Guest Post by Rohan Naravane.
Time and time again, the single-most complaint I’ve come across when I read the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c review is, “the screen needs to be bigger“. It’s safe to say that big-screen phones aren’t just hype anymore; all manufacturers except Apple have a healthy portfolio of smartphones with displays sized 5-inches and above. It’s the beginning of the year, and like clockwork, we saw the first batch of what seemed like leaked images of the next iPhone (which turned out to be fake, apparently). Nonetheless, I have no doubts that the flood gates will open any time now, increasing anticipation with every new leak.
Bets are placed anywhere between 4.5 to 5.7 inches to be the next iPhone screen size. It seems inevitable that the screen size will increase; after carry-forwarding the same 4-inch screen from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 5s, it is unlikely to be used again. And it’s not just about the size; the iPhone is also falling short of pixel density when compared to the current and upcoming crop of Android flagships. For example, the current iPhone 5s pixel density stands at 326PPI, while the Galaxy S4 is more crisper at 441PPI, and the rumored Galaxy S5’s 2K resolution screen should belt out a whopping 559PPI! If Apple quadruples the existing 1136 x 640 pixel count to 2272 x 1280 pixels (in order to maintain app compatibility), it will also bring the PPI in the range of the Galaxy S5 (considering a bigger screen size of 4.7-inches).
Wait, I drifted off there…even if the iPhone 6 matched or exceeded the spec-sheet of competitive Android frontrunners, will it really slay today’s Android user? As far as I can understand them, here are a few reasons why people opt for an Android phone:
- Variety of handsets to choose from
- Highly customizable nature of Android (and less restrictions)
- Comparably higher feature set (Stylus, NFC, Wireless Charging, Infrared transmitter etc)
- Easier serviceability (removable batteries, microSD card slots etc)
- Can’t afford an iPhone / Don’t feel iPhone is worth the money
Android users I know, love to change the look and feel of their phone as they please — change the default keyboard, change the default launcher or lock-screen or sometimes even replace the default ROM with a custom one. They love being able to transfer songs and videos between other phones or PCs, among other things.
On the flip side, why do iPhone lovers love their iPhone? Here are a few reasons that I can think of:
- Consistent Experience (No manufacturer-driven custom UI)
- First class citizens to most new apps that launch. Also, access to many quality apps that may never appear on other platforms.
- Feel-good design and premium finish (brand/snob value)
- Good photo capture ability
- Syncs well with other products of the Apple ecosystem (AirPlay, iCloud, iTunes sync etc)
Looking at this, it becomes easy to determine that people love Android and iPhone for different reasons. Thus, I don’t think Apple will mesmerize the Android clan by simply making the screen about an inch bigger. But it sure might keep many iPhone fans from switching over to Android over the temptation of a bigger display.