opted to go for a 4.7-inch and/or 5.5-inch display; adding a curved display into the mix might not bode over so well.
I could see why Apple would want to tinker with the idea of a curved display, though, at least on one device. I also think that working on pressure sensitivity could come in handy in smartphones, especially since iOS 7 seems particularly keen on improving smartphone gaming with native controller support - pressure sensitivity could take smartphone gaming to another level. But when it comes to enlarging the iPhone's screen, well...
I'll believe that when I see it.
So now my question stands to you, readers: Do you think that Apple could get away with releasing the next generation iPhone with a curved display and a larger screen? Or do you think that Apple should keep the iPhone on the smaller side of the spectrum and with a more traditional form? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!