Why It Might Make Sense For Apple To Make A Five-Inch Phone

If you're an Apple watcher that isn't too busy focusing on the present, you're probably wondering what Apple has cooking for the near future. While Wednesday's critical earnings report will reflect on the health of its existing products, the smart money is on whether or not Apple's got new magic in the pipeline.

Looking at the successful models in the Android world, much of the mobile geek chatter is about Apple's conspicuous lack of a phone in the five-inch screen range. Apple showed with the iPad Mini that it isn't above letting other manufacturers beat it to market with a new device size. It just waits to enter the market until it makes sense internally to do so.

Well, Rene Ritchie at iMore has a pretty spotless record of figuring out when it makes sense. Instead of fiending over rumors, he just uses math and common sense and says, "look, here's how Apple could do it." He was right about the iPhone 5. And this week, Ritchie has taken a look at a variety of five-ish-inch phone form factors and figured out which ones are plausible for Apple to actually do.

He considers a stretched-out 1136x640 pixel-doubled, the same resolution as an iPhone 5, on a theoretical 5-inch phone. This would have a lower pixel density than the 5's retina screen, but still not bad. He also looks at 3x and 4x possibilities, which would make for some very nice displays, but given that Apple just made developers rework everything to get to 2x resolution — and that work is still not done — this new display density seems farfetched.

Ritchie also looks at more outlandish possibilities. It's well worth reading.

Apple fans are resistant to believing that this device size matters. Just because there's a market for five-inch Android phablets doesn't mean that an iThing in the same size would sell. But Ritchie plays devil's advocate on that and shows why people might very well be interested in a five-inch iPhone.

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