Apple eyes 5.7 inch iPhone: report

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

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.