Apple may finally be ready to step into the large-screen future as sources tell the Wall Street Journal the Cupertino, Calif., company is currently developing iPhone models with displays larger than 4.5 inches and larger than 5 inches.
Rumors about larger-screen iPhone models have been circulating for some time with several different outlets reporting varied display sizes for the upcoming devices. Notably, Bloomberg proposed that the 2014 iPhone models would feature 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays. More recently International Electronic Business chief analyst Sun Changxu proposed the new iPhone screens would be 4.7 inches and 5.7 inches, while analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company believes it will be the iPhone 6 in particular that will feature a 4.8-inch diagonal display.
Sources told the WSJ that the smaller of the two devices is further along in development, while the larger model is still in preliminary development, but neither is definitively on the road to release. Whatever Apple’s plans, new iPhone models are still expected to release within the second half of the year, likely around the usual September timeframe. The 2014 iPhone models are both projected to feature metal exteriors similar to that seen on the iPhone 5s, as Apple is expected to scrap its experimentation with plastic design features on the iPhone 5c.
Large displays could be the major focus on the next generation of iPhone as Apple has long been in competition with Android devices, many of which are famous for their expansive screens. Samsung in particular advertises not only the large display sizes on its devices, but also the high-definition AMOLED make up of its high-end displays. Each Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagship smartphone has featured a larger display than the last, and has subsequently sold better than each predecessor. Most recently, the Samsung Galaxy S4 features a 5-inch display while the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features a 5.7-inch display.
While Apple boasts impressive sales of its own, the iPhone has not seen a change in display size since 2012, when models went from 3.5 inches to 4 inches with the introduction of the iPhone 5. At a time when consumers are increasingly using their smartphones for gaming, web browsing and watching videos in HD, an ongoing critique of the iPhone has been that its display is not large enough to truly utilize the benefits of a smartphone. Analysts also believe with larger displays will come a boost in resolution; the smaller iPhone is expected to be 1280 x 720, making it HD, while the larger iPhone is expected to be 1920 x 1080 making it Full HD.
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