Citing “people familiar with the situation,” The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple will be launching a 4.5-inch and a 5-inch display iPhone this year due to mounting competition from flagship, big-screen Android handsets.
The publication also states that according to its sources, both handsets will sport a metal casing and that the iPhone 5C, launched this September, will be discontinued.
The iPhone is now the only flagship smartphone on the market with a sub 4.5-inch screen. Samsung’s Galaxy SIV boasts a 5-inch full HD display, as does Sony’s Xperia Z1 while LG’s most premium of premium handsets, the G2, offers 0.2-inches more. In fact, the screen’s so large that the company has resorted to putting buttons on the phone’s back plate to make one-handed use easier.
When challenged about this display shortfall, Apple has always pointed to two factors. First, that a bigger screen uses more power and battery life is just a critical to a good handset as being able to watch a video.
And second that a phone should be simple to hold and use with a single hand. That’s why when Apple did bump its phones’ screen sizes up from 3.5-inches to 4.0-inches it did so by making the handsets longer, rather than wider.
The Wall Street Journal’s report follows those of a number of analysts who have already claimed that Apple will be adding a bigger screen to its next iPhone. The most recent being Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company who on Wednesday said that the iPhone 6 would sport a 4.8-inch display, citing supply chain checks as the foundation of his claims.
Apple’s supply chain is so huge and complex that many analysts have been left red-faced when making a statement based on discussions with a single supply chain partner, but the Wall Street Journal has an excellent track record when it comes to second-guessing what Apple plans to do next.