Apple looking at larger screen smartphones

Apple is looking to radically change its smartphone range, with larger screens, more colours and a potential budget model all on the agenda.

That's according to Reuters, with input from 'four people with knowledge of the matter'. It seems Apple, once the dominant force in smartphones, is looking across at Samsung and worrying that the plethora and range of phone  launches from the Korean giant is starting to eat into its share of the market. The solution, it seems, is to join Samsung at its own game.

The report claims Apple chiefs are currently discussing the idea of introducing two bigger iPhones next year, one with a 4.7-inch screen, the other going as large as 5.7 inches. Apparently suppliers have already been approached with plans for larger screens, but no decision has been made at this time.

'They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment, so you're not really sure whether this is the final prototype,' said one of those sources.

Those larger screens are likely to be projects for 2014, with Apple looking at the iPhone 5S for this year, said to launch with the iOS 7 and new fingerprint technology. It might also finally show us the much talked-about budget iPhone in a plastic casing and in a range of 5-6 colours. Reuters points to that as a potential $99 phone, but adds that it could now slip into next year for a a launch. Presumably down to factory capacity.

Test production for both the standard and cheaper iPhone models aims to start next month, with mass production commencing in August to meet a September launch date, those sources added.

'Trial production was originally planned to start in June, but the mixing of colours is taking longer than expected as Apple has very high and idealistic standards,' said one source in Asia. He or she added that 20 million plastic iPhones could ship in the October-December quarter, if the launch goes ahead.

All of that sounds pretty believable. Shame we'll not see an Apple phablet this year, but if the company drops a £99 iPhone into the UK for the festive season, that'll do for us.

Source: Reuters

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