For European football (soccer) fans, when the season's over and there’s not a World Cup or European Championship, there’s not much else to do except trawl the Internet looking for rumours about which player your team might buy for next season. It’s the time of year when ITKs (“In-the-Knows”) come out of the woodwork offering every barely believable combination of player and potential club – and you’ll believe them. Much the same could be the said of another time of year: yes, it will soon be time for the next iPhone.
Tim Cook’s florist’s next-door neighbour can make a name for themselves if they are prepared to testify the next iteration will have a 4.x-inch display. But will it come true? Five years on, like Matthew Le Tissier and Southampton, Apple has stayed loyal to its 3.5-inch display. All I have to offer, on this occasion, is an analyst’s knowledge of the market and pure logic.
Smartphone displays are getting bigger: 2010 was the year of the 4-inch flagship device; 2011 was the 4.3-4.7 inch; this year we’ve had the Galaxy SIII, for example, at 4.8-inches. It doesn’t matter to Apple: fans say “they don’t follow trends; they make them”. What’s more they’ve got the iPad: as the story goes, if you have a tablet, why would you want a bigger phone? Well, you may still want a bigger phone.
Despite the brand-pull of Apple, many (but not all) consumers may waver a little when faced with the choice between a 3.5-inch display and a 4-inch-plus display. Google Play is fast-rivalling the App Store for app selection, so what has Apple got up its sleeve? Last year, we were hyped up to believe it might be a bigger display, but received the pleasant surprise that was Siri.
Given how long Apple has maintained its stance on the 3.5-inch display, it might seem strange to increase it significantly now, surely? I for one was convinced the launch of the 4 or 4S would see a bigger display. But now I am not so sure; a killer app or feature there will certainly be. If we do see a bigger display, the Apple logic may be: "a slightly bigger one, but not so big it looks like we’re going with what everyone else has done”. You heard it here first...