My hand hasn’t grown since the iPhone 4. The dimensions of the iPhone 4 and 4S were perfect for my hands. These iPhones had a 3.5-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. I would have preferred if Apple had kept the same display on the iPhone 5 and made the chassis thinner and lighter and longer lasting. That would have been perfect, but of course that didn’t happen.
The display in the iPhone 5 grew larger to 4.0 inches and the aspect ratio went from 3:2 to 16:9, or to make an apples to apples easier to understand comparison 1.5:1 to 1.78:1. The iPhone 5s and 5c is the same. The dimensions of the iPhone 5 are no longer perfect for my same sized hands. I have to reposition my iPhone when I want to tap the icon on the far corners. As you might have guessed the satisfaction of using an iPhone has gone down, because the display size grew larger to the point where one-handed operation required more work than before. I’ve gotten used to it, but if I had the choice I’d be using a 3.5-inch 3:2 iPhone 5.
But the world doesn’t mind big, at all. The world doesn’t mind bulging pants, having to carry a purse or a murse, or using a phone with two hands. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 sports a gigantic, by my standards, 5.7-inch 16:9 display and lots of people like it, because it’s big. Samsung has had much success with its big screen strategy: the 4.8-inch Galaxy S3, the 5.0-inch Galaxy S4, the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5, and the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2. The Galaxy Note 4 is rumored to feature an even larger display.
I don’t know why Apple decided to make the display bigger and change the aspect ratio, but it happened. That to me means Apple doesn’t consider there to be one perfect size for the iPhone for all time. Up until the iPhone 4S the perfect size was 3.5 inches with a 3:2 aspect ratio. Starting from the iPhone 5 series Apple considers a 4-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio to be the perfect size. Would Apple make the iPhone bigger?
I don’t know, but if it were to happen I think Apple would choose a 4.5-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and specifically a 1280×720 pixel format. Why?
The one thing that remained the same between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5 is the resolution: 326 ppi. Could Apple change that up? Sure, but for the sake of argument let’s assume Apple’s going to keep resolution the same. There’s plenty of good reasons, but one of most important is with the same resolution the visual experience is consistent.
Just for the heck of it I made a Numbers spreadsheet that automatically calculates resolution, as in PPI, when I input the diagonal size and pixel format, as in 1280×720. When I put in 4.5 and 1280×720 guess what the spreadsheet spat out for PPI? 326. And 1280×720 is way neater than, what is it now? I can’t remember.