Today’s iPhone X is as powerful as a Mac in your pocket. The OLED display betters all Mac notebooks except in physical size. The Apple-designed CPU is more powerful than an entry-level MacBook and competes well in benchmarks against mid-range MacBook Pro models. Curved and rounded edge displays for mobile devices are here to stay.
Other than the screen’s physical size, an iPhone X is a powerful device. But what if you could double or quadruple the iPhone’s screen when you take it out of your pocket? That’s getting closer to iPad size; well, at least iPad mini size.
The word on the proverbial technology streets this week has Apple working on a curved and foldable iPhone display. Samsung has had a curved display for a few years but as cool as it sounds the technology hasn’t translated into anything meaningful for most users. Even the iPhone’s new OLED display curves as the edges and folds back under itself to make the mostly bezel free design en vogue.
iPhone X’s display is 5.8-inches of diagonal beauty. It features 459 pixels per inch, and better than 1080p HD at 2436-by-1125 pixels with a wide color P3. What if the display could double in size to a single display of, say, 4872-by-2250 pixels.
An iMac Pro, starting at $4,999, has a 27-inch Retina 5K display with 5120‑by‑2880 resolution with support for one billion colors, with 500 nits brightness and wide color P3.
See the similarities? With little more than a fold out display that doubles in size, an iPhone becomes much more like a Mac in your pocket. Yes, it would still be a small display; smaller than a MacBook in physical size, but with whopping resolution.
I suspect that most prognosticators of all things Apple think of such an iPhone display design– fold out to double screen size– would be book-like, but it could also be wraparound– but it doesn’t matter. More display is more display. More to view, more to love, and, of course– this would be a premium iPhone– so more price.
Apple’s marketing guru, Phil Schiller, described the company’s philosophy a few years ago on 60 Minutes.
The iPhone has to become so great that you don’t know why you want an iPad. The iPad has to be so great that you don’t know why you want a notebook. The notebook has to be so great that you don’t know why you want a desktop. Each one’s job is to compete with the other ones.
What we’ve seen take place since iPod and iTunes launched around the turn of the century is cannibalization. iPod too music off the Mac. iPhone took applications off the Mac. iPad took even more functions from the Mac and made them mobile. We see the same thing with Watch vs. iPhone. Functionality moves and has legs and can be used on multiple devices.
Schiller on cannibalization:
If we do, somebody else will just cannibalize it, and so we never fear it. We know that iPhone has cannibalized some iPod business. It doesn’t worry us, but it’s done that. We know that iPad will cannibalize some Macs. That doesn’t worry us.
Now we see an iPhone as powerful as a Mac, and lo and behold– the capability of screen size to rival an iPad mini.