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Summary:

Is the 4-inch iPhone 5s too small for you? A new report suggests that Apple is working on a much larger form factor for the iPhone 6.

Apple iPhone 5S 3 colors
photo: Apple

It’s no secret that Apple has been reluctant to introduce any dramatic changes to the iPhone form factor, increasing the screen from 3.5 to 4-inches for the first time only a year ago. The new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c maintain that size, but a new report suggests that Apple could be working on something much bigger for the iPhone 6 – to the tune of 4.8 inches.

As noted by Boy Genius Report, in his latest research note on Monday Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek increased his target on Apple’s stock shares from $450 to $600, noting, “Despite still seeing risk to CQ4 and FY13 revs, we now believe better [gross margins] will allow Apple to skate by until iPhone 6 launches with its 4.8″ screen.” He adds, “We est ~50% of smartphone shipments have >4″ screens and that iPhone 6 will catalyze a large upgrade cycle. The stock is attractive based on the attitude change, FY15 revs >+15%, and valuation.”

This of course isn’t proof positive that Apple is working on a larger iPhone, though Misek has proved to be a reliable source for Apple information in the past. But it jives with recent reports from the Wall Street Journal and KGI Securities, both of which claim that Apple is at work on a bigger iPhone.

On the other hand, Apple has probably been at work on a number of different size iPhones for years now. Whether it will actually releases one is the greater question, and perhaps most importantly: What would the resolution be? That would impact iOS developers. I highly doubt Apple will choose to enter the 5-inch and over “phablet” realm anytime soon, but I certainly don’t think a larger iPhone is out of the question.

  1. Thanks but no thanks. I know some folks would like that size and that’s cool. Apple should offer it as an alternative to stay competitive. But heck, even though I have a 5S on order (mostly for LTE – the print scanner is cool too) I still like the form factor (and heft) of my 4S.

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  2. William Polhemus Monday, October 7, 2013

    REPORT: iPhone 6 mythology to reach…mythological…proportions.

    (Probably the most accurate report you’ll get until the actual iPhone 6 rollout).

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  3. Okay. Apple fanboys can expect the price $200+.

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  4. I won’t be buying a bigger iphone! I like the privacy I have with the size of iphone 5. I ordered the 5s and still waiting. I won’t order the newest one when it comes out anyway because I hate waiting on apple to send my phone. When I make a purchase from now on, I will have merchandise in hand. I am impatient.

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  5. Taking Mr. Misek’s words that a 4.8″ iPhone is around the corner as gospel – and writing an article on that gospel is pretty poor reporting. If Mr. Misek was so reliable, why did he, just a few months ago lower his price target to $420? With a current price of around $490, that certainly wasn’t a good call! So, out of the blue, he suddenly has this new insight that a 4.8″ iPhone is around the corner and that warrants his new $450-600 target?

    He is a pretty sorry excuse for an “analyst”, if you ask me.

    Mr. Cook – CEO of AAPL has pretty much answered the question of whether Apple will come out with a larger screen: he said that, as of this moment [this was just a couple months ago], there are too many undesirable trade-offs to offering a larger screen. Specifically, he mentioned lower-than-acceptable battery life and poor color fidelity of current screens. So, it seems pretty straight-forward to extrapolate when Apple will come out with a larger screen: when those screens sip less power and display colors as truly as the iPhone 5….it “seems” like that might happen when/if Apple goes with Sharp’s IGZO display technology – it definitely sips less power but I don’t know about color fidelity. And it is unclear whether Sharp can produce the panels in the quantities/yield Apple would need.

    Any prognostication/analysis that doesn’t delve into LCD technologies is pure speculation.

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  6. A larger iPhone is inevitable. I don’t need to hear from Misek. Frankly his history of predictions is pretty poor. KGI Securities is more accurate.

    The proof in the pudding, so to speak, is software. Looking at iOS 7 tells the tale. Look at the whitespace now in apps. Dynamic Type allows scaling of text elements. Auto Layout sets constraints. Apple is moving towards more flexible and dynamic displays but in typical Apple tradition they are moving slowly and improving the toolsets.

    Ideally we’re going to see the 4″ display size remain and become augmented with a 4.8 or close size for those that want a larger phone. The 4S will no longer be sold and developers will still have far less resolutions to deal with than the typical Android app does.

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    1. ^ – saved me the keystrokes…

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  7. I for one would like a larger screen iPhone.

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  8. Something in between 4-5″ seems to be the sweetspot. I have the S4 and I could go down .25-.5″ and still be fine.

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  9. I hope my hand grows bigger to fit the new iPhone 6 just perfectly!

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