Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Scaling the iPhone’s Interface to Five Inches

Rene Ritchie of iMore has some mockups you should see. They look comically large on my iPhone, but I suspect those with poorer eyesight might find their size more comfortable.

Ritchie also touches on the market size of a giant iPhone:

Almost 9 out of 10 AT&T customers bought 4-inch or smaller iPhones last quarter rather than all big screen Android and Windows Phones combined, and roughly 6 out of 10 Verizon customers did the same. So aside from geeks who keep posting about how they really want it, and shoppers for whom bigger as a feature is always better, Apple might not feel any pressing, mainstream need to add another screen size to the iPhone product line. Yet.

This is absolutely true. But there’s clearly a market for these giant-ass phones overseas. Samsung has apparently sold a million Galaxy Note II phones in South Korea alone, and I’ve even seen a few in use around Calgary. Colour me surprised — I still think a phone that big is utterly stupid.

But the Note II has a display that would be half an inch larger diagonally than a five-inch iPhone — not a small difference at these sizes. This hypothetical iPhone would still be a hair larger than both the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Nexus, both of which are far too large for my tastes.

Setting aside the state of the market for phones of this size, it’s worth asking what criteria iPhone buyers are primarily basing their purchasing decisions on. If it’s a reflection of a preference for iOS, then some sales that are currently going to 3.5- to 4-inch iPhones are possibly a compromise for some users who would prefer a larger display. On the other hand, there are some buyers who would prefer an Android phone, but can’t find a smaller one that’s any good.