iPhone 6 Could Creep Toward ‘Phablet’ Territory

The accepted definition for a “phablet” is a smartphone with a screen size between 5 inches and 6.9 inches. According to BGR, an Apple analyst has recently changed his tune on the company, changing it to a “buy” based in part on his belief that Apple will increase the screen size of the iPhone 6 to 4.8 inches — not quite a phablet, but close.

With the iPhone 5, Apple left its 3.5-inch "sweet spot" to offer a larger display.
With the iPhone 5, Apple left its 3.5-inch “sweet spot” to offer a larger display.

The analyst, Peter Misek of Jeffries & Co., had this to say in a note published this morning:

“We est ~50% of smartphone shipments have >4″ screens and that iPhone 6 will catalyze a large upgrade cycle. The stock is attractive based on the attitude change, FY15 revs >+15%, and valuation.”

Should Apple indeed jump to a larger display, such as 4.8 inches, it would raise an interesting question about that display’s resolution. The iPhone has kept the same pixels-per-inch (PPI) density since the launch of the iPhone 4 in 2010. If Apple offered an iPhone with a larger display but kept the same 1136 x 640 resolution, it would cause the PPI count to drop down from 326 to 272. That’s still better than the iPad 4’s pixel density, but the iPad is also a 9.7-inch device that is meant to be held further away than a smartphone.

A drop in PPI doesn’t seem like a very Apple thing to do — the famed “Retina” display is one of the company’s key selling points, after all — but it may keep things more simple for developers.

Should Apple introduce a 4.8-inch iPhone with a different resolution, it would force developers to support three different resolutions: 960 x 640, 1136 x 640 and whatever the newest resolution is.

Next year could also be the year that Apple phases out support for the 3.5-inch iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S models, so adding a new display resolution may not be such a big deal.

With the iPhone 5, the iPad mini and a potential 4.8-inch iPhone 6 in 2014, there’s been a noticeable shift in the way Apple has approached its products. Where the company previously stuck to its guns on design decisions — remember Steve Jobs saying a 3.5 inches was the “sweet spot” for smartphones? — the company seems more willing to give the market what it wants. The demand is there for larger phones, but there isn’t an iPhone willing to meet it, yet.

Perhaps that will change next year.

About the author

— Shawn Farner

Shawn Farner is a Harrisburg-based tech blogger who has been involved in online media for over eight years. He covers consumer electronics, Web companies, and gaming.

Gear recommendations

Leave a comment


Submit a Comment
        1. Chrome has usually some problems with font hinting and subpixel-antialiasing and this picture just proves it again.

          Try viewing the webpage with WebKit (Safari), Gecko (Firefox) or Trident (Internet Explorer) and you’ll see, only Blink (Chrome) has this problem.

  1. Human being has urge to hold something to write. I was thinking that they will provide me the stylus. I need two things in phone. Shirt front-pocket friendly size and Stylus. Any one listening?

      1. Agree. Using thumb is also an urge. We all started with thumb sucking child hood. However, when we grow up we need to hold a pen. So make the thumb option but for grown-up dont take away the option of stylus. Hope Apple and Samsung are listening. Again please make it shirt front-pocket friendly.

        1. only people over 35-40 years old want to use a styles… most of my friends (college students) prefer to type on a computer or on a touch screen… Apple is against stylus and so would any company that wants to have a cool image and sell products, stylus are for drawing… not for comercial products!

          1. If I take this point as true, it will justify inclusiong of Stylus option. The majority of the world population is now old. They also have surplus money. I propose they should have Stylus option as well as without Stylus If college student do not want to use stylus, it is insane to deprive other majority who need it. Problem with apple is that they have got ‘my way or high way attitude’ they don’t listen to the customer

          2. Although this could be said, statistically speaking 18-24 year olds still hold a vast majority in the market share. Also having two options would not be a smart decision economically. This would increase the already inflated prices. A much more viable solution would be to purchase a case with stylus. They are 50$ at the most.

          3. If you want a stylus get yourself a decent phone or phablet from Samsung. Late models include the option for S Pen. I-phones have become a joke, I had one for 3 months for work, OMG I hated it every day and kept my Samsung SIII – 4G at hand always. Apple products have become rank rip offs.

        1. You possibly dont know what its stilus. Its not a thick stick with piece of rubber or foam in the end. Stilus its for precision quick handwriting.

          1. Hi Bombay, Samsung note phones have the same technology as graphics pads, hi resolution magnetic sensor screens. This is in addition to the capacitive touch sensors on most smart phones which are extremely crude in comparison. The stylus incorporates a coil and pressure sensor giving the same or better feel than using a pencil or ballpoint pen. Since discovering this technology was available I’ve dumped my Iphone for a Galaxy Note 8. A complete phone, office, drawing pad, media centre, games machine.

    1. Hmm, never had a bigger screen, i think i ll miss to lie on my side on my bed with my phone, feel comfy holding it with just one hand…

  2. catering to the Chinese market which has shown a clear preference to larger screens, as evident by their huge shift from the iphones to samsung’s galaxy. Apple is playing catch up, unusal place for them to be.

    1. I made a prediction that Apple wiil make iphone 6 bigger , and ……… I surveyed my Uni class , 4 had an iphone , 6 had a Samsung , amazingly 11 still had Nokias , But All said they like the BIGGER Samsung screen ,Apple gotta go there or lose the market ,simple equation.

      1. I have a SG Note2 and I am happier with it than with my previous little and limited iPhones (3 and 4), Nokias and my first smartphone (the forgettable iPaq).

      2. The only reason I got myself a Samsung Mega was the size of the screen. I want a tablet and I want a phone, WHY in this day and age cant the two things be put together??? My phone is the only Android device I own. I know I am not the only one in this situation

      3. Cause all new Android flagships were 5inch i gave up waiting for a similar new phone – and own now after Galaxy S2 the Sony Z1 – but i must say that the 4,3 Display of the Samsung did fit better to me than the 5inch Sony – so the new Z1 compact would have been right. But the 4 inch of the 5s were no option to me – and the 4s was for me a No Go.
        I think Apple does right to spend a 5 or even little bigger phone for the successful market with larger smartphones, but in my opinion they should not forget the smaller size – it gives enough people like me who were not amused to buy a big one for compromise only about the high-end classification. I think Sony did know very well why they offered now a medium-size top phone.

    2. I’m in China and I agree….Large Screens are the way to go. With so many people walking, riding buses, classrooms, etc., it pays to have a large screen for easy viewing. And who wants a tiny screen anyway. SHOW ME THE BEEF Wendy’s!!! (xixi/smile)

  3. Im on the verge of buying an iPhone 5s. Apple don’t piss me off and make your products outdated so quickly. Why do they have a knack for doing this?? The consumer will become peeved very quickly and jump ship. As I am contemplating. It’s too expensive for me(and many) to purchase the iPhone, just to feel crap because there’s a better version out before the ink even dries on the contract. This better not launch anytime before the end of 2014, better yet only in 2015.

    1. I buy my mobiles when I need a new one. They suit my needs which don’t change as fast as technology. Two, three or even four years later when I feel the need of a new one, I buy it. Meanwhile there have to be several generation jumps! Otherwise I wouldn’t buy it. Saying it clearly: If I bought iPhone 5S today only iPhone 7(S) would be a reason to get a new one in 2016.

    2. Welcome to exactly the same thing that all mobile phone manufacturers do. In fact, every other company releases phones MORE often than Apple.

      1. Thats absolutely right. I own no Iphone, but Sony. And at the moment i think they will make the record in this case: In the beginning of 2013 came the xperia Z, i bought november the Z1 – and next month comes the release for the Z2…. so they made 3 releases in 1year for a new flagship!

    3. I so agree! I don’t know why I keep buying Apple products outright. Don’t DO IT! I went into the Apple store here in Berlin with an iPhone 4S that completely imploded with the new ios7 update. The ‘Genius’ was kind enough to tell me that basically, I should never really buy an iPhone outright – but rather stick to plans, because the phones are made to become obsolete. Apparently a software update draws out all the ‘bugs’ your phone may have had before.. Pffft. Nice genius though.

      1. Yes, this was so. When the first Iphones 5s came here in Switzerland for sale they were not able to use 4G until they got a first update. But nobody gave before a information to the buyers ;-)

    4. better buy SG note 3 perfect for a person who like to trash talk to apple i am user of apple since iphone 3 arrived but after i use note the i found what ive been missing for 7 years death to apple and say hello to android

    5. buy it in the first month of release and update it after two years. that what i do. I had iphone 4, 5 & now using Iphone 5 waiting for iphone6. ignore the S(4S, 5S, 6S) versions.

    1. At least a larger battery will do for me… but a really large battery, not an incremental 30 mAh increase. The larger iPhone, if they make it, needs to have like a 2500 mAh battery.

    2. I disagree, as shown over and over, removable batteries take more space, and less efficient due to its removable wiring. Plus if you have apple care, they will replace the battery for you.

  4. Here’s hoping that the new screen will be wider, and not longer. I’d like a phablet, not something that may pass as a vibrator.

  5. Apple just doesn’t want to be proven wrong about the 3.5″ being the “sweet spot.” That’s why it hasn’t made large screen phones yet. Next to a phablet, iPhones look and feel like a toy.

  6. Oh a bigger screen that’s innovative….Yawn. Apple needs to realize that its not 2007 anymore. The I-phone was innovative then, since then all they have done is add facetime, bigger screen and more memory. Very disappointing. If apple would come out with something better I may think about switching back, but for the last 5 years I have not been impressed or amused.

  7. Probably the fact that now a very large part of the smartphone market is in countries where they use Chinese characters plays an important role. Sometimes those characters are really similar to each other and you need a wider screen to use a larger font in order for them to be readable.

    1. I really dont feel that way actually. I am an American currently living in Japan and am using an iPhone 4s (bought this time last year)… and I find no difficulty reading kanji (Chinese characters) on my phone……… I don’t see why that can pose as a reason. From my time in Tokyo (about 1 year) I’ve noticed that most people in Japan prefer iPhones and the smaller screen. There is a larger market for the smaller screen than the larger ones used by androids.

      1. I could read also everything on my first smartphone/pocket-pc with only 2,4inch Display – but this was in 2006 – and in 2011 i did not buy the 4s about the smaller display than the Samsung S2 – and today i use a 5 inch Sony – cause the 5s was again no option for me. And i could never use the display of the pocket-pc from 2006 for the functions that i use today. 4,3 of the S2 was perfect for me, but 4 is too small. Usually i would say the larger the better – the size-limit depends on the housing, not on the display… at the best would also Apple offer different sizes. Or they will further ignore and lose some clients.

  8. Steve Jobs knew that if you weren’t willing to cannabalise your own products then someone else would. He knew that putting iTunes on the iPhone would eat into sales of iPods, but if Apple didn’t do it, then another company would.

    You don’t have to update every cycle. Most of the changes are incremental and will make very little difference to the average user. IMHO

  9. If it’s real, referring to the new iPhone 6=phablet of 6”, well, if it will be real I think it’s finally time to stop buying apple phone.

  10. Pfft, 5 inches is hardly a phablet in this day. There are “mini” phones with ~4.7″ screens. Can’t wait for phones to be briefcases again.

  11. Let the market tell apple what it wants? Blasphemy! Surely that can’t be a proper way to run a business. Steve Jobs must be rolling over in his grave.

  12. I used to own an iPhone 3GS, then I bought the Samsung Note. After quickly getting spoiled by the Note’s big, beautiful screen, there is just no way I can see myself going back to IPhone’s 3.5 – 4 inch screen agin

  13. It’s not the release of a newer iPhone (or any other phone) what makes obsolete the one before. At least that iPhones are affected by some kind of cross generational cannibalism, your 4 or 4/S continues to do the same things it did the day you bought it and more with further updates. You don’t have the last one any more, of course, so it seems more a tweaky concern than a real obsolescence matter. In the other hand iOS 7.1 fixed most of the performance issues with iPhone 4 and 4/s. My daughter’s 4 runs more than fine now, and to be honest, it didn’t run bad just updated to iOS 7.0

  14. i still have a feature phone and have a linux computer and thats enough for me and saves me a lot of money and headaches!

  15. Samsung should have patented phablet size since apple did that with rounded corners.Sammie can sue their pants off.

  16. Apple should include notification led as android. I receive a lot of msgs n whatsapp etc. My screen keeps on lighting with every single inbox bt i seldom check outright. So my battery is draining without reason. Apple aint innovative. They jst talk a lot!!

  17. I am a Chinese wholesaler, I sell the club soccer jerseys, there are several brands of clothes and shoes, hats, glasses, Jaime A mention here! Soccer Jerseys and NBA TOP quality and from € 12! There the Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic, Bayern, the 2014 World Cup and many more … All is fast and reliable! Come: lovemarca.com. High quality products, all products 30% discount, good service, fast delivery products, same day shipping produce 5-7 days to get home. If you are interested you can look at my website. My website is: http://www.lovemarca.com have brands: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Gucci, LouisVuitton, Armani, Burberry, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Abercrombie & Fitch, CalvinKlein, Dsquared2, Yves Saint Laurent, Tommy Hilfiger website: http://www.LOVEMARCA.com sfdsf

  18. I havent had any smartphone in my life yet..and I am lovong in South Korea where a mom and kid sit side by side and each play with their own smarty…probably I should wait for iphone 6…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *