Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White is quoted by MacRumors today that the new iPhone won’t just come in multiple colors, something that has been tossed around before, but also multiple sizes as well. While the colors option makes some sense, the screen size rumor is a little harder to believe.
While I’m not sure about Apple deciding to have iPhones come in a range of colors (like the iPod line), that decision seems more of a marketing spin than anything else, so isn’t too big of a deal, but several screen sizes? Yeah, that just doesn’t make too much sense. MacRumors discounts the rumor like this:
In considering how Apple might make the iPhone’s screen even larger, essentially the same set of issues debated before the launch of the iPhone 5 appears: more pixels or same resolution at lower pixel density. The latter solution in particular likely offers little for Apple, as the company is almost certainly uninterested in lowering pixel density simply to offer the same amount of screen real estate at a slightly larger physical size.
As for the former, Apple increased only the vertical pixel count for the iPhone 5, allowing for a larger screen while still offering full compatibility with apps designed for the smaller screens of previous devices. It seems difficult to believe that Apple would undertake yet another increase in pixel count so soon after the iPhone 5 debut, particularly if it involved increases in both vertical and horizontal directions.
I can see the logic in a smaller screen iPhone that is cheaper, but I have to wonder if that device would be limited to just core capabilities like calling, camera, video (FaceTime), music, and such and not have the selection of apps (unless it had a screen resolution on par with the pre-Retina phones). Sure a smaller screen would help make the phone cheaper, but then would it still have a lot of the magic that makes an iPhone great?
On larger screen sizes, while having options is interesting, I don’t see the benefit to us as users. Over the holidays I saw a lot of people with the larger Samsung phones and they seemed a little awkward to hold. Then there is the crucial developer community. The switch to the iPhone 5 taller screen didn’t ruffle too many feathers, but having more than a couple screen sizes and resolutions to deal with could not only piss off the development community, but also degrade the user experience with some apps looking awesome and other apps looking…not so awesome.
What do you think? More colors? More screen sizes? What is the benefit and appeal to us?