Rumors of large-screen iPhones have been around for a while now, more specifically as an option Apple's looking into for the 2014 iPhone 6. With the launch of the new, more gesture-friendly iOS 7, rumors of curved displays, which would better suit them, have followed. Now we're once again getting some numbers, 4.7- and 5.5-inches, along with some more wish-list features, namely pressure sensitivity. Tim Culpan and Adam Satariano, reporting for Bloomberg:
With screens of 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, the two new models would be Apple’s largest iPhones, the person said, and would approach in size the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 that Samsung Electronics Co. debuted in September. The South Korean maker last month released its curved-screen Galaxy Round, the latest phone in an array of sizes and price points that’s helping keep Samsung ahead of Apple in global market share. [..] Testing continues on the pressure-sensitive technology, which is unlikely to be ready for the next iPhone release and is instead planned for a later model, the person said.
Larger screens are especially popular with people, and in regions where, one multipurpose device is preferred over several, specific devices. For those who don't want to carry around a phone and a tablet, or who can only afford one mobile device, the phone has a bigger job to do, and a bigger display helps it do it.
Apple has long shipped Macs in multiple screen sizes, and in 2012 expanded the iPad into two screen sizes. In 2013 Apple showed they can expand capacity enough to produce two new iPhones at the same time. A lot of pieces seem to be coming together. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a larger new iPhone next year.
As to pressure sensitivity, on larger screen devices, not only phablets but full on tablets, digitizers and similar technology hold a lot of appeal. Humans transitioned from finger painting to brush, calligraphy, and pen work long ago, after all.
How Apple will handle scaling iOS to more screen sizes - here's some math from back in January - and taking pressure sensitive input will be fascination to see. Anyone else want one already? Hop into the iMore forums where we have a poll set up and let us know.