But don’t be fooled into thinking the display size change happened in isolation–the introduction of a larger screen on iPhone 5 in particular is no accident.
Four inches is only now barely acceptable on iPhone 5 because:
- iPhone 5’s huge reduction in weight makes it easier to hold while contorting your hand to touch the hard-to-reach areas of the screen.
- The screen’s width remains narrow and only grows vertically, meaning it’s still easy to reach the entire width of the device;
- The device is 20% thinner, which allows your hand to wrap around more fully and to gain slightly more reach; and
- iOS’s tab bars are anchored to the bottom of the screen, where your thumb more naturally rests, so it remains easy to change app sections (contrast this with Android’s tab bars, which are usually located at the top of the screen, and sometimes out of reach).
Some interesting thoughts about the trade-offs Apple dealt with, regarding screen size. When I heard that they were increasing the size, I was kind of bummed, because I knew the iPhone was constant at 3.5 inches for a reason.
I assumed the bump in screen size was due to feature matching between it and the over-sized Android “phablets” that some people inexplicably carry around (law of inverse proportion?), but it seems as though a lot more thought may have went into it.