Rumors about Apple releasing iPhones with larger screens and multiple colors aren't anything new. This time Reuters is reporting that it could happen next year due to pressure from the market and rival handset makers, namely Samsung. According to Reuters, sources familiar with the matter say Apple could be looking at 4.7" and 5.7" models as well as up to 6 color choices instead of the standard black and white options.
Apple is looking at introducing at least two bigger iPhones next year - one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.7-inch screen - said the sources, including those in the supply chain in Asia. They said suppliers have been approached with plans for the larger screens, but noted it is still unclear whether Apple will actually launch its flagship product in the larger sizes.
With Samsung steadibly increasing their smartphone marketshare each year, it makes sense that Apple would at least consider larger iPhone variants to capture back the market that wants larger screens. The Galaxy S4 sports a 5" screen while the Galaxy Note II has a 5.5" screen. Anyone who has seen a Note II in person is probably aware that it borders tablet size.
As far as other colors are concerned, Reuters is reporting that Apple may be looking at 5-6 different colors next year instead of just the traditional black and white options.
While it may make sense for Apple to look at a larger iPhone, we also have to keep in mind that Apple hates fragmentation and that's what different screen sizes will do for developers. iOS 7 will bring with it an all new set of challenges for developers on its own. While a 4.7" or 5" screen may not be out of the question in future revisions, I can't personally see Apple ever making an iPhone that's sporting a 5.7" screen. It would cut dangerously close to cutting into iPad mini marketshare and I'm not sure Apple wants to cannibalize a fairly new product line, at this point anyways.
As for color options, a lot argue that the iPod touch has color options so why not iPhone? A lot of that can have to do with who each product is aimed at. The iPod touch is aimed mostly at a younger audience. Flashy colors attract that audience. iPhones are also sold in much larger quantities than iPods. Carrying inventory for several different carriers and capacities on top of multiple colors drastically increases overhead costs and the inventory each physical retail store must carry for warranty replacements.
Reuters didn't have any information on what would be released this year but logic dictates the "S" upgrade will most likely follow suit with previous updates with a similar form factor that features mainly internal upgrades. That being said, will you be waiting until next year for a larger iPhone that may or may not happen or picking up an iPhone 5s, or whatever they decide to call it, later this fall?