May 16, 2012
Rumors Say Apple’s Newest iPhone Will Have 4 Inch Screen
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
As we enter the time of iPhone rumors, it´s important to know some of the major players in this ballgame. On the lesser side of the credibility scale lives DigiTimes, a Taiwanese source of Apple rumors. Time´s Harry McCracken recently posted an article describing how very often DigiTimes get´s their rumors wrong, so I won´t rehash what he´s already said. It should suffice to say that DigiTimes´ apparent MO in this game is to swing away at anything that comes flying across the plate. For instance, one of their most recent rumors about Apple releasing a $799 MacBook Air in the third quarter is almost certainly wrong.
Then, there are the players like the Wall Street Journal. WSJ has gotten a few points wrong here and there, but they are almost always right. Now, some will argue they get their strong record because Apple uses them to release some controlled leaks, which could very well be true. After all, Jobs and Walt Mossberg – the Journal´s tech guy – did get along rather well, and Jobs always invited him to press events.
Therefore, when the Wall Street Journal decides to go to the presses with an Apple rumor, it´s almost certain to happen.
Today, the WSJ more or less confirmed the new iPhones will in fact flaunt a four inch screen according to "People Familiar With the Matter."
According to the Journal, Apple has ordered these larger screens from some Asian suppliers, and production is set to begin next month. Your current iPhone measures 3.5 inches across. These new iPhones, whatever they are to be called, will measure at least 4 full inches diagonally.
Such a move could be a huge deal for Apple who has stubbornly stuck with one size of screen since the iPhone launched in 2007. Expanding their screen size now will no doubt be seen as a way to compete with their frenemy Samsung, whose newest flagship device boasts a 4.8-inch front. These same People Familiar With the Matter have told the WSJ that Apple plans to release the phone this fall, sticking with last year´s cycle, and that these displays could come from companies such as Japan Display, LG and Sharp.
Apple has, of course, declined to comment.
Recent numbers show more than half of the world´s smartphones come from either Apple or Samsung, so if Apple were to compete with another phone manufacturer, Samsung would be a likely foe.
For instance, Samsung shipped 44.5 million smartphones last quarter (depending on who you ask) making up a 30.6% market share. Apple, on the other hand, announced themselves that they had sold 35.1 million iPhones, giving them a 24.1% market share.
Nobuo Kurahashi, securities analyst for Mizuho Investors doesn´t seem to think this is indicative of a competitive move on Apple´s part. He told the Journal, “The smartphone market has become diverse, but the iPhone still sets the agenda.”
According to Kurahashi, the killer feature of today´s smartphones isn´t the size of the screen, it´s the size of the tag.
“If Apple ever released a lower-priced iPhone, that would be more of a sign that the changing market environment is beginning to affect the company,” he added.