Instapaper Founder Creates 5-Inch “iPhone Plus” Mockups [PICS]


We have already seen mockups of what a larger 5-inch iPhone would look like, but now Instapaper founder Marco Arment throws his mockups into the mix, and envisions a 4.94-inch iPhone with 264PPI, in what has been rumoured as the “iPhone Plus” or “iPhone Math”:

The theory is easy to understand: perform John Gruber’s Mini-predicting math backwards. The iPad Mini uses iPhone 3GS-density screens at iPad resolution. What if an iPhone Plus used Retina iPad screens with iPhone 5 resolution, keeping the rest of the design sized like an iPhone 5?

Its 640×1136, 264 DPI screen would measure 4.94” diagonally, and it would look roughly like this next to an iPhone 5:

Screen Shot 2013 01 31 at 2 29 05 PM

As Android competitors have had success with larger smartphones or “phablets” (cool word), it remains to be seen whether Apple would introduce a larger iPhone, based on consumer demand.

However with the introduction of the iPad mini, we never know what direction Apple will proceed even though on the surface they state the current iPhone 5 screen size is the “right one” for one-handed operation (stressed numerous times in their TV ads), as clarified by CEO Tim Cook in the most recent Q1 2013 earnings call:

Bill Shope – Goldman Sachs
Okay, great. Thank you. Katy had alluded to this, many of your smartphone competitors are now focusing on differentiating themselves with larger screen sizes than that of the iPhone 5 in your predecessor products. I mean, how do you think about the competitive dynamics for the market right now? In that respect, do you think that’s a valid point of differentiation? And do you think there is a long-term case for a larger screen size or at least the larger variety of screen sizes for iPhones and for the smartphone category in general?

Tim Cook – Chief Executive Officer
Hi Bill, it’s Tim. The iPhone 5 offers as you know a new 4-inch Retina display, which is the most advanced display in the industry and no one comes close to matching the level of quality as the Retina display. It also provides a larger screen size for iPhone customers without sacrificing the one headed ease-of-use that our customers love. So, we put a lot of thinking into screen size and believe we’ve picked the right one.

Many users want Apple to further evolve their operating system, which has remained relatively the same since its launch with the original iPhone in 2007, although iterations have added numerous features along the way (iOS 6.1 was released a few days ago).

What’s more important for Apple–a refreshed iOS 7 at this summer’s WWDC, or a larger 5-inch iPhone? Or both?


  • The article is interesting but I have problem with one thing – it stipulates a 4.9″ screen that’s 264 ppi. The iPhone 5 is 326 ppi, RIM’s new Z10 device is 356 ppi and the up-coming crop of Android devices will hit 400+ ppi. His speculation seems like going backwards to me & the media will be all over that like white on rice.

    Personally, if Apple went with a 4.5″ phone @ 1280×720 resolution, it would still remain @ 326 ppi, & current iPhone 5 apps would still run fine on it stretched.

  • Yeah I guess the lower PPI is to maintain wider margins on a larger device using economies of scale with existing parts.

  • Could be. That definitely is the theory being thrown out there anyways. Kinda makes me wonder if the so-called lower-cost plastic iPhone & this “iPhone Plus” are one and the same if getting lower cost on existing parts is part of the strategy.

  • With what we’ve seen inside the iPad mini, we already know Apple isn’t afraid to recycle old parts in ‘new’ products.

  • Farids

    News such as this is an indication to me that: Apple is loosing the edge in smartphone industry and no longer possesses the innovation to lead the field. They no longer set the standard and now just follow what the competition comes up with. iPhone 4 was the last real leading revolutionary smartphone Apple released and everyone else was trying to be like, and failed. This is not to say they haven’t made any good products. On the contrary, iPhone 4S and 5 are exceptional products, but not the smartphones that set the standard everyone else follows. Same with iOS: there has not been a real innovation since iOS 4. The newer versions have just copied, and copy, the goodies Android versions contain. I hope, this is not the decline RIM faced when they lost the edge by falling behind the competition.

  • The question that needs to be answered is this: How much business is Apple losing by not having a larger screen device? My guess is not that much. The success of the Samsung GSIII has a lot to do with carrier subsidy. Why, just yesterday Fido called me and asked if I’d like to ‘upgrade’ to one for free. The iPhone is still far and away the best selling single device out there. Apple is doing just fine.