Maybe Apple Was Kinda Right?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by w00t951, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    About screen sizes. Apple says that having a screen that's too large will decrease efficiency - and according to this article by Ars Technica, it certainly seems to be the case.

    However, Apple might have miscalculated the "perfect size" that balances screen real estate and usability. The attached chart shows that user efficiency declines sharply as the screen size increases from 4.7" to 5.3". 4" screens aren't especially more efficient than significantly larger screens, such as the 4.7" panel found on the HTC One.

    Granted, this was a "small scale study" which did not explicitly focus on single-handed operation like Apple did, but it was still conducted at the respected Human Interface and the Management of Information conference at Las Vegas. I guess it's something for Apple to consider, as many users (such as myself) would gladly jump for a larger iPhone, somewhere in the 4.5-4.7" range.

    Attached Files:

  2. Deasnutz macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2011
    Apple is as much or more concerned about product segmentation as they are efficient interface.

    They want to sell you each product in the portfolio, and a larger iphone would potentially undermine that. In this way, they will delay a larger screen iphone as long as possible.
  3. srsub3 macrumors 6502


    Mar 10, 2013
    The only thing preventing apple from selling a bigger iPhone is the terror it may stop ipad sellings.... who will need an iPad if iPhone gets galaxy note display?
  4. itjw macrumors 65816

    Dec 20, 2011

    I know it's horrifying, but Apple (while they do care about ergonomics) cares FAR more about making sure you at least have a SPOT in your household for a tablet. The "phablets" as they're called, are niche anyway, and Apple wants to sell gobs of a product (unless it's the AppleTV "hobby") not a few thousand to a few hardcore "my screen isn't big enough" people.

    Bigger screen sizes have been out for years now. Higher resolution too. While some iPhone users might "like" a bigger screen, they don't hate the smaller screen enough to leave over it, and that's all that matters.

    Apple aims to please the MOST number of people. Not everyone. The 5 is a good example of that. It stayed usuable in one hand (keeping people like me that were perfectly happy with 3.5), and added users that liked the idea of a larger screen SIMULTANEOUSLY.

    Why have one when you can have both?
  5. w00t951 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Well seeing that market share article on the MR Front Page, I'd certainly say that many people hate the smaller screen enough to leave over it.
  6. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    But that doesn't mean anything about screen size. The iPhone has a larger market share then the Galaxy Note series phablets. If all that mattered was screen size then it would be reversed.
  7. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Is that really what that article says or implies? Not sure that particular conclusion can truly be drawn from it, or at least can even just mostly be attributed to the difference.
  8. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    I care less about screen size (either way) than I do about overall device size. Keep it small.
  9. bigjim83 macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2011
  10. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    The original iPhone was designed to fit in the average person's hand and be operated single handed. The original screen was 3.5 inches and it was a standardized size back in the day. The iPhone 5 retains most of the dimensions of the iPhone while accommodating a 4 inch screen. If you take the average of hand sizes and then have a standard deviation in the shorter range, that's how far the average thumb needs to travel to operate an iPhone. Maximizing that semi-circular area of operation would allow for maximum efficiency in terms of hardware for the most amount of people. I'm sure Jobs and Ive thought about those factors when designing the iPhone originally. Execution of their ideas into products is the tough part of the equation.
  11. Troneas macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2011
    At the alternatives section.

    its a risky decision.

    when i had my iphone (and an ipod touch docked for music) i often thought about getting an ipad to read stuff in bed, play games, browse the web and what not.

    after much thought i decided to ditch my iphone, forget about the ipad and get an htc one.

    i have not remembered i wanted an ipad since.
  12. mhdena macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2009
    I want a screen the size of a 3x5 index card with overal size of the phone not much bigger.
  13. ValerieDurden macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2010
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    I cal bs on that chart I was just as proficient with my S3 as I was with my 5, I really liked the screen size it was just about perfect.
  14. AppleCruncher macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    I did. I don't really care for Android over iOS and we are pretty invested in iTunes but I wanted a bigger screen so after several bad iP5's I went with the S3 until Apple comes out with a bigger screen. Not looking for phablet size, just something like the S3 or so. The 5 didn't do it for me.
  15. w00t951 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I call BS on you reading the chart. The S3 is 4.7" and is perfectly usable.
  16. Troneas macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2011
    At the alternatives section.
    any phone over 5" is just ridiculously impractical. even 5" is pushing it.
  17. kaielement macrumors 65816

    Dec 16, 2010
    I sell cell phones for a living and I see a ton of people complain about bigger size phone and also complain about smaller ones. At the end of the day I see a lot of people think they want a bigger screen buy something like the note and then return it with the reason that it's to big. So in the end really no wrong answer to the question. I personally hope apple doesn't make a bigger phone but if they also make a smaller one.
  18. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    1) I don't think most people are clamoring for a Note-sized screen. I saw one of those in the fall and thought it was way too enormous to be used for a lot of phone tasks. I think the big desire is for something about the size of the Galaxy S3.

    2) You're still talking about a 5.5-inch screen compared to 7.9 and 9.7. I don't think Apple stopped selling 17-inch MacBook Pros because they were worried about iMac sales. They stopped selling them because they're gigantic and way less popular.

    3) I'm still a huge fan of the 9.7-inch iPad size, especially when reading books, magazines and websites. I don't know where it is, but there is a point where you go from phone tasks to tablet tasks. One that is kinda good at both probably won't be great at both.
  19. sim0n macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2013
  20. Technarchy, Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013

    Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    I got GS4 last week and usability and interaction for sure takes a hit with the larger screen.

    I remember the same feeling when I had a GS2 on Sprint which featured a 4.5" screen.

    For my hands usability starts dropping off at 4.3".
  21. itjw macrumors 65816

    Dec 20, 2011
    To me the chart says "people with higher IQ's choose 4" screens".

    Since we're just interpreting the chart to mean whatever our agenda is...

    And saying that 4.7 is "perfectly usable" is an outright lie. Usable for who? You? Plenty of people think it's FAR too big for a phone.

    Personally (see what I did there?) I liked the 3.5" just fine. The 4" is on the brink of being too big for my tastes for a phone.

    Based on overall sales the 4" iPhone 5 literally destroys any other single phone... and before you start spouting off recent sales numbers remember OVERALL sales since launch are the real indicator of consumer demand, not recent sales based on people waiting for the 5S/C to launch.

    The people have spoken, and they don't want your wonky 4.7" screen, no matter how usable YOU find it to be. I'm happy you found something you want, but it's only good for you, not for me or for anyone else.

    Apple is trying to sell to the LARGEST segment it can. That's currently why the screen size is what it is. Again, they have no interest in satisfying a niche just to alienate the rest of the buyers who prefer something else.

    And for the 5 people that left Apple because of that, I am sure they are very sorry to have lost your business.
  22. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I disagree. You are comparing screen sizes to iPhone sales vs singular device sales. What sense does that make.

    Compare screen sizes and larger then 4" screens sold the vast majority. Isn't that a better comparison when comparing phone sales via screen size?

    If you decided you wanted a larger screen you might choose the HTC one. I might choose the S4. We both bought phones with larger screens by different manufactures.

    Kind of silly to conclude, "oh the iPhone 5 sold more then the HTC one therefore the people have spoken and said they want 4" screens" don't you think?
  23. ARSkemp macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2011
    First off, efficiency isn't all that matters to me in a phone. There are some things that I can do on an android faster than on an iphone (and visa versa), yet I prefer iOS. When I am browsing RSS feeds or watching a short video, I care much more about the size of the screen than the slight difference in times it takes to click random locations on the screen. You can't measure enjoyment of watching a short video on varying screen sizes.

    Looking at efficiency another way, maybe if they had done some testing where you are doing more than just tapping but also reading a few pages of text (at the same font size) or even doing a combination of different tasks then this study would mean more to me. I don't just sit with my phone tapping my screen all day, I am consuming information. I would argue that since you can fit more information on a large display that I can read an article faster with less taps on a larger screen than a smaller one.

    For the majority of people I know with iPhones, probably 75% of them want a larger screen but choose an iPhone anyways because of iOS and Apple. Not saying this is indicative of all iPhone users, but I definitely don't think a larger (not huge) iPhone would be a niche market.
  24. mclld macrumors 68020

    Nov 6, 2012
    I dont care about any of that, I just prefer bigger screens
  25. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    4.3 is the largest I would go and still call it one handed. I have above average sized hands, not huge but bigger than I'd say 60% of people.

    I can not use a 4.7" screen one-handed. Not in all positions.
    When you hold the phone vertically in space as opposed to horizontally, you can't reach every corner one-handed. Horizontally you can.

    I did not realize this until after I had bought a 4.7" phone. Heck, I didn't even realize that I used a phone one-handed so often until I started doing all kinds of hand gymnastics to inch my grip up the 4.7" phone's sides to reach the top. My one-handedness refused to be retrained, and the hand gymnastics never improved.

    4.3" would be the max for one-handed use, but this would involve lots of bezel reduction, etc. You do need that space around the home button b/c otherwise you accidentally tap software buttons, etc.

    I ain't saying that Apple has it right, but if you care at all about one-handed use, 4.3" is the limit. Thing is, I didn't even realize that I care about one-handed use until I tried a larger phone. I also realized that I wasn't really seeing THAT more information on a 4.7" screen. Then of course there is the pocketability issue. 4.7" just doesn't fit into a pocket as seamlessly no matter how thin the phone is.
    I found 3.5" too small to watch videos, but 4" is a big difference esp with the aspect ratio change.

    I would increase the screen to 4.3" but then stop. Forever.

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