Apple(s aapl) is expected to launch two new iPhones next Tuesday, which will be a first for the company. But Cupertino might have even bigger plans in store for the future – emphasis on the word bigger. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that sources familiar with Apple claim the company is already at work on a successor to the iPhone 5S, and this time it might feature a screen anywhere from 4.8 to 6-inches large.
This would be a tremendous shift in strategy for Apple, which has remained steadfast in its vision of a smaller smartphone. Remember, it was only with the introduction of the iPhone 5 last year that Apple increased the size of the iPhone’s display from 3.5 to 4 inches, which, compared to rest of the smartphones on the market, is still quite small.
If the rumors prove to be true, Apple is likely reacting to competition from Samsung, which has taken the lead in smartphone market share by offering a vast array of different-sized smartphones. Samsung famously popularized the “phablet” with the original 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, and just yesterday unveiled the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 to much fanfare.
Steve Jobs once said that “no one’s going to buy” a big phone. But the market has proven that this is not true, and the WSJ’s sources say that Apple appears much more likely to move ahead with plans for a bigger phone than in the past. Apple is reportedly most interested in the 4.8-inch variation, which makes sense, given its reluctance to physical change thus far. Of course, Apple is known for testing lots of things that have never turned into actual products. And this echoes a previous WSJ report from July, which claimed Apple was testing a larger iPhone and a 13-inch iPad. Still, a 6-inch iPhab certainly would be interesting.