Are you not using iOS because of the iPhone's screen size?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| January 23, 2014

Controlled leaks happen. Simply put, it's one of the easiest ways for companies, on any level, to gauge what kind of response a certain produce will receive before it ever even hits store shelves. It gauges awareness and so many other things, that not releasing a few pieces of information here and there makes much less sense. Companies watch the news wires and they have people watching comment threads. They watch the social networking feeds. They weigh it all against potential options, and do their best to plan accordingly.

Of course, we can only assume which bits and pieces of the bigger picture are legitimate leaks, and which ones are the kind that the company in question doesn't mind get out. It could come down to timing, or images, or key pieces of information. Even the smallest detail can be meant to just stir the pot a little bit. Get the world talking. Even something as general as, say, a screen size can cause enough buzz to get any company looking at their portfolio and making changes where changes might be needed.

Right at the start of The Wall Street Journal's report on future Apple plans, they point out that the Cupertino-based company is facing competition from companies offering smartphones with bigger screens. They've faced competition with this same battle plan, and they've been doing it for quite some time. I imagine they will be for a long time into the future, too. However, we're led into the article that tells us, due to this competition, Apple's now gearing up to unleash new iPhones with bigger displays.

Oh, and it could be two new iPhones to boot. One with a display that measures under five inches (but it's bigger than the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5s), and another one that stacks up larger than five inches. So, choices! That's a good thing.

We should be saying, "Nothing new here, move along," but instead, we're digging in.

Why? Because this just feels like another controlled leak. Yes, last year when we heard the same thing it felt like a controlled leak, too. This just feels like Apple's testing the waters (again). And, even if it isn't a controlled leak at all? There are still folks out there, gauging the Internet's reaction and coverage.

I'll be the first to tell you I want an iPhone with a bigger display. A 4.7- or 4.8-inch iPhone 6 would make me a ridiculously happy camper, and I know it would make plenty of other people happy. The question is: Is it the kind of change in iPhone design that would see a new wave of consumers pick up the iconic smartphone from Apple?

I'm on the fence here, though I do find myself leaning more towards a definitive "yes." Why? Because when I hear people tell me they don't like the iPhone, it tends to be because it's display is too small. That was definitely the case back when the new models had a 3.5-inch display, and the rest of the smartphone world was leaving that particular display size in the rearview. With a 4-inch screen, Apple moved in the right direction, but it still wasn't big enough for many I spoke to, or many who told me what they were looking for in a new device.

On the other hand, I know a lot of people who don't use iPhones simply because they don't want iOS. For a plethora of reasons, ranging from the "walled garden's restrictions," to "iOS is ugly," there's a wide range of reasons. Just like you'd find with any smartphone or software.

I have no doubt that Apple's been testing screen sizes for a long time now. They have a lot to test, because their new display size can't ruin the whole iOS app show. I don't think Apple wants to make it harder for developers to create apps for iOS, so finding display sizes that don't jumble the whole show is important. So, yes, I would imagine Apple's constantly testing different sizes.

Is this the year that they finally introduce that "big" iPhone? Are we finally going to get an iPhone with a display size that comes close, or even equals, the main competitors from Samsung, HTC, and others? I don't see why not. 2014's just got that feeling that everything might change, and in a good way. Apple could add to that by releasing a bigger iPhone, or a couple of them.

However, my question still stands: If you aren't using iOS right now, are you doing so only because the screen size on the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c is too small? Are you ready to switch to Apple's mobile operating system if the company releases a bigger iPhone? And if so, how big does the display have to be? Let me know!

Products mentioned