The phablet craze sweeping the mobile market is hitting Cupertino. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning to release a pair of new iPhones later this year with bigger displays. People familiar with Apple’s plans said one device is expected to come equipped with a 4.5-inch screen, while an even larger model with a display of over 5-inches is also planned. We’ve heard multiple reports of Apple going bigger, so this is just another instance of those claims. Both larger iPhones will allegedly sport aluminum frames, similar to Apple’s current iPhone 5s, with the iPhone 5c expected to be scrapped entirely.
Sources close to Apple’s plans warned the company’s plans haven’t been finalized, though we’ve been hearing rumors for months about a larger iPhone. Unlike previous rumors, however, WSJ said the device won’t hit until the second half of 2014, likely sticking to Apple’s current release cycle of Sept./Oct. The smaller model is said to be further along in development—mass production could start fairly soon—while the final design of the larger iPhone is still being worked out. It’s unclear how the devices will differ internally, if at all.
Many competing manufacturers have moved well beyond the 4-inch size, onto 4.7-inch and larger. Not just a short-lived trend, rivals such as Samsung have made a killing with devices with displays over 5-inches, including its flagship Galaxy S4 and even bigger Galaxy Note 3. Phablets are apparently hugely popular over in China, which has been a key target for Apple’s growth. And even though China Mobile recently began selling the iPhone for the first time, the largest model only sports a 4-inch display. Imagine a larger iPhone in the now famous gold color.
These are obviously just rumors, but the noise surrounding Apple’s supposed larger iPhone sure is loud—almost deafening. There could be logistical battles should Apple release devices with bigger screens, such as how screen resolution will affect app development. In any case, multiple reputable outlets have claimed Apple is definitely going to release a bigger iPhone, or even two. How large Apple is willing to go remains to be seen.