David Sparks, after reminding us that the current iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display are internally identical:
If the rumor sites are to be believed, this won’t be the case with the two different sized iPhones we are expected to see next week. Not only will screen size be different but we may also have differences in camera quality. I would speculate that differences in display quality, battery life, and storage could also easily be in play. Assuming that the bigger phone does get some of the better components, what do the people who want a smaller screen with the better components do? They have to make tough choices. I suspect much digital ink will be sacrificed in relation to this question in the coming weeks.
I think it makes sense that a larger iPhone could have a better battery due to its larger chasis, but it’s important to remember that all current iPads sport the same battery life.
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As far as the other components, I really hope that Apple put the iPhone on the same track as the iPad: that the only difference between the two models is size. I don’t want a 5.5-inch phone, but I don’t want to feel like a second-class citizen because of my size preference.