While an iPhone 5 with a larger 4-inch screen is a distinct possibility, iMore is reporting that it is in no way a sure thing given that Apple still hasn't finalized the design for its next-gen iPhone. So while Apple is likely evaluating the merits of various form factors, reports of an iPhone with a larger screen and 16:9 aspect ratio appear to be premature.
Despite some rumors to the contrary, according to our sources Apple still hasn't finalized the design of the next generation iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple ends up calling iPhone 5,1). No giant screen. No 16:9 aspect ratio. No metal back...Once again we're hearing that if the screen size does change, it won't be by a lot (no larger than 4-inches). We've heard nothing to indicate a planned change in the aspect ratio either way (and such a change still doesn't make much sense to us).
"But what about all of the previous and seemingly credible reports which pointed to an iPhone model with a bigger screen?", you may be wondering.
Well, if we look back at the teardrop iPhone designs that were leaked out last Summer, and which turned out to be nothing more than prototypes that never shipped to market, we're reminded that Apple typically tests a number of different hardware designs before coming to a final decision. Indeed, even the original iPhone went through various prototype iterations - including an iPhone model with a scroll wheel - before the original form factor was ultimately chosen.
That said, iMore notes that "sometimes there are more audacious and more conservative prototypes, with the final choice coming down to component costs and device tests."
Remember that it was just last week when I relayed a report from the typically accurate iLounge claiming that the next-gen iPhone will feature a 4-inch screen with a longer and thinner form factor (artist rendition below).
As for rumors that seem to be universally agreed upon, the iPhone 5 will reportedly feature a smaller dock connector, a design change which will free up some valuable, albeit small, real estate within the iPhone. iPhone components are already packed in as tight as can be, but with the next-gen iPhone likely to support 4G LTE, any space Apple can free up to put in an ever so slightly larger battery is worth the effort.
As for the software that will power Apple's iPhone 5 (assuming that's the naming scheme Apple sticks with), iOS 6 will officially be unveiled at WWDC 2012, scheduled to run from June 11 through June 15 in San Francisco.
And if you want tickets to that shindig, you're plum out of luck. You might remember that tickets to this year's WWDC sold out in just 2 hours, well before folks on the West Coast were even likely out of bed. But don't expect an iPhone announcement at this year's WWDC. Now that Apple's iPhone release schedule has been pushed back to the Fall, Apple will likely hold a special media event in September, rumor has it, where it will unveil the successor to the iPhone 4S.