Apple is reported to be testing iPhone screens of up to 6 inches: something that would put the iPhone into the phablet rather than phone category. Of course, Apple tests all sorts of things all the time but the success of handsets like the Galaxy Note, from prime rival Samsung, shows that there is a desire for such screen sizes.
As Apple Inc. AAPL +0.60% prepares to unveil both a new high-end iPhone and a cheaper version for the first time next week, it is already working on something bigger. The electronics giant has begun evaluating a plan to offer iPhones with screens ranging from 4.8 inches to as high as 6 inches, people familiar with the matter say. That would be a sizable leap from the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5 released last year, and, at the upper end, would be one of the largest on the market.
Strangely, the major objection to a move like this could well come from the developers of apps. The actual size of the screen doesn't matter to the code writers: not beyond the usual and obvious things of it being large enough to see things upon it. The problem is something else: proportion.
As long as the various iPhone screens are all in the same proportion, height to width, then there's no programming problems with the ratio on the screen. But if those ratios differ between models then that's an extra layer of coding complexity that has to be dealt with: making sure that the app displays correctly on those screens of different ratios.
This isn't an insurmountable problem. It's one of those that is more boring to have to deal with than difficult. But anything that adds to said complexity is going to reduce the attractiveness of coding for the platform.