Apple reportedly experimenting with new screen sizes for iPhone and iPad

22 Jul 2013

The 4-inch iPhone 5 with iOS 7

Reports claim that Apple is testing larger screen sizes for both the iPhone and iPad in an effort to keep apace with the variety of options offered by rivals.

The Wall Street Journal cites officials at Apple’s Asian suppliers in its report that the company has requested prototype smartphone displays over four inches in size and new tablet screens at about 13 inches.

While testing products in no way guarantees an emergence into the market, what this shows, if anything, is that Apple is considering a broader spectrum of products to rival that of Samsung, whose Galaxy range of smartphones, tablets and phablets offer a multitude of screen sizes.

The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display, which is Apple’s largest smartphone display to date. But a shift in the market since this phone’s release in September last year has seen larger displays become commonplace in flagship models, and, today, even ‘mini’ adaptations feature 4.3-inch screens. Just look at the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the recently announced HTC One Mini.

The latest-generation iPad sports a 9.7-inch screen and the iPad mini has a 7.9-inch display. A 13-inch slate would not only leapfrog both of these but also creates a tablet screen larger than the smallest MacBook laptops, which start at an 11-inch display.

While Samsung has taken the lead in screen-size options, other device makers such as HTC and Sony are also experimenting with new display options, from the massive 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra to the rumoured HTC One Max.

WSJ’s sources also claim mass production of components for a next-generation iPhone has begun and indicators point to a late August release. A future unveiling may also reveal a low-cost iPhone with colourful, non-metal casing.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic