In a recent leaked memo Apple CEO Tim Cook mentioned to employees that the company had “big plans” for 2014, and according to a separate leak from the usually-very-reliable-about-these-sorts-of-things Digitimes this is a subtle reference to a larger iPhone to be released next year.
Digitimes claims it has reliable information that Apple is already producing much larger six inch screens for its next generation of iPhones. As well as this, Digitimes reveals a release date of May 2014, which comes as an unexpected break from Apple’s usual October release dates for iPhones. Other titbits of leaked information include a 20 nanometre processor from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, suggesting the next iPhone will not only have a larger screen but will be much thinner than the iPhone 5S / 5C.
Apple has only increased the size of its screens once during the whole 6 year lifetime of the iPhone brand. Earlier models featured a 3.5 inch screen which was expanded to 4 inches with the iPhone 5. This decision had been made due to increasing competition from larger screened competitors and it is thought that any plans to push the iPhone screen up to 6 inches could also be due to the increasing popularity of “phablets” from rival companies.
The initial rumour of the larger six inch screen originated from the Wall Street Journal, which only ever cites “people familiar with the matter” on such ‘matters’, but has a pretty good track record of getting iPhone rumours correct. However, along with the six inches rumour alternative sizes could be under consideration including a 4.8 inch screen and any number of sizes in between. Either way, the rumour mill seems confident that Apple has another screen size change up its sleeve.
On the other hand, the earlier release date could hint at this not being an iPhone at all but some form of “iPad nano”. We shall see in about four months’ time.