According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is testing prototype iPhones with screen sizes up to six inches. Don’t expect to see these new models during the upcoming September 10th media event, however, when the Cupertino company is expected to introduce the multi-colored iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S.
Currently, Apple’s iPhone 4S features the same 3.5 inch screen that was introduced on the original iPhone, while the iPhone 5 sports a larger 4-inch screen. A 6 inch iPhone screen would mean the device will be wider than any other model to date, as Apple has made it a point to retain the width seen in the iPhone 5.
The electronics giant has begun evaluating a plan to offer iPhones with screens ranging from 4.8 inches to as high as six inches, people familiar with the matter say. That would be a sizable leap from the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5 released last year, and, at the upper end, would be one of the largest on the market.
Apple’s iPhone lineup has become very predictable in recent years, with the company releasing an S-series model (iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4S, and now the rumored iPhone 5S) every year after a major refresh. This 6-inch model will likely be the major refresh after the 5S, which will only provide incremental upgrades such as a faster processor, a better camera, and a fingerprint sensor in the home button. It is also possible this prototype won’t be one of the final models Apple decides to create for its next iteration of the iPhone.
It is unclear whether Apple will ultimately choose to follow a multi-size, multi-device strategy beyond shipping a new lower-cost model for the first time later this month. The company often tests different devices and configurations before choosing a course.
I think that Apple is hoping the iPhone 5C breaks up some of the predictability and adds some style and color to the iPhone line-up. If Apple introduces a wider 6-inch iPhone, expect a lot of people to go out and get one, especially because screen size is a big reason why a lot of people switch to Android smartphones.