The iPhone Plus Could Be an iPhablet

Hmm the “iPhone Math” or more likely the iPhone+ or iPhone Plus. Some think it’s the code name or temporary moniker for the rumored low-cost iPhone, but Marco Arment thinks it’s something different. He thinks it’s a super-sized iPhone close in size to the Galaxy Tab Note.

And I think Marco might be onto something.

According to his math if you did something like a Retina iPad screen with iPhone 5 design?

The theory is easy to understand: perform John Gruber’s Mini-predicting math backwards. The iPad Mini uses iPhone 3GS-density screens at iPad resolution. What if an iPhone Plus used Retina iPad screens with iPhone 5 resolution, keeping the rest of the design sized like an iPhone 5?

Its 640 × 1136, 264 DPI screen would measure 4.94″ diagonally, and it would look roughly like this next to an iPhone 5:

An iPhablet?

Why not. Really.

I don’t think anyone could have predicted the huge uptake of both tablets in general (especially as near-replacements for laptops) or even phablets. Apple, I think, sees different sizes of tablets and phones as an asset not a distraction to the iPad/iPhone line. Or at least with the runaway success of the iPad mini they probably do.

Marco points out that a couple sizes for all tasks might not work, but several sizes might:

An iPhone Plus almost as big as a Galaxy Note isn’t ideal for many people, but it doesn’t need to be quite that large to accommodate a 4.94″ screen. It’s clear that other manufacturers have found designs and techniques to make larger-screened phones require smaller bezels. Apple could achieve similar results and shrink the “forehead” and “chin” even further, limited primarily by the size of the Home button and the desire to keep the forehead and chin equal height.

Having a device that large might stay in your bag most of the time (when you’re not at a desk or something), but interact with other wireless devices for calling and seeing incoming messages. Frankly, I think we’re only beginning to understand how powerful tablets fit into our computing lives.


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  • nat

    Can not wait to go back to iPhone. I currently use note II cause it has a bigger screen and easy to read.

  • pakaku

    It was a few years before Apple decided to make a taller iPhone. I think this is why most people are skeptical about a larger iPhone in general.

  • Kimk69

    So many people want it, I think they have to do it, now. Keep the 4in. Screen. So why not. It could only sell a lot more devices I would think. But just because we want something don’t mean they’ll give it. Hell, look how long it took for copy & paste or mms.

  • Jeremy Taco Patterson

    Am I the only one who is ready for a phone where the front is solid display. No top and bottom segments, phone speaker and mic in the top and bottom edge, no home button.

    That would be badass.

    • Drusenija

      I don’t think it would be practical personally. The bezel isn’t wasted space, it’s where your hands go to hold the thing so you can see the screen.

      Take your phone, hold it in one hand. Notice how the fat bit of your palm connected to your thumb overhangs on the screen a bit? Go edge to edge and that entire section potentially becomes wasted space or triggers unwanted touches on the screen.

      • Jeremy Taco Patterson

        Except, Apple already learned how to deal with exactly that on the iPad Mini.

        • Drusenija

          Not quite exactly. The Mini still has a bezel, and no amount of software fixes the issue of your hands obscuring part of an edge to edge display.

    • Rounak Jain

      Edge-to-edge displays!

  • Nick

    I think you mean the Galaxy Note. Not the Tab.

  • Nick

    Think you mean the galaxy note. Not the galaxy tab.

    • iPhoneHacks

      Yup, it should have been Galaxy Note, I’ve fixed it.

  • Rounak Jain

    A 5″ phone with a display that’s not even 720p? Sure.

    Will be highly stupid of Apple to simply increase size without increasing resolution. It works when you’re making things smaller, not bigger.

    And while we’re discussing a 5″ iPhone, remember when people said “APPLE DECIDED THE BEST SCREEN SIZE, THIS ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE.”

    • DEFMAD

      This. But then again the iPad mini was released without retina and it still sold like mad.

      I just wish Apple could wow us again, but lately they’ve been like, meh…

      • Rounak Jain

        that’s why I noted that it’ll work when making things smaller.

        • DEFMAD

          I realized that after I replied to your comment, hehe. Shoulda known you were already on the ball!

  • picturepete

    Oh doesn’t someone somewhere have a patent for phones with larger screens :-)

  • Antony Vannapho

    iphone + math = iphat. I finally cracked it. /SteveJobs

  • dbDESIGN

    I would give anything to have this. I want a bigger iphone!