WSJ: Apple testing larger iPhone displays of up to 6 inches

By , Sep 5, 2013

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Apple is currently testing iPhone screens as large as six inches, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The news comes as many of the company’s competitors are releasing handsets with 5 and 6 inch displays—the new Note 3 measures in at 5.7.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Apple is toying with the idea of making a larger iPhone. In fact, The Journal told a similar story in mid-July. So it seems that while the bigger displays are not expected to debut on this year’s model, they are on the way…

The Journal‘s Ian Sherr, Eva Dou and Lorraine Luk report:

“As Apple Inc. AAPL -0.69% prepares to unveil both a new high-end iPhone and a cheaper version for the first time next week, it is already working on something bigger.

The electronics giant has begun evaluating a plan to offer iPhones with screens ranging from 4.8 inches to as high as six inches, people familiar with the matter say. That would be a sizable leap from the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5 released last year, and, at the upper end, would be one of the largest on the market.”

The report goes onto say that it is unclear whether Apple will choose to follow a multi-size, multi-device strategy beyond the iPhone 5C it’s expected to launch this month. But it appears to be fairly open to the idea, and is particularly interested in 4.8-inch displays.

The company has also been rumored to be testing various screen sizes for its iPad  line. Over the summer, it was reported that it was looking at tablet displays of up to 13-inches. Yesterday, a note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said it’s also working on a budget model.

All of this suggests that Apple is looking to expand its smartphone and tablet lines. And while we won’t likely see the new options at next week’s event, or at the proposed event in October, the consistent chatter makes you think that they may not be very far off.

Image credit: marco arment

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  • cordell

    Big phone better battery i hope

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Lol, seems like an after thought. For being seemingly so brilliant, are Apple just beginning to realize there is an enormous market for larger screens. Everyone I kno wnts a larger iPhone screen, for like 3 yrs now. I’d love to have a 5″ screen. I kno the whole it’ll b too big for my pocket or too big for my tiny fck’n hands stories, so spare me and the rest of planet earth tht don’t seem to b having problems fitting 5″ devices in their pockets. Also please spare me the frag comments. Thanks ahead of time.

    • Lordthree

      F that. lol. The last I want is to look like one of those galaxy clowns with a 5 inch screen. The extra real estate adds nothing. If I want more screen ipad mini is fine.

      The only mildly valid argument I’ve heard for a screen bigger than 4 inches come from older people who claim not to be able to read on a normal screen. They apparently don’t realize they have the option to change default text size.

      Imagine if newspapers received this complaint and started printing larger type faces. Never happened.

      • Carlos Franklin

        its 5.5 and by the way, the bigger the better…
        I used to be a clown with an iphone and now I’m a galaxy clown with a Note 2.
        If you like your tiny 4″ screen then fine, but I can assure you that if apple does come out with a 5″ iphone, you will be the first in line.
        Now F that….lol.

      • mehrab

        “The bigger the better” this isnt a pizza/burger/dick its something you”ll carry around and use all the time and its meant to be a phone. The bigger the better my a** that was the most stupid thing i have ever heard ex note 2 owner current nexus 4 htc one and iphone 5 owner i love the size of the iphone. But yeah to each is own

      • Carlos Franklin

        “I love the size of the iphone”… Well good for u, I love the screen size of my note 2.

      • mehrab

        Sure you do

      • Rowan09

        I disagree while I don’t mind a bigger screen, a 5.5″ screen is just too big. I wouldn’t mind a 4.5-4.8″ screen at best. I have a Note 2 and the multitasking on a small screen is not a great experience, the screen is too small. So I have a 5.5″ screen that big for I guess movies and small for multitasking, hence the reason I hate huge screens they don’t serve any purpose for me. Now a 4.5-4.8 is biggest I would want to see a phone screen.

      • Carlos Franklin

        its all about personal preference. I do agree that 4.8 for the iphone would really make a difference though.

      • Rowan09

        That’s true. A 4.8 wouldn’t be bad.

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        Rite. And a 5″ screen is just hugely gigantic compared to a 4″ screen. Rite, I see ur argument… Not. Very funny tht 1″ is the difference between clownish and sheer perfection my clownish friend. F tht, lol.

      • Kurt

        he’s an iSheep at its worst

    • Carlos Franklin

      +1
      I switched to a Samsung Note 2 (fits perfectly fine in my shirt pocket) just because of the screen size and I don’t regret it . But if apple is smart enough (which by looks of his post is considering the 5″ market) I would probably get one. I like android, but honestly I like iOS better (don’t ask me why) even with its restrictions most of which are easily overcome by jailbraking.

      • Kurt

        My wife and I are switching to the Note 3. If Apple gives us a Phablet I’d consider returning. I’m not happy with iOS as a OS, but the apps are what’s most important. But for now, iPhone is just too small and outdated looking. I really am hoping for a larger tablet. I was going to buy the iPad 5 but if rumors are seemingly credible that they are going to release a larger one I might wait for it or also switch to Android on the tablet size.

      • blastingbigairs

        Go ahead, switch to an Android device, you’ll be back. It’s like trading in your BMW for a Kia, you’ll hate it after a week.

    • Mohammed

      That’s great for you and for (almost everyone you know).
      Just want to tell you 1 quick fact ,what suits you May or May Not suits everyone else.
      Not being a jackass.
      Just trying to tell a fact

  • chumawumba

    And then apple will talk about how a bigger iPhone was all their idea and it is a major “innovation”

    • PainToad

      There’s a big difference between doing something first and doing something right. That’s where innovation begins.

      • chumawumba

        I’ll have to admit, you do have a point there.

      • Joseph

        Because there’s a right and wrong way to have a larger screen? How so?

      • PainToad

        Brezel size, battery life to power the larger screen, UI consideration, grip-ability, home button placement. Just off the top of my head.

      • Kurt

        awesome because Note II and Note 3 have nailed those! But I prefer no bezel like the Pantech Vega Iron.

      • mav3rick

        All doing it long before but when they come out with one stamped with the bitten fruit, this is real innovation.

    • mehrab

      Apple was not the first person with an interactive touch screen they perfected it hence “innovation” if they nail the size then it”ll be “innovation”

  • rosssimpson

    iPhone 6 – with a 6″ screen ;-) if so, what a coincidence! Ahha

  • n0ahcruz3

    Make it happen!

  • Hussain Alsanona

    I’d love my iPhone with 4.8″… that’ll be awesome

  • Dante Arellano

    Just take the home button off and we get another inch

    • Rowan09

      I think they should keep the home button as its a distinguish part of the iPhone. Even Samsung saw the need for a physical home button.

      • Xee

        No you are wrong! Physical buttons malfunction and break. It’s no needed, especially with a bigger screen and gestures.

      • Rowan09

        Did you ever use the Z10? It has too much gestures and as a phone technician virtual buttons also malfunctions as well and if the glass break sometimes they become no responsive. I get your point but I don’t mind the home button, I think once you see an Android with that long home button you usually know that it’s a Samsung and when you see the square on the home button, you know it’s an Apple device. It wouldn’t kill me if they got rid of it but I have no problem with it and besides if it malfunctions you can use the virtual home button on the screen.

      • Kurt

        If the screen becomes unresponsive you will have to get it replaced though. But I’m with you, home buttons are better. I don’t like virtual buttons taking up part of the screen. At least with some Android phones you swipe up to reveal the virtual buttons. That is fine with me. But always present? no way. I’d rather have a physical button.

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        +1. My sentiment exactly.

  • Falk M.

    Less talky, more releasey!

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Please no. Just because the majority of Asia are using phablets doesn’t mean you (by which I mean Apple) have to go out and make an iPhablet…

    • n0ahcruz3

      You do realize that asia particularly china is about to overtake US as no. 1 in smartphone usage/sales. Oh and sales of phablets skyrocketed. Most people would chose a phablet instead of a separate phone and tablet especially in asian countries, how do i know? Im asian. And more importantly Apple will focused on BRIC nations.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        “Most people” I am not part of the most people and am quite happy with my iPhone 4S, I’d even be happy with an iPhone 5 with .5 of an inch extra but prefer to have an ergonomic device if possible rather than an ugly half-phone-half-tablet (phablet)…

      • n0ahcruz3

        Like they said theres no market for 7″ tablet and no plans to release any cheap iphone. Apple just wants to stay relevant.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        If you see it that way then fair enough. I cannot alter your viewpoint nor shall I try but I’m pretty sure that there’s more to it than that. After all Apple is a business and a business needs to make money. If there is a market for phablets and the Apple name could make profits from it then it would be wrong of them to not want to get a slice of the action…

      • n0ahcruz3

        Im not a fan of samsung and their spam products but im envious of the bigger screens they offer.

  • Tony

    Hmm now I’m starting to wonder if getting the 5s would be dumb. May want to wait for the 6 and see what the screen size is at that time. Still waiting to see the 5s specs before I make a final choice. But honestly anything bigger then a 5 inch screen is just to big for a phone.

    • Johannes Mertens

      Well, you could upgrade to a 5S and sell it a year later, if you’re interested in whatever the iphone 6 will offer. I don’t know if this is complicated in your country, but in Germany where nearly all of the iphones are sold unlocked this is a practiable way.

    • FOFF

      if you have a 5 wait for the 6

  • Chliii

    I watch a ton of movies on my iPhone and I would love a bigger screen. Having multiple sizes would satisfy a larger slice of the pie, even though it would cause some fragmentation – which could be overcome by making all iPhones 1080.

    • FOFF

      true

  • Joseph

    It’s hilarious how people bash Samsung when they started having larger screens, and then praise Apple when they finally catch up and do it too… Really?

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Well I’m not praising them although I do realise that there is a market for phablets so as long as Apple will continue making powerful smaller devices then I’ll be happy. If they only decided to make phablets I’d be angry but would still probably buy it when it comes to an upgrade but would only buy it because the competition doesn’t offer anything else I like. If the competition changed then so might I…

      • bw00ds

        :) Sounds like you are covering all of your bases so you either do not offend anyone or sound like you are somehow covering your tracks.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I try not to offend people if I can help it ;)

      • Kurt

        If Apple comes out with a 4.8 incher and a 4.0 iphone 5S, would you really go for the 4″?

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Yes I understand that smaller phones aren’t everyone’s preference but I think smaller phones look nicer, are more ergonomic and because they’re smaller are likely cheaper as well. Those would be primarily the reasons I’d buy a smaller phone. I have an iPad if I need a big display…

      • FOFF

        for a smart phone to maximize its smartness it needs more screen space

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I agree with your statement if it is directed at someone that does not own any tablets. I myself have an iPad which goes most places with me. For those that do not have nor want an iPad or other tablet then maybe a phablet is right for them. If you are someone that fits into this demographic and is going to consider a phablet I respect you’re opinion and wish you the best of luck with whatever device it is you shall be buying since although I do not like phablets I am sure others are of the opinion that they are the perfect devices for them.

    • Sean Clark

      I admit that I bashed Samsung and I admit I was wrong. They took a risk bringing out larger phones and it turned out to be a great idea.

      • Joseph

        I’ll admit that I bashed the iPad when it was first released. Tablets in general turned out to be a great idea.

      • Tardroid

        Now Kiss you both.

    • FOFF

      i have always wanted a larger iphone screen

    • blastingbigairs

      Too bad every Samsung device I’ve owned gets returned because of that awful blue tint that seems to haunt every screen they make. They made bigger, just not right I’m afraid.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    Apple everyone wants a bigger screen and there no App for that.

    • dedegarrido

      if they manage to make an iPhone with a bigger screen without messing with the phone’s thickness or its size at all; I would like it too; but that might not be possible. sooo no

      • GuyBey0ndC00L

        It can be done.

      • FOFF

        yes that new sony experia phone is larger and phenomenally designed

  • Mike C.

    I certainly don’t want a larger screen. The iPhone 5 is the perfect size. If you want a bigger screen, get an iPad or some other kind of tablet. I don’t want to carry around a book in my pocket.

    • DevXav

      That is exactly what i think.

      Ya know.. If Apple would just allow people to download and install the Phone.app directly from AppStore on those iPads, this would probably solve the size problem.

      Normal people that want normal phones would stick with iPhone.
      Different people that want something else, would stick with iPad+Phone.app

      • Joseph

        NO. Holding an iPad to your ear to talk is almost as horrible as using the iPad to take pictures in public. The iPad Mini isn’t a good size for a phone, either.

      • DevXav

        Don’t misunderstand me, I agree with you about the oversized phones and I think they are ridiculous.

        But, if you look at the market, you will see that some people don’t care having and “iPad sized phablet”.. actually they like it! (I don’t).

        You can’t blame me for that.. Blame them!

    • Kurt

      If you get a phablet, as I will with the Note 3. You don’t need to carry a little iddy biddy iPhone and an iPad mini. Here you just need to buy one device. Then you can keep your full size iPad at home, as it’s not portable anyways.

    • FOFF

      thats fine but apple needs o give the option of a bigger screen,

  • batongxue

    Simply judging from the width, with a little bezel 4.7″ to 5″ what be the sweet spot. If it’s totally edge to edge, then 5.2″ to 5.3″ is the biggest size for comfortable holding.
    Guess 4.8 is Apple’s choice. Sweet!

  • mav3rick

    Maybe not again a stretched one. 5″ this time will be a real remote control.

  • Conanda

    i hope it have feature like Galaxy Note. nice for drawing, make note.

  • Markus Hudobnik

    5 inch screen for the iPhone 6 please. No bigger.

  • Xee

    Yes!!! About freaking time Apple. I have been wanting bigger screen iPhone for ages and the iPhone 5 is just a stop gap.

    This really is good news, now I won’t need to consider one of those not so good but big Android devices. As that is the only lure for me.

    • Markus Hudobnik

      Yeah, but please no crazy screen sizes. It should top at 5 inches.

      4.8 would be the best imo

  • Aric Bolf

    I want to stick with iPhone, and I also want the opportunity to try out different sizes to find one that works right for me. A good possibility is a larger size would work for me, but not too large. Like trying on different size clothes.

  • Razick Rilshad

    Wow big iphone nice

  • FOFF

    bout time..

  • FOFF

    apple should have had size options a long time ago .. at least 2 sizes regular and large that would have gotten them many many more sales from android buyers..