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back to article New claim: iPhone 5 was a goer until Jobs bottled it

Apple was planning to launch the iPhone 5 this year, but it bottled it because Steve Jobs wasn't happy, Business Insider reports, quoting a source who claims to have played with a prototype months before the 4S was announced. Claiming that the 4S is a stop-gap, the industry mole revealed that the iPhone he saw had a 4in screen, …

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Bronze badge

Teaser or....

Could this actually be a spoiler for when one of the competitors brings out their 'iPhone-killer (again)'. Because Apple have already mentioned all this stuff no-one else can patent/copyright any of it...

Just a thought...

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But it's all been done

Thinner form factor - see Android

Capacitive buttons instead of physical - see Android

Large screen - see Android

Apps displaying perfectly on all screen sizes - see the Android SDK for layouts, fragments etc

Apple is not even playing catchup any more, they're just talking about it.

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That's never stopped apple patenting everything under the sun up to now.

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Anonymous Coward

Fragmentation

"Steve stepped in to kill the iPhone 5 because he thought that the bigger screen would fragment the iOS ecosystem and make some apps look less than perfect on the new phone."

lol fail.

Kinda like happens with iPhone apps on the iPad already?

Yes Steve, I know you're gone, but I feel the need to point out to you that fragmentation is inevitable if you want your platform to evolve, and the fact you trolled Android over it so hard as a downside now makes you look even more stupid as it was apparently actually better to plan for and deal with it so your OS is future proof with regards to it as Android did than pretend it'll never effect you and claim it's a problem for your competitors.

Once again Apple proves that despite all it's skill in marketing and design, it's probably the biggest technical fail of a technology company. Antennas that look pretty but don't work, screens that look great but scratch, macbooks that look nice but discolour, power adapters that are fancy but catch fire, a smartphone OS that can't even multitask properly. Just another in a long line of epic Apple technical fails.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fragmentation

"the fact you trolled Android over it so hard as a downside now makes you look even more stupid"

When Apple releases a 7" tablet, the company's strategy of trashing other concepts because they don't have anything ready to offer in competition will become transparent, at least to everyone apart from the fanboys who will, of course, have forgotten that anything at all was said about those 7" tablets.

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@Fragmentation

"Just another in a long line of epic Apple technical fails."

Along those lines...

Which platform is the odd-one out: Android, iOS, Symbian 3?

Answer: iOS

Why? It doesn't support vector icons therefore they aren't scalable to higher screen resolutions without any extra work on the app's part.

It's a technical problem that should have been solved as soon as Apple decided to up the screen resolution. But they didn't, they shifted the work onto the programmer Windows .ico style (different copies of the same icon at different resolutions/colour depths).

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Anonymous Coward

"Which platform is the odd-one out: Android, iOS, Symbian 3?

Answer: iOS

Why? It doesn't support vector icons therefore they aren't scalable to higher screen resolutions without any extra work on the app's part."

Is that a Honeycomb/ICS feature - SVG icons? I haven't played beyond Gingerbread API levels where it's still the ldpi/mdpi/hdpi PNG icons.

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There is an officially-sanctioned Google library.

Not quite native support but I suspect it will be soon.

http://code.google.com/p/svg-android/

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>Not quite native support but I suspect it will be soon.

So, the answer to your original point was in fact Symbian because it's the only one that supports vector icons, you're only speculating about Android support and making an assumption about future iOS support.

Not that I think you will be wrong in (say) a years time, but I don't agree with your assessment that it's a technical "problem". Vector images require a lot more design work to produce because they need a testing phase to ensure the design continues to "work" as the image is scaled and also they can require additional processing power to render depending on the complexity of the design.

Ultimately, this is a technical decision on the part of the OS designers and one that is made much simpler for Apple as they only need to support a couple of resolutions, programming a solution for a problem you don't have is a waste of resources. The real question is why Google haven't included support earlier given that Android is intended for use on all sorts of hardware.

I suppose it's probably not worth pointing out that large screen size, capacitive buttons and thin form factors are not Android features, but features of hardware that is running the Android OS - they could equally be running WM7 or Symbian.

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Design work

To save time, icon bundles are usually generated from SVGs nowadays so this design work is already part of the development. I would argue that the complexity comes from deciding exactly what size/depth icons to include in the final program from the SVGs.

Obviously with Android you still need to include app icon bundles, but once your app is up and running you can use SVG to your heart's content.

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POIDH

Yes, photos or it didn't happen!

Then again Jobs' attention to detail was well know and "if" he held the 5th gen phone back, this comes as no surprise to me.

Of course Apple don't always get things right the first time round, but when they do ship a product, it tends to work quite well, give or take an antenna flaw or battery life issues, but these issues haven't quite stopped the iPhone 4 or 4S from flying off the shelves.

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Trollface

Surely you mean "photoshop or it didn't happen!" - these days any Apple product images "in the wild" before release are inevitably discovered to be fakes anyway, so why not just cut to the chase.

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I believe the quote that is eluding you is:

"artists ship."

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I'm sure Apple are trialling all sorts of speculative hardware all the time, so I can well believe that this was one candidate for a future iPhone, and that aspects of this will appears, sooner or later. But I doubt there were ever serious plans to put out a 10 megapixel camera in a body too thin to hold reasonable optics - it just wouldn't be worth the cost, and "one-upmanship" specs are more Android then Apple, whatever you think of their relative merits.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple not into "one-upmanship"

Ha ha ha ha

Very funny. The thinnest laptop on the market. The highest pixel density on a phone. The most apps in an app-store. Apple are just as much into one-upmanship as the rest of the market. All of which I find pointless.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah... Right on Fanbro...

Like putting crap optics on a 5MP camera and then crowing about how much better the new optics are when you upgrade it to 8MP, or for that matter, crowing about 'new' features that have been around elsewhere for months or even years.

I for one have never seen selectively chosen comparatives at an Apple product launch, mainly because I've never bothered seeing an Apple product launch but I'm damn sure millions of others have.

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Jobs had a point

It's bad enough developing for the current platform(s), who needs another factor to do GUI's for?

Though given that a) Jobs has 'moved on' and b) The Android SII et al are stealing market share, I think the 4" screen/iphone 5 would be a mere postponement rather than a permanent cancellation. The current screen size is already looking dated compared to some android offerings.

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See this is what I don't get about "another factor to do GUIs for". Granted while there may be some difference between a phone-size screen and a tablet or laptop-size screen - mostly in terms of how big the buttons need to be to be touchable, aren't you already making your apps at least reasonably resolution-independent so they'll work on any screen size? Isn't it all "a slate with one gigantic touchable surface", regardless of the actual size?

Despite some reports to the contrary, I find very few apps in the Android Market that won't scale from 320x240 up to 1024x600. Those that don't are mostly pants anyway.

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Headmaster

you know, I really hate the term "stealing market share"

I propose we say "earning market share."

Stealing implies Apple is entitled to it.

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Anonymous Coward

Since we're on the subject of screen resolutions and DPI differences...

Differing DPIs can be a bit annoying having to provide either scalable graphics or alternative DPI files - as with Android you provide images for low, medium and high DPI devices - thankfully the OS picks the appropriate one for you.

But what I find particularly bemusing is dev's complaining about different screen resolutions. Have none of these developers ever built a desktop application?

Designing a UI for sensible re-sizing is a normal part of the design process isn't it?

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The lack of scaling on iOS is fairly ironic, given that the same thing, back in the Mac days, was one of the main factors that kept Apple ahead of much of the competition. I was working on Amigas in the day, and we had so much in the OS that was superior to MacOS. But they had one big one: retargetable graphics -- you could run MacOS on any sized display, any reasonable kind of display hardware.

I got my Android phone, the O. G. Droid, in the era when most phones (and all iPhones) were something in the 480x360 pixel range... yet no problem with 854x480. I bought a tablet running Android 2.2 that was, by all naysayers' accounts, totally worthless, since nothing supported that resolution. I found two apps, so far, that didn't scale well to 1024x600.

You kind of wonder why the Android folks have learned from the example of the Mac (eg, the thing it did very well), while Apple seems to have forgotten.

Not to mention the total non-problem you get if your 4" screen is also 960x640, just like your 3.5" screen. No one will even notice.

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Silver badge

If so then he did the right thing

The difference between 3.5" and 4" is so little that I don't think it's worth the fragmentation — at least when you're the only actor making the devices. I can understand the push to bigger in the Android world because the market is much more competitive and bigger numbers look better but I honestly don't think whatever competitive edge Apple have in the market as a whole is very closely connected to the screen size.

In any case, anything with worse battery life than current smartphones (including but not limited to the iPhone) would be pretty much unusable.

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Bigger is better

I dunno. I went from a 4 inch on my captivate to a 4.3 inch on my HTC Inspire. The difference is noticable. And welcome.

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"The difference between 3.5" and 4" is so little that I don't think it's worth the fragmentation ..."

No. You just don't get it. Try USING 3.5" vs. 4". The difference is NIGHT and DAY, both on your eyes and your fingers. 4.3" and 4.5" are even better.

I went from 3.5" (iPhone) to 4.3"(Evo) to 4.5"(Galaxy S2) the last 3 years, and I will never go back.

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Bronze badge

Bigger is better? Really?

By that reckoning, Apple should just add a phone dialler to the 3G iPad. Dom Jolly was way ahead of his time.

On a more serious note, a good size is subjective. I don't want a massive screen because it means a massive phone. Personally, I'd like to see 4" or less, but going edge to edge on the handset, to keep it small and usable.

More attention needs to be paid on less cluttered interfaces, not masses of icons. Points for effort should go to MS in this regard. WinPho 7 might not be quite there, but the interface shows more effort than a page of icons.

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@Chuck2a

Bingo. I know 4 people already over 40 who were forced to switch due to the small screen size on the iPhone. Others have to have their reading glasses on to read the phone, but they don't seem to mind. :) One of switchers was a fanboy who kept critiquing the non-Apple stuff, and finally succumbed to the dark side in order to get a legible 4.3" screen. An iPhone 5 with a 4" would have kept him. He's happy enough now on android though and isn't going back. Bad move on Apple's part with the majority of the population over 40...

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Anonymous Coward

"I dunno. I went from a 4 inch on my captivate to a 4.3 inch on my HTC Inspire. The difference is noticable. And welcome."

Keep in mind that the Captivate and the Inspire have the same resolution - the pixels density is actually lower on your Inspire than your Captivate. If you took a screen shot on both and compared them side by side the images would be identical.

I'm assuming since the iPhone 5 would cause fragmentation, they would be keeping the same DPI and increasing the resolution.

Although I know what you mean, the NS has the same resolution as the N1, excluding the pentile screen differences, it is still nicer on the larger screen - and the DPI is still high enough to look awesome.

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FAIL

Alternatively

"We told you a load of stuff that definitely going to be in the phone that launched a few months back but we made all that shit up and it turned out to be miles wide of the mark. So instead of just admitting that we made all that shit up, we're going to make even more shit up that makes it look liek it wasn't our fault that the stuff we told you was bollocks, only this time it can't be disproved since the bloke in question is pushing up daisies. Also, we're going to tell you the same shit we made up last time will actually be happening next time. And when it doesn't happen next time either, we'll just make more shit up to try and hide the fact we have no clue what's going on then too. Would you like to buy a subscription?"

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Thumb Up

Amen brother...

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Silver badge

Really?

I was going to release my own smartphone. It is 2mm thin, has a 4.1" screen and a 10.1 megapixel camera. It had a brushed titanium back plate. It was an "iPhone killer" but it had poor battery life so I decided not to release it to market.

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Exactly

Who believes anything that comes out of the mouths of 'Apple insiders' anymore, I'd trust a politician more tbh.

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Bronze badge

Cinderalla shall go to the ball?

So will cinders get a big screen from your new prince charming CEO?

And will it upset Siri?

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FAIL

Bigger screens..

seriously who wants one? Where exactly do you carry a much bigger phone? The iPhone is big enough shoved in a pocket, I can't imagine trying to heft around some of the droid phones. The only people I see regularly with much bigger phones are women who can shove it in an enormous handbag and are therefore quite happy to do so and make it simpler to text, email etc on the slightly bigger keyboard.

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How small are your pockets?

I can fit a 7" Galaxy Tab into a coat pocket. I'm sure a 5" tabphone would fit in something less sizeable, and the more normal-size fondle-toys definitely so.

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Facepalm

Bigger screens ... who wants one?

ME!

Loving me Samsung Galaxy Note than you very much (5.5" screen).

I'm male and it fits in my jacket pocket in it's case!

That is all ...

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Anonymous Coward

Jackets

what's all this about Jackets?? How are you going to carry your phone around in summer? or indoors for that matter?

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This!

I can fit my *iPad* (1st gen) into my jacket pocket, but I don't do so on a regular basis. It's just too bulky and heavy for me to want to carry something that big every day.

If I know I'll need to while away some time—e.g. I'm going to a doctor's appointment, or catching a train or two—the iPad goes into my jacket pocket. And for consultancy jobs, I can chuck my laptop into a backpack and I take that. (I'll usually throw the iPad in there too as it has a bunch of reference apps I find indispensable in my day job as a translator.)

For everything else, the iPhone fits the bill perfectly—even to running the same reference apps I have on the iPad.

Besides, I consider 10º C to be T-shirt-and-jeans weather, so I rarely wear jackets even in winter!

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Waste of space

The iphone has plenty of space above and below the screen. Why not use some of that? They might have trouble with the width because of the docks it will have to fit into.

Docking is the best bit of the iphone; they make much better use of it than palm did. And from the lack of docking on other phones, I guess palm refused to license the idea to anyone else. Unless, of course, apple managed to patent another old idea?

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Anonymous Coward

@Craigness - waste of space is necessary

The "wasted space" is there because of the screen aspect. iOS handhelds have two resolutions: 360x480 and its double-size version (quadruple pixels): 640x960. It's an aspect ratio of 3:4.

If you simply enlarge it to, say, 4 inches (or more), the phone will be too wide. Think Galaxy Note (or HTC Titan) wide, but shorter. It would be ugly AND not very ergonomic.

And you can't skimp out on the bezel too, because a bezel has a functional purpose: it's there so your holding hand does not accidentally register touches on the capacitative screen.

The obvious solution would be having a new screen aspect, like Android. But iOS is not as resolution agnostic as Android. So a new screen size (resolution) would break a lot of iOS apps.

Since iphone is only one model per iteration, a new version not selling like hot cakes would be an issue - all eggs in one basket, so to speak.

Today Apple is big on the strength of its single horse: the iphone. Even though its other products (the laptops, the ipad, the desktops) sell well, it's the iphone that's the real money maker and by a very wide margin.

Apple does not have the luxury of upsetting that cart.

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Bronze badge

Hmmmmm....

So, great, it fits in your pocket and looks like a massive, rectangular hernia. I can fit my phone in a shirt pocket if I want, or in a trouser pocket - with other stuff.

You can keep your cinema screen sized handsets.

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"...The iPhone is big enough shoved in a pocket, I can't imagine trying to heft around some of the droid phones..."

Except that these droid phones are not that much bigger than the iPhone in total size. The iPhone bezel wastes such a large surface that even at 3.5" screen it is surprisingly large of a phone. For example, one version of the Samsung S2 in the US gives you 30% more screen size, while the phone is only 13% larger (it is even thinner than iPhone). I would take that tradeoff any time.

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Anonymous Coward

he second pie is already baked.

Actually I have seen people waiting for the bus using an IPad.

Why only have one piece of Apple pie when there is a choice of two?

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Thumb Down

Well done for increasing BI's ad revenue for today.

I can't believe you reprint this horseshit.

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WTF?

"make some apps look less than perfect on the new phone."

What?? I would have thought it was more important that they worked properly...

Style over substance methinks....

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Coat

"wet dream of one attention-seeking fanboi"

Surely not..........

Apple's fanbois aren't attention seeking and the certainly don't have wet dreams.

[/sarcasm]

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Trollface

So the only thing they kept from the 5's design was the crap battery life?

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So, while the IT industry as a whole have been seamlessly dealing with different size screens for decades, that concept somehow seems a novelty to Apple.

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If it was held back because of the bad battery life, it must have really been bad, just look at the 4S. If the 5 was even worse, Apple has really lost the plot.

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