WSJ: Apple planning iPhones with two different screen sizes this year

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iPhone 6 concept by ADR Studio

When it comes to iPhone rumors, I’m almost always skeptical of anything until I see physical proof in the form of leaks from reliable sources. While it’s not a leak as such, this latest report comes from The Wall Street Journal, a site normally reliable with its information pertaining to future products.

Its latest report seems to confirm rumors we’ve heard in the past: Apple is – at the very least – testing two larger iPhones for launch this year. One of those devices is said to have a display size between 4.5 and 5-inches, while the other is approaching phablet territory, with a screen over 5-inches. Personally, despite the usually reliable source, I’m not convinced:

The people said Apple plans an iPhone model with a screen larger than 4½ inches measured diagonally, and a second version with a display bigger than 5 inches. Until now, Apple’s largest phone has been the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5.

Both new models are expected to feature metal casings similar to what is used on the current iPhone 5S, with Apple expected to scrap the plastic exterior used in the iPhone 5C, these people said.

The phones, expected in the second half, won’t include a curved display, a feature recently introduced by rivals including Samsung Electronics Co. the people said. They cautioned that Apple’s plans weren’t final and that the company could change course.

It’s hard to explain this in any other way than: It doesn’t feel very Apple-like. Completely ditching the colorful, plastic iPhone after 12 months, and replacing the flagship device with two much larger phones. Cupertino normally releases incremental updates to its phones, improving what’s already there, not completely wiping the slate clean.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that Apple needs to release a bigger iPhone. I hate typing on the cramped keyboard, but I’m a techie, so to speak. I am not the general consumer. I don’t think like the average buyer. We know from sales figures that the current form factor is pretty popular. In fact, in its opening few months, the iPhone 5s is the best selling new iPhone yet. It’s holding its own against the much larger Galaxy S4 and HTC One. It’s the most popular smartphone. Period. So, do we need a new, larger screen? Maybe. I’d love one, and anyone reading this blog probably thinks the same. We live and breathe technology. For a lot of consumers, it’s just a tool to get a job done. It just so happens that the iPhone is one of the best out there at doing just that.

Although some sketchy rumors have predicted new iPhones at WWDC in June, I’m still convinced we won’t see anything new on the smartphone front until at least September. Releasing new products in the second half of the year has been very successful over the past couple of years, and it frees up more spaces for developers and those interested in software only at the developer conference in the summer.

Source: WSJ (subscription required) 

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