Larger screen iPhone(s) to be unveiled at WWDC?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Casiotone, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Casiotone, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

    Casiotone macrumors 6502a

    Casiotone

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    #1
    It's just a theory of my own. Don't shoot me if it doesn't come true. I think I already posted something similar a while ago, but I think I have even better reasons to justify my case now.

    So my theory is that Apple might announce (but not release) the larger iPhones at WWDC. They would go on sale in September.

    The original iPad was announced several months before it was released. While it was mainly to avoid FCC fillings to spill the beans, it did give the opportunity to developers to prepare iPad optimized apps so that on release day there was already a thousand iPad apps. Releasing an iPad that could only run blown up iPhone apps while waiting a couple of weeks for optimized apps to appear wouldn't have faired well (especially since a lot of people were saying that the iPad was "just a big iPhone").

    Unless Apple simply blows up the 1136x640 resolution to 4.7" (and I don't think they will), new UI layouts will have to be created for apps to take advantage of the extended screen area. 2x and 3x resolutions would NOT solve that problem.

    It will be easier for full screen OpenGL games and apps that already use the auto-layout APIs (a lot still don't) but it would still take a minimum of modification and testing.

    The iPhone 5 was released without warning, but running 3.5" apps on it wasn't that bad, only small black bars on the top and bottom.

    Without optimization for a 4.7-5.7" screen, apps would either look like blown up 4" apps, or have big black bars all around them, much like iPhone apps on the iPad, which I don't think Apple considers to be acceptable to have only non-optimized apps in that form on launch day.

    So it would be in their best interest to warn developers in advance like the original iPad so that when these iPhones go on sale there would be a lot of optimized apps ready.

    Wouldn't that negatively affect the sales of the iPhone 5s between the announcement and release you ask? Probably.

    But for the last few years and especially in 2013, iPhone rumors have become mainstream, and iPhone sales tend to drop significantly anyway as the expected release date approaches, just from rumors of a new model. The Samsung/Apple court case already seems to spill a lot of beans in the mainstream media about the possibility of a larger screen iPhone.

    Announcing larger iPhones could also be a double-edged sword. Some of the people wanting a larger iPhone screen would wait until the release, but people that want the 4" might decide to buy a 5S this summer as they'd think it would be the last one of this size (Apple could unveil a 4" version of the iPhone 6 in addition to previously announced larger models in September and piss them off :) ).

    The official announcement of a larger iPhone could also negatively affect Android sales as a lot of the people thinking about switching to Android because of the bigger screen would reconsider and wait for the large iPhone instead.

    So all in all I don't think the 5S sales would be much worse than they were for the iPhone 5 last summer as the 5S rumors went through the roof. And the advantage would be tons of optimized apps on day one when these go on sale.
     
  2. macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #2
    That sounds like a bit of fragmentation, but I too am almost certain a larger iPhone will sell very well.
     
  3. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Zero chance of them revealing larger iPhone and not releasing it within 2-3 week.

    Why? Because it will automatically tank sales of the current slate of iPhones.

    You cannot use the iPad 1 theory about it being announced in Jan 2010 and not released till end of March/beginning of April 2010. iPad 1 was a brand new product. So having the public wait a couple of months for iPad 1 did not affect current sales of iPad 0. Get it? There was no iPad 0 to have its sales hurt. Rather apple had a couple of months to build up the hype of a brand new tablet market

    Same with iPhone 2007. It was announced 6 months early. Apple didn't lose anything by making the public wait. There was no iPhone 2006 to hurt their sales.
     
  4. Casiotone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Casiotone

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    #4
    I get what you mean and understand your point, but nowadays pre iPhone release rumors already kill iPhone sales each year and its getting worse and worse. Everyone and their mother will know this summer that a large screen iPhone is coming, whenever Apple pre-announces it or not.

    There's still a sizeable portion of the population that will still buy the current models anyway. Those who care about the next model will learn about it in one way or the other.

    And as I wrote, this also could hurt competitors sales and stop some of the exodus toward large screen smartphones.
     
  5. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #5
    I can see your argument, but you'd be surprised how many "normal" people (i.e. not tech people like us) have no idea what rumours are saying about the new iPhone. Even last year, I had quite a few friends buy new iPhones in August. They had no idea a new iPhone was expected to be announced in a month, let alone what the rumoured features would be. Currently, it's only people like us who follow these rumours (and anyone we tell) that know not to buy a new iPhone when a new one is coming soon. Regular consumers wouldn't know this. But if Apple preannounced it, the mainstream media would pick up the story and then even the regular consumers would stop buying the current iPhones. That's what would cause the sales to tank right before release.

    This could be a viable reason. Again, anecdotally I know a few people who switched from their iPhones to Android/Windows Phone devices solely because they wanted the bigger screen size. If there were to be an announcement of a larger screen iPhone being released in a few months, they probably would've held off their purchase and waited for that.
     
  6. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

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  7. Casiotone, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

    Casiotone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Casiotone

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    #7
    Well I'm actually surprised to find more and more "normal" people that know about iPhone rumors (fake or not) and sometimes even think they come from an official announcement. I believe intensified rumors about a larger screen iPhone could make it into mainstream media anyway because of the potential demand for this "feature".

    And those people that you say don't care about rumors might not care about official Apple news either and disregard this kind of announcement. And some of them may not even want a larger iPhone.

    It's hard to know exactly how much sales would be affected with an official announcement vs. intense rumors, and how much it could hurt the competition and mitigate the problem.

    I guess it becomes speculation at this point but it can work either way.

    Minimally, I think Apple should unveil the size and resolution of this/these new screen(s) at WWDC as well as a version of the iOS simulator to support it, they wouldn't even need to show the device themselves or even mention the name iPhone.

    ----------

    And Apple doesn't normally release a new device without native/optimized third party apps.
     
  8. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #8
    Fair point. Super intense rumours do end up making it into mainstream media. So it could potentially go either way if an announcement is made at WWDC.
     
  9. thehenry macrumors member

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    #9

    From Yesterday:

    As an iOS developer, I actually hope they keep the same aspect ratio. I don't think we'll see anything about the iPhone 6 at WWDC.
     
  10. Xeyad macrumors 6502

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    Nov 19, 2012
    #10
    While I don't see the bigger iPhone unveiled at WWDC, I believe there will be another surprise: iWatch! (or whatever its going to be called).

    If Apple is going to talk about iOS 8, one of the biggest features will be Healthbook. Healthbook is supposed to be the center of your health information, as well as tracking so many parameters about your health. I think it doesn't make much sense talking about how Healthbook can track so much about your health without a proper device that can actually do these stuff. The iPhone 5s with the M7 chip is only able to track your movement, while based on leaks, Healthbook seems to show everything from weight, heartbeats, blood pressure, hydration, and even sleep. You can't do all that just by just putting your iPhone in your pocket. Therefore, it makes total sense that they'll show off their 'wrist-band device' to showcase it with Healthbook.

    Tim Cook always emphasizes the importance of surprise. What I think they'll do is just what they've done with iOS 7. They'll show a video of Jony Ive talking about iOS 8, and within the video, they'll also introduce the iWatch. It'll be one big surprise for everyone. :rolleyes:
     
  11. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

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    #12
    They will probably announce some IOS 8 features, but not the actual iphone since, as others said, it would hurt current sales massively. Unless in the next week or so production beings.
     
  12. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #13
    Definitely! WWDC is there for developers, Apple will announce new software and tools that developers can develop to. Along with that, they benefit from announcing new hardware (not releasing) so that developers can also begin creating apps for the new hardware. That way users will get a fuller experience from the new devices and not have to wait months before their apps become compatible with the hardware. Likely they will announce the Apple TV and iPhone Hardware so that devs can prepare their apps for the new resolutions.
     
  13. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    #14

    That's exactly why it hasn't very happened since the first iPhone.
     
  14. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

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    #15
    Doubtful. If that were the case, Apple would have announced the iPhone 5 with the larger screen at WWDC. They did not, they only announced iOS 6 and announced the iPhone 5 at the keynote in September. I don't see why they would do anything different this time around.
     
  15. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #16
    True, but the retina resolution didnt change. The phones would operate in the old resolution with a black bar. A higher resolution phone at a significant size difference, there are 2 options: larger black bars - in which case I think apple wont announce the new hardware as previous gens; or stretched display - which would fill the screen, but no longer be nice on the retina screen, which I dont think apple will let this get past them. Either way, only time will tell what they will do.
     
  16. goobot macrumors 603

    goobot

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    #17
    They will mostly likely do both, launch app and have it float in the middle of the screen with black bars surrounding and then a stretch to fill screen option like the iPad, honestly the stretch wouldn't look bad since when the iPad did it to the 3.5 inch iPhone apps it still looked ok, I doubt a .7inch increase would be horrible.
     
  17. Casiotone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Casiotone

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    #18
    There's no "stretch to fill the screen" option on the iPad. At their biggest, iPhone apps still have black borders all around them.

    That's because Apple purposely chose to use a round number (2x) as a scaling factor to avoid blurring the UI with pixel interpolation artifacts from fractional scaling.And actually, using fractional scaling for a small increase in resolution results in a worse image than for a big increase.

    Either way backward compatibility with non native apps will be clunky, and I don't see Apple releasing a new device that can at most run a dozen native apps because developers were not warned in advance.

    Again, the iPad had 1000 native apps at launch with thousands others waiting in the pipeline because devs already knew the target resolution and could use it in the simulator months before.

    In my opinion it would've looked a little ridiculous if the iPad had only a dozen native apps and people had to run almost everything using the clunky iPhone app compatibility mode for several weeks or months until other devs catch up. The transition was not instantaneous either, but it was much better than what will happen to the large iPhones if devs are not warned until launch.

    Outside of a very small circle of developers which might get the hardware in advance to make some demo during the iPhone 6 keynote in september, other developers wouldn't have any way to test their app for the new screen if they don't know what size to target and if the simulator doesn't support the new resolutions.

    iOS can't currently deal with differences in PPI (except 2x for retina). UI widgets are expected to be drawn at a specific pixel (or point) size. Auto-layout can reflow the UI for different resolutions, but assuming the same PPI.

    Using the same resolution for the 4.7" and 5.5" but at a different PPI would result in a uselessly huge interface on the 5.5" that doesn't take advantage of the expanded screen area.

    If Apple does make iOS 8 PPI independent using some magic, it will have to explain developers why they'd have to support it, because there's no need for it now as all iPhones currently use the same PPI.

    And devs wouldn't have to deal with such a transition if Apple simply uses 326 PPI on all the new iPhones, simply increasing the resolution (pixel count) to increase the size. They'd still need to know the exact resolutions and have the simulator updated to be able to prepare and test native apps.
     
  18. goobot macrumors 603

    goobot

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    #19
    2 things, regardless of a stretch looking good or not apple didn't do anything early with the iPhone 5 which had black bars. Why would you expect them to do anything different this time? Second, new iPhones have like 2 weeks in-between announcement and release. If it has the same PPI and aspect ratio I'm sure devs can easily fix it.

    Again this isn't anything new, happened with the iPhone 5 and it went smooth, why are you expecting anything different this time around?
     
  19. rockyroad55 macrumors 601

    rockyroad55

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    #20
    I can mainly see them announcing iOS 8 and "hinting" at some features that may not be available for the 5S but exclusively for the next generation.
     
  20. marvz macrumors 6502a

    marvz

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    #21
    At WWDC the iWatch will be unveiled because they need the developers to produce apps for it (same story as unveiling the original iPhone and iPad) and nothing will be said about the bigger iPhone 6. Just the same as when they showed of iOS 6 and said nothing about the iPhone 5. Main reason therefore is that the iPhone 5s will get all the new main features of iOS 8 anyway.
    And concerning the resolution we will be knowing soon after WWDC because there will be hints in Xcode or something. The new resolution of the iPhone 5 was also discovered earlier.
     
  21. Casiotone thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Casiotone

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    #22
    I think it was far more tolerable to have small black bars on the top and bottom than having them all around the app.

    A 3.5" app on the iPhone 5 didn't look ridiculous as a 4" app would look on a 4.7" or 5.5" screen, with a small interface floating in the middle of the screen. It would not be a disaster, but the more native apps at launch the better and I think it would be more pressing than for the iPhone 5 transition.

    Two weeks is very short to implement and test a resolution change, and added with the approval process time the iPhone 6 would ship with a minuscule amount of native apps.

    You can't deny that having a couple of months of headstart instead of just two weeks wouldn't be better for both developers and consumers.

    The markets for the current iPhone factor and a large 4.7"-5.5" iPhone don't completely overlap.

    The reality is that a lot of people that wanted a larger screen either already jumped the ship and went to Android or are considering to do it if Apple doesn't release one. And yes there's still a big market for the compact iPhone, but this market shouldn't be affected by news of a larger iPhone (if anything, people scared that Apple might abandon the 4" form factor may decide to get a 5S).

    Rumours about the next iPhone are becoming more and more mainstream each year and hurt iPhone sales each summer anyway, but in this case, rumours or even official news about it might prevent more people from jumping ship and make some prospective Android buyers hold their purchase until the iPhone 6.

    So I don't think announcing the resolution of two unreleased devices at WWDC (no other details, not even pictures) would hurt sales any more than rumours themselves.

    I'm not saying Apple is doomed if they don't do it, but in this particular context I think the net gain would be positive if they did.

    What I'm saying is that the context is different this year and that sales wouldn't be hurt that much from this sort of announcement from Apple so why not reap the benefits of getting a lot of native apps at launch and save themselves from some embarrassment?
     
  22. goobot macrumors 603

    goobot

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    #23
    A .5 increase is barley smaller than a .7 increase, and honestly i doubt the 5.5 one even exists. And if it does the "rumors" say it will come months after the 4.7 one which allows devs to do what they need to do.
     

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