Opinion Cast: Are Phablet’s For Real? Should Apple Make One?

by The Tech.pinions Team   |   February 8th, 2013

This week Shawn and Ben discuss Ben’s column about the Galaxy Note 2. Ben goes in to more depth on his thoughts on Phablet’s and what they bring to the table in terms of an experience. We also explore whether or not Apple should get into the large phone market. We tried to stay short and sweet and kept this one to about 15 minutes.

For more context as well read Ben’s article on the Galaxy Note 2.

You can also subscribe to our opinion cast in iTunes here.

The Tech.pinions Team

Tech.pinions is dedicated to bringing you the most informed opinions on the technology industry.
  • Defendor

    I have said before, that I think Apple should definitely produce a big phone. This will give them 4 screen sizes.

    Small phone, Big Phone, Small iPad, Big iPad. If they choose the “Big Phone” size correctly they will have the market covered for some time. I think they are clearly missing out on the bigger screen than many desire.

    Some have questioned how they go bigger, and suggested simply a bigger screen with the same resolution (and thus lower DPI). I think that would be a mistake. Instead I would suggest it is time to add another resolution but stick with the same DPI is the way to go. That means icons etc would be reused and be exactly the same size, but there would be some awkwardness as the new resolution would require some new coding.

    I do think the sweet spot is in the 5″ to 5.5″ range. I would like to see closer to 5.5″, but expect Apple will go closer to 5.0″ if/when they do this.

    • benbajarin

      The real question I am intrigued with is whether a larger iPhone in the 5″ range would run iPhone apps or iPad apps. As I noted this screen size lends itself more to feel like a tablet than phone so it makes me wonder.

      • Defendor

        iPhone Apps will be the only ones to scale initially. Scaling up in size or black boxes will both be options. It isn’t realistic to scale iPad apps with usability down to that size.

        Re-written applications eventually will come predominantly from the phone side as well. It is a phone after all. 4″ and 5″ are in a different class than the 8″ and 10″ iPad. Some may squeeze down a few currently tablet apps to to the smaller size but that will be the exception.

        I understand your opinion on 5″ being more tablet like, but that is more Nexus 7 type tablet like. When I use a Nexus 7, that just feels more like a big phone to me, where the iPad and even the iPad Mini both feel like a real different class of full tablet device.

        If I owned a Galaxy Note 2, a Nexus 7 would be kind of superflous, but if I owned an 5″ iPHone, an 8″ iPad Mini is still in a much different size class.

        In many ways Android is a good Big phone OS. It works well in that overlap region of 5-7″, where it is kind of the same experience. Not so great at small or very big.

        The overlaps and targets in iOS are totally different than they are for Android.

        Apple has the same base OS for it’s devices, but the applications are targeted at two VERY distinct sizes, creating two different experiences. Small and Big. They will remain distinct and a big iPhone is still on the small end of the scale for iOS.

      • FalKirk

        If Apple made a ~5 inch screen, I think they would definitely run phone, not tablet, apps. People are already complaining that the iPad Mini is a bit cramped for some tablet applications.

        Of course, Apple doesn’t consult with me and I’ve been wrong, many, many, many times before. So who knows. :)

        • Rich

          Three “manys” on being wrong?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

        pretty much every phone / phablet out there is using a 16:9 aspect ratio so for this reason I say Apple will go phone apps as they are optimized for this aspect ratio. Apple’s iPad apps are optimized for a 4:3 aspect ratio.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

      ” Instead I would suggest it is time to add another resolution but stick with the same DPI is the way to go.”

      I agree with this. OTOH, the link below provides a compelling counter-argument.

      http://www.marco.org/2013/02/08/iphone-plus-dpi-argument

      • Defendor

        This will be a premium product. It will get a lot of negative reviews with 264 DPI or less screen, when Androids are starting to go for 450+ DPI 1920×1080 screens.

        I really can’t see Apple bothering unless they are going to up the resolution.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

          Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you but the counter-argument for keeping the resolution the same are two-fold:

          1. Easier for developers because apps don’t have to be re-written’
          2. Easier to read content due to pixels being larger.

          Like I said, I’m with you, I want Apple to at least maintain 326ppi (or greater).

  • http://profiles.google.com/lastone1968 LA Stone

    The problem with Apple making a bigger iPhone is perception. People have always seen Apple products as being above mere feature comparisons, so Apple hasn’t had to really compete in the feature race. If Apple makes a Phablet, people will see this as Apple now copying Samsung! If Apple brings out a lot of new features, especially if they’re already in Android, people will see this as following Android. This will paint Apple as a loser in terms of who has the right ideas for smartphones. The Reality Distortion Field will instantly vaporize. Already, just talking like this is bad news for Apple because it’s all about perception. Iphone fans will begin to doubt whether or not they are still backing the right horse. “iPhone 5 represents a new row of icons”, says some iphone fans who have recently decided to bet on Android. Apple is in a truly tricky situation right now. They will have to innovate in a way that matches the original iphone at this point to keep people believing that Apple really does have the right ideas.

  • http://www.halosystechnologies.com/iphone-application-development Alina Clark

    It’s an idea but why not just makes a plug in for the iPad mini that blue-tooths to the iPhone and makes it a cell phone, web surfer???