Can a large screen iPhone 5 help Apple regain their crown?
So, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg are all saying the next iPhone will be bigger - but is it too little too late? Apple redefined mobile phones with the launch of the first iPhone, shaking up a market that had become far to complacent. Displacing the already then clunky Symbian as the OS of the mass market, iOS was a revelation. Smooth and polished from the start, it may have taken a couple of iterations to perfect but from the start it was clear that we were witnessing a smart phone revelation.
Google then came a long and spoiled Apple's party with Android; like iOS, it was a step forward, but it took longer for Android to really hit its stride. Android 2.3 (or Gingerbread to give its more common monicker) made it a viable OS for both personal and business users and Android 4 is a true revelation that elevates the platform to the pack leader. Coupled with the massive take up of the Samsung Galaxy SII, it's clear that Android has come of age.
Apple, under Steve Jobs' guidance, was adamant that 3.5 inches of screen real estate was enough for any phone - and every iPhone from the first right up to the 4s has been given the same dimensions. With the increasing take up of larger screen Android handsets, it's becoming more and more obvious that Jobs views were out of touch with the wider market and its left the iPhone looking quite ordinary and underwhelming when compared to much more attractive AND usable large screen handsets. Even the Samsung Galaxy Note has had a decent impression on the market and that's nearly TWO INCHES bigger diagonally than the iPhone.
So, Apple are now playing catch up. The iPhone 5 will almost certainly break the 4 inch mark - but now that they've let Android handset makers get the upper hand they'll have a hard time regaining their crown. We think Ice Cream Sandwich is the best mobile phone OS by far (although it's not quite there for tablets yet) and iOS6 needs to be a revolution rather than further evolution if a large screen iPhone is going to turn heads. Can Apple step up to that challenge?