Apple eyes 5.7 inch iPhone: report

Apple eyes 5.7 inch iPhone: report

Summary: Apple is looking to make bigger phones, according to a report, but if they do arrive it won't be until next year.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple

Apple is considering launching a larger screen iPhone than its current models as well as cheaper phones in five to six colours.

Citing four sources, Reuters reports that Apple has taken plans for a 4.7-inch and a 5.7-inch iPhones to suppliers in Asia. If Apple does follow through with the plans, they would not be introduced until next year.

Apple bumped up its screen size to 4-inches in the iPhone 5, which launched last September, departing from the 3.5 inch screen on all previous models since 2007. But unlike its biggest rival, Samsung, it only went longer, not wider.

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that a larger screen could differentiate phones, but noted the company had to weigh-up what "trade offs" would have to be made, from battery-life to the longevity of the screen. 

Some analysts believe Apple will launch a larger screen iPhone 6 next year, but expect it to stick with the current screen size for what is believed to be the iPhone 5S thought to launch later this year.

While the iPhone has been a firm favourite with business users, rivals such as Samsung and Microsoft (with Nokia) have been raising their game. The increasing popularity of so-called phablet style extra large smartphones such as Samsung's S4 has been another recent trend that Apple may feel it needs a response to.

According to Reuters, Apple will launch two new models later this year, including an upmarket device and a cheaper one with plastic casing in five to six colours with a $99 price tag that could improve sales in China.

One analyst last week also claimed that Apple would launch a cheaper iPhone in five colours, claiming at least two of the new colours included pink and blue. 

Apple's primary iPhone contractor, Foxconn, will make assemble the higher-end phone, while Pegatron, which makes the iPad mini, has been tipped to assemble the cheaper device.

Topics: Mobility, Apple

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • More Fragmentation Headaches For Apple Devs

    IOS desperately needs Android-style resolution-independent graphics and flexible UI layout. That's what makes the huge variety of device form factors bearable for developers. As it stands, IOS developers have to specifically test their apps on *every single* form factor that Apple sells to make sure they work, rather than being able to rely on a representative subset.
    • I can spot sarcasm.

      Thanks for the morning laugh. It is the hundreds of forms and fragmented OS versions that makes Android a challenge. And it the limited versions of iPhone models that some complain about, but not iOS developers as we have 90% adoption rates on essentially 2 screen sizes.
      • Learn something new everyday

        I didn't realise that android had hundreds of different versions. Honestly! I thought it basically came down to a single watershed (pre/post) in terms of compatibility. So if something works on 4.1.1, it will no longer work on 4.1.2? Just to be clear as this is the only way you could get to "hundreds".

        I also find it very interesting that 4 screen sizes of idevice can "essentially" be compressed down to 2 but every single android screen is different. Again, something new learnt there.

        Any comment on the "resolution-independent graphics" as I can surely learn more from you?
        Little Old Man
        • There are a lot.

          There have been hundreds of models of Android phones. A lot of those models which are older than a couple years are running a wide variety of releases of Android with no hope of ever upgrading. There are problems getting some apps to run on those many older releases of Android. That's called OS fragmentation. Acting as if this hasn't been a problem with Android phones demonstrates ignorance.

          That said, iOS does indeed suffer from the same issue, to a lesser extent. Historically, the devices have been able to upgrade to the latest version of the OS since the beginning. This has changed with the last couple of iOS upgrades. Recently, older devices are being finally being orphaned. Also, their ever-changing screen resolutions do make adjustments in the code a necessity, particularly if you want to target the massive number of pre-Retina devices. (800+ million installed base!) When Apple did this rework of iOS 7, they really should have addressed automatic resolution scaling of older apps. They certainly have the hardware power to do it.
          • You don't understand android

            It's as simple as that. You've read some articles maybe, read some zdnet comments and come back to backup this 100's of versions of android. It's simply not true. Apps don't stop working because you're running on a sony rather than HTC. Yes they might struggle between OS versions but as I stated, that's a single point.

            You've eaten up too many ill-informed comments about android fragmentation like most people that say it's a huge problem. Do some proper reading, maybe articles that don't spread the fear, you know, those that actually explain how fragmentation affects apps and the reality of that.
            Little Old Man
          • The only one not understanding Android is you

            In fact, the thing you claim doesn't happen is EXACTLY what happens. Since each OEM is free to modify the main Android code, and each carrier often adds their own changes, you simply can NOT guarantee that code that runs on an HTC will run on a Sony. In fact, you can not even guarantee that the same model phone will work the same on Verizon as it does on AT&T! Android user fora are REPLETE with complaints about apps that won't run on this model or that. Your claims are either based off complete and utter ignorance, or outright lies.
            The same goes for various OS versions. Google is constantly changing the APIs from version to version (though they've settled down somewhat). Apps that call on APIs that exist in one version and don't in another will fail. Period.
            You simply have no idea what you're talking about.
    • it isn't as complicated as all that

      The iPhone 4s --> 5 layout change was a hassle. But on the flip side, nobody had to recode a thing for the iPad when the Mini came out. The system did all the refactoring, not developers.

      Depends how Apple does it. There may be no impact on devs at all, if they opt for the more iPad-like solution.
      • Re: nobody had to recode a thing for the iPad when the Mini came out

        No, all their "pixel-perfect" layouts just shrank.
  • HD display finally?

    And with these larger screens, will Apple also finally give their iPhones HD resolution? No iPhone has HD (which is minimum 720p), while top tier Androids have had HD for over 2 years now. My Galaxy Nexus from 2011 has 720p. And this year, most top tier Androids have 1080p. No iPhone even has 720p. Ridiculous.
    • Retina

      display?? So called??
      • Marketing

        That's purely a marketing term.
        Besides, if you're displaying a 720p video, surely it makes sense to display at its native resolution rather than resample it to a different size.
        • More than a marketing term.

          They use the name "Retina" because the size of the individual pixels is smaller than the human retina can distinguish, making everything appear solid rather than pixelated. This was explained when they first introduced Retina displays.
          • It's still a marketing term

            Apple chose a single PPI and said, right, that's the best your eye can see. That's been disputed and surpassed on other displays. It was a line in the sand marker, look, our screens are this good, anyone who provides higher quality is wasting their time. It was also debunked when they first introduced retina displays.
            Little Old Man
          • Um, no

            What the eye can see is not based on what Apple said, it is based on biology, and Apple's comments on this regard are correct. Adding extra pixels beyond that makes NO discernible difference in image quality.
            And this was NOT debunked. I know EXACTLY what article you are talking about, and it did NOT debunk ANYTHING. It merely pointed out that there are a few rare individuals that can discern higher resolution, and to incorporate them into the fold, you have to bump up the res just a tad more. However, NONE of those people would be physically capable of discerning much beyond the current state of retina display resolution.
            You claim to differ? Please cite data suggesting biology has been overhauled.
        • So?

          Yes, it's a marketing term, but a marketing term that has a definition. More to the point, being a marketing term does not make it "so-called".
    • Sorry @ChazzMatt...

      ...if Steve had wanted you to have an HD display...he would have said so in his will.

      You are just going to have to deal with it, I'm afraid.
      • It's quite clear

        That chazzmatt doesn't yet know he doesn't want full HD. That knowledge only comes with higher prices, sorry, not prices, errr, enlightment.
        Little Old Man
  • 2013 - not good

    Expect AAPL stock to continue to languish; iFans can defend all they want; larger screens, since our smartphone use has transitioned from voice to content consumption, matters. 1 year and all they can do is add a fingerprint scanner and a (slightly) better camera? Really? This is Innovation? Uh, no.
    I'll stick with my 4S; if they can't deliver on at least a 4.5" in 2014 I'll make the Android switch.
    beau parisi
  • 2014?

    So, Apple might finally get a reasonable sized screen for web browsing...IN 2014!!

    Does anyone else find this laughable?

    This has to be the worst corporate arrogance I've ever seen.

    There is an extensive piece of work that has been done by numerous analysts that show there are primarily two types of smart phone users; those who primarily talk and text, and those that primarily use the web, social apps etc. Apple phones are really only good for the first category, which of course is shrinking.

    How can anyone who runs this company not think this is priority number 1? Somehow, in the Apple world, it's more important that the icons look 'flat'.
    • While I enjoy your sentiment

      All the reports I read actually show the opposite. Net access on idevices of all sizes is way higher than android even though the browsing experience would appear to be more appealing on larger screens. Perhaps we're all playing our free games or waiting for our phones to be returned from being repaired. Certainly I can't refresh a web page without a reboot.

      Anyone it's a pointless discussion. We know from all the apple fans on here that 4" was close to heresy so they can't possibly think they will sell a single 4.7 variant and the 5.7 should be burnt at the stake.
      Little Old Man