As the popularity of bigger smartphones, dubbed phablets, is on the rise, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) too is rumored to be working on a bigger iPhone, and if the latest claims of an analyst are to be believed, the 2014 model of the flagship smartphone, unofficially called the iPhone 6, will sport a larger screen.
Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies, has predicted, after meeting Apple’s Asian suppliers last week, that next year’s iPhone 6 will be redesigned to incorporate a bigger 4.8-inch screen, compared to the 4-inch screen featured in the existing iPhone 5s.
According to a report from CNET, Misek did not reveal any reasons behind his prediction about the next iPhone iteration's screen size except to say that a bigger screen would attract more customers to upgrade to the new model.
"We think the 85M iPhones eligible for an upgrade when the iPhone 6 launches (we think Apple is targeting Sep 2014) could be boosted by another 5-10M from people who skipped the 5S/5C cycle," Misek wrote in a note to investors.
In the last quarter, around 50 percent of smartphones shipped worldwide had a screen size bigger than 4 inches. During the same period last year, only 20 percent of the smartphones shipped had bigger screens, CNET reported.
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Reports about a bigger iPhone 6 have been around for quite some time now even though predictions about the actual size of the phone's screen seem to fluctuate a bit.
Korea’s ETNews also reported last week that the iPhone 6 in 2014 could sport a bigger screen of up to five inches. The report also said that the iPad also would come with a bigger screen of 12.9 inches in 2014.
A Wall Street Journal report recently said that Apple was testing iPhones with screen sizes ranging from 4.8 inches to 6 inches, while KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi-Kuo predicted that the iPhone 6 in 2014 would feature a screen size between 4.4 inches and 5 inches.
Reuters reported, in June, that the iPhone iteration in 2014 may come with at least two bigger screen sizes -- 4.7-inches and 5.7-inches -- as Apple is considering expanding its flagship smartphone range.
Analysts also believe that Apple needs to diversify its iPhone line-up as the company’s handset is at risk of losing more market share to its competitors, especially to main rival, Samsung (KRX:005935).
“Apple’s first priority should be a premium-tier phablet with a 5-inch screen because that is where the largest new revenue pool is located,” Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, recently told TechCrunch.