Apple reportedly testing larger-screened iPhones and iPads

Apple executives have long spoken ill of devices with larger screens, but recent reports suggest that the company may be changing its tune.

Apple executives have long spoken ill of devices with larger screens. You might even remember that Steve Jobs once proclaimed that any tablets with a screen size less than 9.7 inches would be dead on arrival. Not a few years later, Apple released the extremely successful iPad Mini.

Suffice it to say, both the iPhone and iPad have been overwhelmingly successful products for Apple, but competitors like Samsung have shown time and time again that there is a market for devices with varying screen sizes. A 5-inch smartphone may not have the best battery life, and yes, it may be too big for some people, but there is clearly something to be said for having a broad product lineup.

That said, the rumor mill has increasingly been churning out stories regarding Apple testing larger iOS devices.

Most recently, the Wall Street Journal yesterday relayed that Apple is currently testing larger-screened iPhones and iPads, in large part to stem competion from Samsung.

People at Apple's suppliers said it asked for prototype smartphone screens larger than its current iPhone in recent months, and has asked for screen designs for a new tablet measuring slightly less than 13 inches. Whether the designs will make their way to market is unclear, but they could lead to Apple phones and tablets that are larger than the current 4-inch iPhone 5 and 9.7-inch iPad.

It's worth noting that Reuters, back in June, also issued a report claiming that Apple may be working on a larger iPhone model to be launched in 2014. According to the report, Apple has been tinkering with iPhone models with 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch screen sizes.

That's certainly interesting, but don't expect a larger screen iPhone or iPad to hit store shelves this year. Looking ahead, the next iPhone release will be the 5S, and by all accounts it will sport the same form factor as the iPhone 5. It's also believed that Apple this year will release a low cost iPhone to address emerging markets.

As for the iPhone 5S, a recent leak alleges that Apple's next-gen smartphone will come equipped with a 12-megapixel camera, NFC functionality, and a fingerprint authorization sensor.

Either way, the Apple masses are certainly hungry for something new. The last real major product announcement from Apple was in October of last year when the company announced the iPad Mini.

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