Apple reportedly testing larger iPhone and iPad displays

Apple reportedly testing larger iPhone and iPad displays

This is one of those rumors that refuses to go away, but a report from Asian parts suppliers to Apple suggests that Cupertino is indeed testing larger displays for both the iPhone and the iPad. It isn't the first time we've heard these rumors, nor will it be the last, but the report suggests Apple is actively looking at larger panels, with the iPad one sitting just under 13-inches. From the Wall Street Journal:

In recent months, Apple has asked for prototype smartphone screens larger than 4 inches and has also asked for screen designs for a new tablet device measuring slightly less than 13 inches diagonally, they said.

It's important to remember that Apple, as with many other manufacturers, will routinely test different designs for different products, many never coming to market. At the same time we also know that Apple won't release different screen sized products whilst there remains any trade-offs in the overall experience.

We recently conducted our own poll to capture reader opinion on the perfect sized iPhone. We found a good spread of opinion, but there were lots of you who would love to have a larger iPhone. On the iPad front, 13-inches would put it right in the thick of Apple's MacBook lineup. What do you think?

Until the next larger screen size rumor!

Source: Wall Street Journal

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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There are 27 comments. Add yours.

Premium1 says:

The "trade off excuse" is pretty lame. There are plenty of larger screen phones with battery life better than iPhone and also better screen among other things. Here's to hoping the iPhone 6 isn't just a stretched iPhone 5s

quinn_drummer says:

I can see a slightly bigger phone (personally I'd like 1 more icon across so its 5x5 icons plus the dock) but a bigger tablet ... naaa. iPad is a perfect size for travelling with and doing any task on you might like. I can't see the advantage of anything bigger than the display currently available. If you really want/need a bigger screen, most would buy a MBA and work on that.

iSRS says:

Larger iPhone? Sure, I can see it making it to a public release. A 12.9" iPad? Especially "targeted at textbook market" is, in my opinion, crazy talk. Because the price would be higher, and schools want lower cost. Then, take into account that it would be heavier, and kids drop things, it sounds like trouble. Again, if that is its intended audience, I don't see it working.

Not saying they don't have one in the lab. But doubt that sees the light if day.

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yajia1 says:

I can see an iPad with the proper aspect ratio 16:9. The current just seems so wrong.

iSRS says:

Based on market and sales? I would guess you are in the minority. 16:9 is only good, IMO, for video. Everything else, books, magazines, comics, I LOVE the current form factor.

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offdahglass says:

This is just another article just rehashing the same topic over and over again. Not very informative at all. Must be a slow news morning.

B.Boston says:

...must be a slow comment morning.

C_C0LE says:

Frankly, I would at least consider an iPhone again if it had a bigger screen. Don't get me wrong, I had the 5 (Currently rocking an S4 though) and it was a nice phone, but I just prefer a bigger screen. Yes, there are certain things I like on Android better than iOS, but when it comes down to overall usage I am all iOS.

Solamar says:

I think the 13" iPad is likely a hybrid.. if they are testing anything at that size tablet wise.. A detachable keyboard patent was reported some months back from Apple. Think Asus Transformer..

I would expect this to be a test of their Macbook Air OS X / iOS Tablet.. Possibly where detached you're looking at iOS, when attached you have more power/cpu for OSX..

Just guessing.. Doubt they would look at 13" unless it was some type of Hybrid.. Even on Android side of mobile house, anything larger than 10" doesn't get much traction.

Would be cool if that were the case.. Low power A6/7 ARM for iOS in detachable screen. Then an Intel Mobile CPU in keyboard for OS X.. When attached.. you could just swipe the screen to switch between iOS/OSX.. lol, actually have them both running sharing the same screen..

Many things you could do with that.. say attach a TB display to base station keyboard and pull screen to use tablet screen while using OS X on keyboard side of the house.. Might not just do that with the Air.. but rMBP 13/15" screens.. dual purpose? could get interesting.

Jonathan Moosey says:

I don't need a bigger iPhone. 4" is just fine for me. I hope if a bigger iPhone is made, at least let us still have the option of sticking with the 4" screen.

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El Hache says:

Agree with you completely. If they could keep the 4" screen and make the overall phone smaller and more portable, I would love that too. I don't understand why we're going backwards in mobile phone design. Making phones bigger and bigger instead of smaller and more "mobile". It's the 80's all over again.

Premium1 says:

Bigger so you can see/view more content. Phones are replacing computers and tablets so making it a little larger makes perfect sense. Making them smaller than the already small size would be going backwards

El Hache says:

In what world are phones replacing computers? If you want to get REAL work done you don't go to your phone you go to your computer. If you want to browse the web quick reply to email and play a silly game you turn to a tablet or phone. But if you want to word process spreadsheet build or do anything else productive no way you do it on your phone (even a 5-6 inch monstrosity you carry around in your man purse).

ArgonNJ#CB says:

Yeah, something that big won't fit in your skinny jeans, thats why you like the iphone.

ArgonNJ#CB says:

You are in the minority. Most people want bigger screens. Bigger screens are easier to read and easier to type on.

NinoArt says:

A bigger iPhone will definitely come one day, and I will probably buy it. As for the bigger iPad, I don't know. I loved the current size, it's just right, if it's bigger, then it almost needs to be a laptop, because holding it will be awkward... and heavy.

Joda82 says:

Bigger iPhone screen is a no brainier to compete with the likes of the big Samsungs and others. I'd personally love a larger screen. The bigger iPad screen may be not we all think! It may be a new tablet all together and have Mac OSX on it.

ArgonNJ#CB says:

Apple, once again behind the curve. Everyone else has been making larger screens for years now. Only Apple is stuck in 2007. Testing means that even if Apple allows us to have a larger screen iPhone, you won't see it until the Fall of 2014 at the earliest. Who wants to wait that long for what amounts to basically the same old, same old from Apple.

kev46 says:

Bigger screen iPhone is what I was wishing for when the 5 came out but at 4", was hoping for a 4.3"....bigger iPad, no. I waited for the mini and am fine with that. Maybe the slightly smaller 13" iPad will come with a detachable keyboard and will replace one of the Macbooks....

kwp217 says:

Why is Apple doing all of this? Is the demand really there? Its not broke, don't try to fix it, make it bigger. Just make it faster & wiser!

SockRolid says:

Microsoft: "Looks good on paper. Ship it."
Apple: "Let's build prototypes, test the shit out of them, then decide."

I think Apple is simply doing their due diligence here. If and only if bigger screens make sense from the end-user perspective, then they'll consider shipping bigger iPhones and/or iPads.

EPJS says:

I wouldn't mind a larger iPad, but a larger iPhone is just stupid. You want a phone fits in your pocket. Phones like the Samsung Note are way too large.

W1LL1AMC says:

I switched from an iPhone 5 to a note 2 just for screen size. After a week I switched back to a 5 because of my dislike of droid OS. The bigger screen size was VERY nice! I will just wait patiently til Cupertino listens to its customers and put out a different size line up of iPhones so customers can choose instead of being pigeonholed to just one size fits all (just some) iPhone!

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manand_nz says:

Whilst iPhone is arguably the most well constructed phone, it's now lagging behind on form factor to the others.

Combination of the hardware and so called human or software interface must evolve too.

The grid app display structure simply won't do on a larger screen and nor would heavy bezels.
Bigger screen needs a new dynamic display interface and new ways of interaction.

Hope they won't disappoint like they did with iPhone 5.

Or maybe their problem is lack of a visionary leader/s.

Remains to be seen.

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Galley says:

Ever wonder why Apple chose 9.7" for the screen size of the iPad? The text area of a Microsoft Word document with default margins is 9.7" when measured diagonally. Coincidence?