back to article iPhone 5 gets a 5in screen

The iPhone 5 will sport a five-inch - 4.6in to be precise - screen. Well, that's if you believe the claims of an unnamed industry source - almost certainly a bod from either Samsing or LG - quoted by a South Korean newspaper, Maeil Business. Big screens are in, apparently. When questioned, punters say they favour screen sizes …


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  1. Piro Silver badge

    A little bigger is bettter

    But I'd say around 4" is the right size. Even 4.3" (which I have) starts to get a little unwieldy.

    1. JC_
      Thumb Up

      Re: A little bigger is bettter

      The 3.7" screen on my HTC Desire is great, wouldn't want to go any smaller. 4" would be even better if the bezel was thin enough to result in no overall size increase; iPhones are rather slab-like, so maybe that's possible?

    2. Goldmember

      Re: A little bigger is bettter

      I got my 4.3" HD2 almost two years ago (upgrade time soon, woo hoo!), and could never go back to anything smaller. Yes, it's massive, but as long as the bezel stays thin and the buttons small, it makes for a great phone all round. The screen is crystal clear and browses as well as a tablet (I got rid of the native Win Mo 6.5 and now have Andoroid), and it fits all my pockets perfectly.

      I used an iPhone the other day and the smaller screen felt quite inadequate after being used to mine. Definitely will stick with HTC or Samsung next time round.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A little bigger is bettter

      My original HTC Sensation is as big as I want, in fact it is probably just about pocketable.

      Any bigger and it just is not cool any more to take a call.

      I wonder if the phone will have an edge to edge screen to keep the size down.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A little bigger is bettter

      Remember Dom Joly.....

      Trigger Happy TV.....

      The Nokia in the cinema?

      Hello..Heeelllooooo .....HELLLLLLO!!!!!!!!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A little bigger is bettter

      Apparently some manufacturers want bigger screens on the tablets, I think Samsungs suggestion of a 15" tablet a bit extreme, like carrying a television with you.

    6. N13L5

      "new iPhone has a 4.6" screen" just didn't make a good enough headline??

      4.6" isn't even close to 5"...

      that was a lame way to try to grab more readers...

      Well, I know the 4.3" screen on the Galaxy SII doesn't bother me one bit, it causes neither problems in my pockets, nor in my hands.

      But aside from the diagonal measurement, the aspect ratio of the screen makes a huge difference. And here, Apple has been the odd man out with their weird display not conforming to the quite-sensible-for-phones 16x9 ratio.

      But with the iPhones little screens, it was merely annoying to watch videos on so far. If this 4.6" screen sticks to Apple's usual aspect ratio, it'll be ridiculously wide and clumsy to handle.

  2. Kevin7

    We're going to end up looking like those Yuppie fools from the 80s with a giant brick phone attached to our ear.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. People already fail to carry their phone with them around the office. Making them bulkier just makes it worse.

  3. bob 8
    Thumb Up

    Large Screens FTW!

    Long have the days gone of the giant mobile phone, with a very small screen that can only display 6 digits at at time. Bigger screens are better I have moved from a HD2 (4.3") screen which at the time of release was big to a Samsung galaxy note. It fits in my pocket and after the initial OMFG its massive it now just feels like a normal sized phone. I will be very disappointed if the trend of large screen phones heads south when it comes time to replace my hand set in 2 years, I don't want to go back to "squint-o-vision".

    1. Wibble

      Ooooh, what big pockets you've got

      Sit down, what's that cracking sound? It's the sound of the new hinge in operation.

      Big doesn't suit everyone. Actually big probably doesn't suit the majority.

  4. Thomas 18
    Thumb Down

    hardware specs

    So much for the "we only have to develop for 2 resolutions" argument. Doubt they would let a product out the door with a lower dpi.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Re: hardware specs

      I think you're confusing idle speculation from a source that has yet to make a correct prediction with actual product.

  5. James 51

    Bigger is not always better

    If it gets much bigger and heavier than my N900 it is going to be too big and heavy. You have to consider what those big screens and the GPU they need do to the battery life. Actually if phones were a little bit bulkier for large removeable batteries then I could find that acceptable.

  6. jai

    i really hope not

    i think 4 inches is the max for a phone. if you want a bigger screen, get a frikken tablet

    i quite like the 3.5 screen on the iphone - the phone looks neat and compact these days compared to the oversized ugly Androids. I remember when the first iPhone came out and it looked huge against the skinny candybar feature phones everyone had back then.

    1. JC_
      Thumb Up

      Re: i really hope not

      Not sure why you're getting the downvotes. A phone has to pass the pocket-test (IMHO) or it's really a tablet pretending to be a phone.

      1. N13L5

        Re: i really hope not

        why should everybody else suffer just cause you like to wear clothes with small pockets?

        Samsung's 5" Galaxy Note passed my pocket test without trouble.

        But no, here we go again with people telling others that their personal preference is what everybody should adopt...

        silly people.

    2. Gary B.

      Re: i really hope not

      "downvoted" because you manage to say 3.5" is just right, while at the same time saying how people adapt to larger sizes without too much trouble ("the first iPhone looked huge at the time").

      The nice thing about the Android (and possibly some of the newer WinMo) phones is choice. If you want a phone-tablet, you can get one. If you prefer a more reasonably-sized phone, you can get that too. No need to be forced into one form-factor because it is decreed to be so.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: i really hope not

        Gary B, to paraphrase...

        The nice thing about Apple phones is choice - 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or get f*cked.

        Who said Steve didn't like to give you variety?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahhh... the dilution of a brand begins.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What? With a rumour. Hardly

  8. uhuznaa


    I certainly like a big screen, but I also like a small phone and a touchscreen I can reach all corners on with my thumb when I use my phone with one hand. It's a compromise. I think about 4" is OK.

    Apple totally nailed it with the 3.5" screen in 2007 -- this was just big enough to be usable and just small enough to be accepted by customers who had become spoiled by ever smaller (dumb) phones. Nowadays people do much more with their phones and have come to accept larger phones more easily. Back in 2007 a phone with a 4.3" or even 4.6" screen would have been dead in the water.

    I guess Apple will come with a 4.0" screen for the iPhone 5. This is still fine for 960x640 and with a smaller bezel the phone will be hardly larger.

    1. Arctic fox

      @uhuznaa Re: "Well..." You are likely right.

      The chances of Cupertino going to a five-incher as their primary smartphone are zero. I agree however that for many people something around the 4 inch or so mark appears to be the current accepted size and anything the Apple release is going to be in that ballpark.

  9. tirk

    ...and it will be TRIANGULAR!

    Said another source, who also worked fro Apple's confuse the opposition cum kite flying department

    1. Rob

      Re: ...and it will be TRIANGULAR!

      Do their kites have rounded edges?

      1. tirk

        Re: ...and it will be TRIANGULAR!

        Edge? Don't you mean RIM??

  10. r3ply
    Thumb Up

    I love my Galaxy Note, would never go for another sub 5" phone again.

    It's the perfect mobile browsing device, only downside is I'm burning through about 2-3GB mobile bandwidth a month!

    Can't wait for a Tegra 3 processor in the same form factor.

  11. g e

    Not toooo big

    The Galaxy Note - played with one for a weekend recently, wayyy to big for a phone although a nice device and it _does_ fit in your (jeans) pocket.

    Was actually comparing my DesireHD screen against the guy next to me earlier in the week and those apple screens are miniscule. They look nice (Samsung?) as a display but god are they undersized.

    Are they really calling it 'five inch' in their blurb? If so then they really are just cock-measuring (which would mean by implication they think they're now playing catchup to the oriental manufacturers).

    4.6" should be a good size, though, but my next upgrade's almost certainly going to be an SG3 (defo Android, regardless). Heard apocryphal rumours the SG3 is to be announced today... we'll see.

    1. Andrew James

      Re: Not toooo big

      "Are they really calling it 'five inch' in their blurb?"

      Well no. Because its not going to be announced for at least another few months. Its a rumour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not toooo big

        They can get away with calling 4.6 inches, five inches because around 50% of humanity cannot tell the difference between said 4.6 and eight inches. The ladies...bless them.

  12. ByeLaw101

    I've got a Samsung Galaxy Wifi 5.0 (I know, it's not a mobile) and I find it great as a replacement for my SatNav... BUT... as a phone, it would seem rather comical.

    I would suggest anyone with a >5" phone puts the Nokia ringtone on it and answers the phone with a load "HELLO?"

  13. Phil Standen

    Aspect ratio?

    the current iphone would have a 4 and a bit inch screen if the screen went to all 4 edges, bye bye home button?

  14. Will 20

    I still have an HTC Wildfire - although thinking about an upgrade to the Desire S - if I wanted a fondleslab (and I have to admit, I do!) I'd go with a full size tablet, rather than something between the two...

  15. PipV
    Paris Hilton

    an inch too far.....

    Cupertino should just add telephone capabilities to their fondleslab. End of discussion.

    Paris - because even she doesn't think 4" is enough.

  16. Mondo the Magnificent

    Is this....

    ..this first drop of here say that will turn into a tsunami of speculation?

  17. Mark Wilson

    Maybe I will hold off on the IPad purchase after all. Are Apple really going to release a near 5" screened iPhone and a 7" iPad?

  18. Silverburn
    Thumb Down


    Bear in mind, the whole reason the iPad 3 is the resolution it is, was to make application compatibility possible without significant re-write.

    A new screen would mean a new resolution, so for this reason I vote this "rumour" as:


    1. ThomH

      Re: Resolutions

      I guess that at a the existing 9cm screen (yes, it's all metric really) and aspect ratio of 3:2 gives a width of close enough to 5cm and a height of about 7.5cm.

      If you were to keep that width but extend the diagonal to 4.6", which I'm going to take as 11.7cm then you'd get a height of about 10.6cm and an aspect ratio close to 2:1. So the screen would fit on the front of the current sized iPhone (quoted by Apple as 11.52cm) with almost a centimetre to spare for a home button, speaker grille and so on.

      Furthermore, all existing apps could be displayed identically, in letterbox.

      That said, like you I remain sceptical just because of Apple's regard for the ecosystem. Fine, the autoresizing masks on UIViews mean that a large number of apps could be made to work just by ensuring the correct boxes were ticked but it definitely wouldn't be that easy for everyone.

  19. D@v3


    I'm also nearing the point where I'm going to stop reading these articles, and just wait till September to see if a new phone is released, until the point that Cook (or one of his cohorts) unveils the thing, there is no way to know, or anyone to really believe, as to what it is actually going to be like......

  20. Andrew James

    I loved my small dumb phones. I miss them to be honest. I found my old Nokia 8210 in the loft the other day. So small and light it felt like a fake.

    I'd love it if someone would release something of a similar size and shape to a 4th gen ipod nano that had a nice sharp colour screen and keys for phone operation & sms, and also an mp3 player. Sometimes when i'm out with the wife & kids my smartphone is a hindrance and a distraction. Having the option to stay in touch when required (eg heading off in different directions and meeting up later) but not having access to email, instant messaging, games, facebook, twitter, etc etc etc.

    I suppose i could just charge the battery in my old nokia though lol

  21. Lamont Cranston

    Trust me baby,

    this is five inches...

    Alt: Never mind the quality, feel the width...

  22. Andy Tunnah

    Unlike the missus...

    ...I am completely satisfied by 4", it's just such a perfect fit

  23. Measurer


    What we need is a device which connects to a smartphone, which can actually be carried about in an average pocket with no bother and provides basic services (phone + text), you know, like those things from yesteryear.....a mobile phone!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Peripheral?? Definitely!

      Seems an two-part easy solution: Small cheap capable phone, say 3.2" screen, fits in pocket, excels at phone calls, texts, alarm clock, calculator, long lasting battery etc AND at throwing out a WiFi hotspot via 3G. Lives in your trousers.

      In your car, jacket pocket or handbag lives a 7" device, works as a Sat Nav in the car, or as an internet tablet and PMP if you're on a train journey.

      If you find your self without the tablet component, and you really need to, then you can, at a push, pull up a map or a webpage on the small screened phone- won't be fun, but will get you out of your jam. Easy peasy!

      I have mates who take £400 worth of Korean shininess out on a drunken night- it doesn't seem too clever (and I believe there is an Apple engineer who now feels similarly!)

      1. Lamont Cranston

        Re: Peripheral?? Definitely!

        Bluetooth earpiece, linked to a tablet in your hand/man-bag, running Siri-style voice recognition for calls and text (and possibly more). Would work brilliantly, but you'd feel like a right berk when using it.

  24. Swarthy

    I like big screens and I cannot lie

    ...apologies to Sir Mix-A-lot.

    Facepalm: For my own shame.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4" max for me

    To the extent that I ignored most of the current popular androids and got a Nexus S instead - and seriously considered an iPhone 4s

  26. Sir Gaz of Laz
    Paris Hilton

    Back in the day, I had a Dell Streak...

    ...and it was OK to use. Felt massive in the pocket though. Cue disappointment all round when I explained to interested lovelies what it really was.

    Paris, because she appreciates the extra inch I'm sure.

  27. Paul Shirley

    aspect ratio crucial

    5" at iPhones 3:2 aspect will be a very wide phone, too wide to comfortably hold or use 1 handed. Androids 5:3 (480x800 res and above) would keep the width more manageable but raise squeals of outrage among IOS devs. My 480x854 Play is right at the limit of what I can comfortably use and it's as extreme an aspect as you'd want to see.

    A 5" iPhone seems condemned to be too fat to use or annoyingly incompatible with previous versions.

  28. Rupert Stubbs

    Yay to the aspect ratio point

    Android screens are a different aspect ratio, which makes them longer and thinner in portrait position. Therefore a 4" diagonal Android phone will have a smaller screen real estate than a 4" iPhone.

    Apples and oranges.

  29. JeffyPooh

    First person to solve this will retire filthy rich...

    Some sort of stretchable or expandable screen. As small as an iPhone in the pocket, but can optionally expand to tablet proportions. Folding joints not permitted unless they're perfectly invisible when unfolded. Maybe a flexible LCD over a hinge?

  30. john devoy

    4" easy

    The iphone could easily be increased to a 4" screen without increasing the overall phone size.

  31. Ken 16 Silver badge


    I just got a 4.3" phone and it's stretching the point BUT I can see a phone working well with a screen with the same (or larger) diagonal by keeping the width close to that of a 3.5" and adding height.

  32. Julian 3

    Against the 10 Commandments

    Saint Steve will be turning in his grave if this is true. Saint Steve said increasing the screen size of the iPhone would lead to a 'fragmented' iOS experience.

    Someone will burn in Hell for this!!!

  33. ItsNotMe

    **** NEW RUMOR ****

    iPhone 6 coming with 27" folding screen, roll-up keyboard, and 7.1 Surround Sound. Prototype recently found abandonded in local Pub.

  34. flibbertigibbet

    Phones? What phones?

    I remember mobile phones. They were quaint little things. You could fit 5 of them in your pocket, they lasted 2 weeks on a single charge, and you could leave them on the car roof, watch them bounce down the street, pick them up and they would still work. If people wanted phones they would still be buying those things. I hear some people still do.

    The rest of us are buying mini computer than allows us to browse the web, read emails, draw pictures, take and edit videos, play movies, navigate down a street, be a wifi access point, yada, yada, yada. Oh yeah, you also make phone calls on them but compare those old mobile phones they aren't too good at that - too big, too power hungry, too fragile.

    Turns out for most of the things you do with these newfangled things big is good. People get over their shock at the Galaxy Note by using the thing to browse the web and read emails, and rapidly come to the realisation that it is really, really good at doing those things. And it does actually fit into a pocket or handbag and is light enough to carry around all day without noticing. Yes it sucks at making phone calls - holding something that big up to your ear looks funny and feels awkward. But then again, if making phone calls was the priority, you would have bought a yesteryear mobile phone, and you didn't.

  35. Nick De Plume

    3:4 vs 9:16 (or 10:16)

    All iPhone (and iOS) apps are coded for 3:4 ratio screens. That is why Apple quadrupled the resolution with iPhone4 - 320x480 had become too low, but all those apps were hardcoded for that resolution. Apple _had_ to preserve backwards compatibility.

    On a tablet 3:4 form factor is nice for reading stuff, it is close to what we are used to with paper.

    But on a fondlephone thin and long is better, too wide and you are getting into Samsung Note territory. Therefore on a phone with a largish screen, the common Android 9:16(ish) ratio is actually more useable. Our mitts are the limiting factor.

    And thinner bezel is not the answer. You need some bezel to hold the phone without accidentally registering touches with your (holding) palm.

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