iPhone Screen Size

I have some friends who think Apple made a mistake in not updating the iPhone’s form factor this revision, to increase its screen’s size. I disagree, and the usual suspects who blog about Apple said a couple things on the subject I completely agree with.

Marco Arment is up first:

As a four-year iPhone user, I’ve never thought, “You know what I don’t like about this phone? The screen’s too small. I’d like to reduce my battery life, and I’d like my phone to protrude from my pocket in a larger and more conspicuous rectangle, to achieve a larger screen that I cannot comfortably use one-handed. That would be completely worth it.”

Amen, brother. If I want to work on a bigger screen, I’ve got an iPad or laptop. I want my phone to be my most portable device, with good battery life. There’s a limit to how small I’d want to go, and I think the current iPhone form factor is pretty damn great.

Marco’s article linked to one from John Gruber, who has another quote I think hits the nail on its proverbial head:

If you value tech specs over practical real-world battery life, if you would like to choose from a variety of screen sizes ranging from 3-4.5 inches, if you would prefer a thicker bulkier form factor to accomodate large LTE chips and a bigger battery to power said LTE chips, then the iPhone is not and never will be the phone for you. And, lucky for you, there’s another platform, Android, that offers you everything you want.

I think that’s true, and I’ve made two distinct efforts to own an Android device, and both times came back to the iPhone. Not because the hardware was not up to snuff for the most part, but because the software wasn’t as refined as iOS. And my last attempt was Google’s then-flagship Nexus One and my iPhone was still the 3GS.

So, yes, if a bigger screen is more important to you than the best OS, we will have to agree to disagree. There’s more to life than stats and specs. In the meantime, I’m happy today that a new 64 GB iPhone 4S is on its way, and I’m so looking forward to getting rid of my long-in-the-tooth 3GS.