July 22, 2013
Is Apple Testing Larger Screens For iPhone And iPad?
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Last year, Apple announced its iPhone 5, with the biggest change to the sixth-generation smartphone being a larger screen. Now, only a year after releasing this large-screen version of its most famous device, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Cupertino-based tech giant is testing out even larger screens for both iPhones and iPads.
The Journal claims that Apple is asking for prototype smartphone screens larger than four-inches, as well as screen designs for a new iPad device a little less than 13-inches. Apple's largest iPad currently measures 9.7-inches, while the iPhone 5 sits at 4-inches. The company also released a smaller version of its iPad last year called the iPad Mini, which features a 7.9-inch screen.
The idea of Apple testing out various screen sizes is in line with the company's research and development strategy, but to anticipate this device having anything to do with the next iPhone generation expected this Fall is unrealistic. Last year when Apple announced its latest iPhone's screen change, the company mentioned it studied various sizes to understand which smartphone screen size worked the best ergonomically.
The Journal pointed out that Samsung features a variety of Android smartphones, allowing it to reign as top dog in the industry with a 33.1 percent total stake in the smartphone market . IDC analyst Helen Chiang told the Journal that in the long term, consumers will be seeing smartphones featuring all different sizes of screens. Samsung, Sony and Huawei Technologies already offer smartphones with displays larger than 5-inches, making them more of a cross between a smartphone and tablet.
According to the report, suppliers have already started mass producing components of the new iPhone, which will most likely be announced in September with a first-of-October launch date. An update to the iPad line will most likely be announced along with or immediately following the iPhone update. While tradition would indicate that Apple will be announcing one device, only varying in size and two color options, many reports in the past few months have hinted that Apple may be toying with the idea of a cheaper, plastic version of its iPhone.
Reports have shown that Apple is working on making a $99 plastic iPhone that will be available in five to six different color options. Although Reuters reported this rumor back in June of this year, the same news agency made similar claims in August 2011 to go along with the iPhone 4. This report said that Apple would be launching a smaller-version 8-gigabyte iPhone 4 with a flash drive.