Apple Might Launch a Bigger iPhone
Apple fans who have been clamoring for a smartphone with a larger display may finally get their wish next year. According to a new report from Reuters, Apple is looking into launching iPhones with a 4.7-inch and a 5.7-inch screen as well as, considering launching a cheaper variant of the iPhone, that would cost around $99 and come in 5-6 colors.
The moves, which are still under discussion, underscore how the California-based firm that once ruled the smartphone market is increasingly under threat from its aggressive South Korean competitor. Samsung has overtaken Apple in market share through the popularity of its bigger-screen Galaxy “phablets” and by flooding the market with a range of products at different prices.
Apple is looking at introducing at least two bigger iPhones next year – one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.7-inch screen – said the sources, including those in the supply chain in Asia. They said suppliers have been approached with plans for the larger screens, but noted it is still unclear whether Apple will actually launch its flagship product in the larger sizes.
Apple’s possible shift to offer what is often referred to as “phablets” – chunkier smartphones not quite big enough to qualify as tablets – comes as the long-time consumer and investor darling faces pressure to deliver more than one new handset model a year. Critics say its pace of innovation has slowed since the death of legendary co-founder Steve Jobs.
The iPhone 5 launched last September was the first to veer away from the Apple phone’s 3.5-inch screen, which Jobs famously deemed “the perfect size for consumers” and had been used in every iPhone since the iconic device was unveiled in 2007.
The current iPhone 5 has one of the smaller screens among the best-selling smartphones in the mobile market, where consumers spend more time browsing the web and streaming content. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 2 have 5-inch and 5.5-inch screens, respectively.
For this year, Apple is expected to launch two new models, widely referred to as the iPhone 5S, with new fingerprint technology, and a cheaper version in plastic casing, supply chain sources have said. Apple plans to dress up the cheaper phone in a range of 5-6 colors to differentiate it from the more expensive model that has traditionally come only in black and white.
The U.S. firm has discussed a price of $99 for the cheaper phone, the timing of which could slip to next year, one of the people said. It’s not yet clear what the final price would be.
Apple – whose revenue growth has decelerated from the heady days of 2010 when it introduced the iPad and when the iPhone was the world’s top selling smartphone – has sought ways to re-energize its flagship line. To read the full article from Reuters click here.