My iPhone 4s is just too small. The 3.5 inch screen might be good for navigating through texts and making phone calls, but when it comes to web surfing, eReading, and video watching, it leaves much to be desired. Recently there has been a lot of hype about how Android phones have increased in popularity and are now outselling iPhones by a 4:1 ratio. This statistic has to be cause for alarm in the Apple camp; worldwide, Android phones now hold 68% of the market share (Forbes.com). The shear number of Android phones available, and the increased quality of hardware brands like HTC and Samsung, has made this expansion possible. A year or two ago, I wouldn’t have been as excited about Android software and handsets as I am today.
Why the change of heart? Haven’t I been a loyal Apple customer since I sold my clunky Blackberry on eBay? What does this have to do with eReading? After almost a year of using my iPhone 4S, I have found it to be rather uncomfortable for eReading. The screen resolution is retina quality (text has never looked sharper to me on any other device), and the sturdy dependability of iOS has always been impressive, but the 3.5 inch screen size is just too small when compared to Android’s 4.0 – 4.7 inch displays. Then there is the hybrid phone/tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note with its big, gorgeous 5.3″ display. This massive device is perfect for eReading enthusiasts such as myself, but maybe not for the size of my pocket.
A friend of mine recently showed me his rooted Android phone. It was running Android 4.1, and it had at least a 4.7 inch screen. When I checked out the Kindle app on this larger device, it could actually render something that looked like a page of text, as opposed to the iPhone’s small and limited block of lines. It actually felt like I could read eBooks on this device, rather than just “snack on reading” (as Jeff Bezos would say). Web browsing was much more natural, and mobile versions of Wikipedia and Facebook looked great. I fell in love with the bigger screen, and my iPhone suddenly seemed inadequate.
There is one thing for sure about the iPhone 5 (thanks to leaked photos and specs over at ETrade Supply), the next gen iPhone will have at least a 4.065 inch screen. I think this doesn’t do enough. If Apple really wants to compete with Android, they need to break out the big displays. More space gives users a higher quality of performance and display. Using Google Maps, a web browser, and eReading applications becomes much more natural, and more people will buy your phone.
There has been a lot of speculation about what the iPhone 5 will be like. Forget the holograms, I just want to be able to read on the thing.