Would You Buy an iPhone with a Larger 4.94″ Screen?

Marco Arment:

Why would Apple release this?

First and foremost, there’s significant demand for larger-screened phones. As much as we make fun of the Galaxy Note, it sells surprisingly well, especially outside of the United States. Other large Android phones sell very well almost everywhere. […]

Buyers wanting a small phone or better one-handed operation could still buy a 4” iPhone, and people who want a large screen would finally have an iPhone as an option.

Good arguments, but I honestly can’t say whether I’d buy one until I hold one in my hands.

Smartphones: What We’ve Gained

Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels:

Not having an iPhone was also stressful at home. I missed what would have been fun photos or videos of the kids because my Canon was in my bag in the car, and got lost while out of town without Internet-connected maps. Not having iMessage in my pocket made keeping up with friends and family more difficult.

Hackett says that his “iPhoneless” experiment has helped him to rely on the iPhone as more of a tool, and less of a reason to ignore those around him.

Now most people would agree that while using your smartphone when you’re around people isn’t the best display of etiquette, particularly when you’re in a conversation (though I’m sure cases could be made in some situations). But people who complain about smartphones and technology tend to forget just how much good technology has brought, how much easier it has made life. All the things Hackett mentions above are things I use my smartphone for regularly; I use it to check bus routes and schedules, I use it to keep in touch with people through Twitter, Facebook and iMessage, and it’s a camera and camcorder that goes with me everywhere so I can capture great moments. Without it, I would get a lot more lost, I wouldn’t be able to maintain connections (particularly with people overseas), and a lot of memorable moments would go unchronicled.

Does Apple “Need” to Release a Massive New Product?

John Gruber:

Sure, it’d be great — for consumers and for Apple — if they were to soon unveil some major new initiative. New stuff is great. But why would you think they needed to? Why just Apple? Why does no one argue that Samsung “needs” to unveil a major new disruption? What harm would Apple suffer if they spent the next five years refining and growing the products already in their stable? They’re already the most profitable technology company in the world, and their three major platforms — iPhone, iPad, and Mac — are all growing. They don’t need to change a damn thing.

My thoughts exactly whenever someone implies Apple should release something big and game-changing every year.

Why the iPad Mini Doesn’t have a Retina Display

Marco Arment:

It’s not hard to imagine, given what we see with the iPad 3 and 4, what an iPad Mini with a Retina screen would be like with today’s technology. Its battery life, portability, or performance would suffer significantly. (Probably all three.)

Apple didn’t make an arbitrary decision to withhold Retina on the Mini to save money, upsell more buyers to the iPad 4, or “force” the first generation of iPad Mini owners to upgrade next year. They chose not to ship a Retina iPad Mini because it would be significantly worse than the previous iPads in very important factors.

Could Apple have slapped a Retina display on the iPad Mini? Of course they could. The question is should they have? Heck no, since doing so would probably have made the iPad Mini a stout, sub-par tablet with abysmal battery life, and essentially placed it far below the standard and quality that people expect of an iPad.

For now, the iPad Mini is as good as it’s going to get without sacrificing the quality of the user experience.

Is the iPad Mini the “Real iPad”?

Quite a number of users have started calling the iPad Mini the “real iPad”, and that it is the iPad Apple really should have made. But the thing is, this new iPad is so good because it is emerging from the shadow of the 9.7-inch iPad. Having had the full-sized iPad for so long, people are better able to appreciate the reduction in size and weight that the Mini brings. But “real” is a personal opinion.

Harry Marks:

The “real” anything is whatever the user needs and for me, the iPad mini is less “real” than the 9.7-inch model. […]

The iPad mini is a fantastic device and while I only had a few minutes to try one, I understand the appeal. Most users don’t need a full-sized iPad. They need a thin and light digital paperback. But I’m not most users. For me, the “real” iPad is the larger model.

I used the iPad 1 for a number of years, and I had the iPad 4 for a week. I loved both, and the 4’s Retina display was gorgeous. But stopping by an Apple store and holding the iPad Mini in my hands for all of five seconds was all it took to convince me, and I promptly exchanged my iPad 4 for an iPad Mini.

I have an iPhone 5 and a Retina MacBook Pro, so I’ll definitely miss the sharpness of the Retina display. But for my current use case, I think the Mini might be my “real” iPad from now on.