Posts tagged: Apple

A bigger iPhone? More probable than most might think

Sources in China seem to think that Apple will release a bigger iPhone that will have a 4.8 inch screen. I don’t know if these rumors are true, but they have a higher degree of probability since there’s a logical reason for Apple to go for a 4.8 inch screen size. So it’s either someone pushing bullshit rumors that accidentally got it right in terms of size, or there’s indeed some truth from these rumors.

I personally think that Apple could do a larger iPhone, if they think that they need to — their previous hardware decisions indicate that they are well aware when they need to release a significantly different (from a hardware point of view) device to capture the market: Apple didn’t stay with only the original iPod “classic” form-factor — they made the mini, nano and the shuffle, nor did Apple stay with the original 9.7 inch iPad — they released the iPad mini. Considering this, why should the iPhone be any different?
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Just like the iPod mini

The rumors of 7 inch “iPad mini” began surfacing all over the web more than half year ago, with different sources claiming slightly different screen sizes, price points and shipping dates. As time went on, the rumors became more and more consistent, eventually settling on the 7.85 inch screen size and the 2012 fall release schedule. The recent reports from the WSJ and Bloomberg seem to confirm this rumors, so the probability of Apple releasing the product is now higher than it ever was.

John Gruber wrote an excellent post compiling many of different ideas, viewpoints and analysis on this subject, with which I agree almost word for word. The exception being the price point. While it’s probably achievable for Apple to make an iPad mini for $199, I’m more than certain that it won’t happen, at least in the first year of the iPad mini.
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The 4 inch iPhone 5

It seems that The Verge Forums became a platform for techblog readers, that can think and have something more to say, that just troll the comment section. A recent post by modilwar is a good example of that. In a nutshell, modilwar speculates about how Apple can increase the size of the iPhone’s display, while getting the maximum effect from it (i.e. increasing the display resolution) and avoiding the issues with fragmentation and existing applications. His solution? Change the aspect ratio, so that the display becomes more vertically elongated.

Modilwar also proposes two solutions to fight fragmentation issues, which would arise from moving to a different resolution: applications that use standard iOS user interface elements can just scale up to use addition screen real estate to display more content, while applications with custom a UI (e.g. games) can run at their native resolution of 960 x 640 pixels with black bars occupying the unused space.
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Nobody to say “no” to bad design?

Seth Weintraub, 9to5Mac:

Former Apple TV UI designer and “Professional Hobbyist, AppleTV” Michael Margolis went vocal on Twitter about the new Apple TV redesign last night. He says that Steve Jobs himself tossed out the new designs 5 years ago. He adds, “Now there is nobody to say ‘no’ to bad design.”

I call bullshit on his comment. As most of us know, such product development choices are rarely made at the last minute – people work on them for years before the final product is released. This means that most of the “recent” design decisions at Apple, with high probability, still went thru Steve. Steve’s absence from Apple will only influence Apple’s design maybe in something like 2 to 4 years.
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$399 is significant enough

While commenting on the recent story at MacRumors about the possibility of iPad 2 being offered alongside the new iPad 3, Marco Arment makes an interesting and generally right conclusion — offering the iPad 2 at a lower price point as the low-end model does makes more than enough sense from a business standpoint. However, I strongly disagree with his remark at the end:

How far down can Apple push the price of the iPad 2’s basic design, maybe with only 8 GB of flash? $199 probably isn’t possible and $399 probably isn’t a significant enough reduction to change anything, but if they can get it down to $299, that would take a lot of wind out of the 7” tablets’ half-assed sails.

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The next step in iPhone’s screen resolution

As Android smartphones continue to grow beyond any reasonable limits both in screen size and display resolution, pundits in tech blogs are becoming increasingly more vocal about Apple utilizing a bigger screen in the next generation of the iPhone. Although there are different opinions, concerning the screen size of the iPhone 5, the 4 inch screen is considered by many as the most “probable” candidate. Instead of size, I would like to touch the topic of screen resolution of that possible display.
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Why wouldn’t Apple make an iPad mini?

While I already talked about a possible “iPad mini” in early 2012, a recent post at 9to5Mac pushes the topic a little bit further. This time the story is based on a rumor of LG Display becoming Apple’s supplier of 7.35 inch displays for the said iPad mini. While I’m not absolutely convinced that the said report is true, it boggles the mind why so many people automatically just disregard even the slightest possibility of Apple releasing an “iPad mini”.
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The Schmidt Bullshit

It certainly isn’t news that corporate people often lie or bend the truth their way, but it still strikes me how people put up with high-caliber bullshit from them. A recent example of this is Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive Chairman (and former CEO), answering a question about Android being a “stolen product” at a press conference in South Korea:

I would also point out that the Android efforts started before the iPhone efforts. And that’s all I have to say.

While Google did purchase Android (a project stared in 2003 by Andy Rubin, Apple’s former engineer) back in 2005, two years before Apple’s announcement of the original iPhone, back then it was nothing like the iPhone (and nobody then claimed that it was a stolen product) — it was developed for a blackberry-styled non-touchscreen smartphones with hardware keyboards, hence the early hardware prototypes.

Smartphones, that Android was initially developed for

Smartphones, that Android was initially developed for

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Skeumorphism in UI

Another great post by Christoffer Du Rietz touches the topic of a so-called skeumorphism trend in Apple’s UI. While the majority of tech blogosphere simply bashes skeumorphism, Christoffer Du Rietz tries to look at the reasons that made Apple utilize it.

Apple has built it’s iOS devices to be the perfect app consoles. Apple has created this perfect blank app canvas so the apps themselves can stand out and make impact. The clean hardware design creates extra leg-room for creative expressive design, not the other way around. And Apple is using that extra leg-room to its full extent. I see this as a perfectly coherent strategy.

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Siri’s iPhone 4S exclusivity

The talk about Siri’s iPhone 4S exclusivity being nothing more that marketing started right after the announcement of Apple’s new flagship smartphone. And while this is a very “convenient” explanation for various random tech blogs, in reality important products decisions are rarely made with such simple reasoning, especially at Apple or any other company, that is focused on quality of their products and the user-experience that they create.
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Thoughts on tech