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Report: iPhone 5 getting metal back, screen staying small

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The next iPhone (s aapl) won’t be all that different from its predecessor when it comes to screen size, according to a new report. Citing sources within Apple’s display panel supply stream, DigiTimes claims the iPhone 5’s screen will be between 3.5 and 3.7 inches, and not 4-inches or greater, as some reports in the past have claimed.

The report from DigiTimes, which has a fairly successful history of discovering information about the parts going into future Apple devices ahead of their release, says the iPhone 5’s display panel, despite not being much larger than the current iPhone’s 3.5-inch one, will nonetheless appear larger thanks to a new design. The bezel surrounding the display will be able to be made smaller, which will allow the screen to sit closer to the phone’s edge. This will make it look much bigger, and allow the iPhone 5 to sport an even slimmer, more compact form factor. It’s also possible that these reports address just one of two new iPhone models coming this fall, if speculation about a cheaper version of the iPhone arriving alongside a full-fledged iPhone 5 prove true.

Sources also claimed in the report that the iPhone 5’s back will be metal, instead of reinforced glass. That’s a rumor we’ve heard mentioned before, but so far, we’ve yet to really see much supporting evidence to back it up. Some think it would interfere with reception, but aftermarket mods that accomplish the same thing with the iPhone 4 do exist, and users don’t seem to report any reception problems (it may help that the antenna on the iPhone 4 is actually outside the device) so in theory it should work fine.

I argued early this year that the next iPhone might not need a considerably larger screen. While I still believe it likely won’t hinder its selling ability, after using the Samsung Galaxy S II with its 4.3-inch screen for a while, I do think a bigger display would be beneficial to iPhone owners. What do you think? Would a smaller screen be disappointing, or a welcome change if it helps the iPhone 5 take up even less room in your pocket?

15 Responses to “Report: iPhone 5 getting metal back, screen staying small”

  1. There is plenty of room to increase screen-size without increasing the body-size of the unit. If Apple doesn’t produce a bigger screen w/ the next version, I’m going to android. The competitors have caught up to Apple in many ways in the phone department–they owe their customers something special.

  2. Adjeff8

    I don’t need a larger screen. I’m perfectly happy with the screen on my iPhone 4. What I need, DESPERATLY, is a 64 gig. I have heard virtually NOTHING about this on the iPhone rumor circuit, but it’s a deal breaker for me. No 64 gig iPhone means no iPhone 5 for me. I’ll just stick with my iPhone 4 for another year, when I’m sure they’ll intro A G4 and a 64 gig.

  3. Adjeff8

    I don’t really need a bigger screen. I’m perfectly happy with the iPhone 4’s screen. What I need, DESPERATLY is a 64 gig iPhone. I have heard virtually NOTHING on the rumor circuit about this, but it’s a deal breaker for me. No 64 gig means I stick with the iPhone 4. I’ll just wait another year for when I am sure they will intro the G4 AND a 64 gig.

  4. One size does not fit all. For me it comes down to this – if I have to choose between a smartphone with a bigger screen versus carrying a smaller phone and a 5-7″ slate, I would rather carry just one device than take two.

  5. 3G iPad with 5″ screen can solve their problems and win over Android too. They will avoid calling it a phone, and people would be able to use it as such. Social mobile tablets are the future and hopefully they will realize it too.

  6. Barkat Alim

    After using bigger screens on some of the android devices, the iphone screen size is not felt smaller for too long. However without increasing phone size if apple could increase the screen size a little, it would be great where apple will not have to increase the actual resolution of IP4.

  7. To be honest I think when you get to a 4″ screen it just becomes too large. Phones stop fitting in lots of pockets, it becomes harder to hold, it’s just not something I like. I’d much rather it stay the same, or very slightly larger, size with the ‘padding’ becoming smaller.

  8. Generally, I would say that it does NOT need a bigger screen, that the new form factor should make that the illusion of a being bigger would be enough. But then I played with your Galaxy S II, and really liked the bigger screen…

  9. it doesn’t have to be larger. i don’t want to have to get pants with larger pockets, nor do i want to carry an accessory to store it in. also, a holster looks silly if the utility belt only has a phone on it.

  10. 4 inch screen needed. Does not have to be more than 4 inch screen. I think apple is going to do whatever they want to do anyway. There are in control. Android phones have 4.3. If the iPhone does not come by October. I will go to samsung galaxy2 phone.