New rumours suggest Apple is looking at making the iPhone bigger and diversifying its range.
Reuters is reporting that the 2014 iPhone – possibly the iPhone 6 – could come in two variants, one with a 4.7-inch screen, and one with a 5.7-inch screen. These iPhones would be big enough to be officially considered ‘phablets’, and they’d compete with devices like the Samsung Galaxy Mega.
According to two anonymous sources in China, Apple has put in orders for devices with different screen sizes, but these are thought to be prototypes rather than finished products.
The report also mentions the fact that Apple is experimenting with different colours for the iPhone, with as many as six colours of case in development. We’ve heard this rumour before; prototypes of the iPhone 5S are said to exist in gold, and we’re also hearing of other variants that would mimic the look of the iPod touch. It’s expected that the iPad mini 2 and the iPad 5 will also come with a choice of coloured cases.
The industry expects Apple to introduce a budget version of the iPhone with specs similar to the iPhone 4. Aimed at less affluent countries, it’s expected to feature a plastic case and could retail for as little as $99. In yesterday’s report, we read that this device will ship before Christmas 2013.
In short, if the Reuters report is accurate, we could soon see four or five different iPhones on the market, all with different specs and screen sizes, and each in a dizzying array of colour choices. It sounds unlikely, but consider the alternative; Samsung is quickly eating into Apple’s market share, and unlike Apple, Samsung’s not scared to release multiple variations of its most popular products. The iPhone 5’s screen may be larger than the iPhone 4’s screen, but it’s still not very big when you compare it to some of the huge smartphones hitting the market this year. It may be that Apple has no choice but to try something new.