Print 35 comment(s) - last by TakinYourPoint.. on Nov 13 at 4:17 AM

It's also testing pressure-sensitive sensors

Apple is reportedly working on new iPhones that are larger, have curved displays and feature pressure-sensitive sensors. 

According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple plans to release 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone models in the third quarter of 2014. Both versions will reportedly feature curved glass screens (more specifically, the displays will "curve downward at the edges").

Offering various iPhone form factors could be a smart idea for Apple, considering its main competition -- Samsung's Android-powered phones -- sell at many different sizes and price points. 

This method is definitely working for Android phones. According to IDC, Google's operating system grabbed 79.3 percent of global Q2 2013 market share while Apple's iOS claimed just 13.2 percent. 

Larger iPhone screen mockup by iMore

Apple traditionally kept its iPhones at 3.5 inches, but broke that tradition when it released the iPhone 5 at 4 inches. The most recent members of the iPhone family -- the 5C and 5S -- have kept that 4-inch display.

Bloomberg's report falls in line with another report from The Wall Street Journal back in July, which said Apple was testing larger iPhone screens at 4.7 and 5.7 inches. That WSJ article also mentioned that Apple was testing a 13-inch iPad. 

Aside from changing up its display sizes and adding some curves, Bloomberg reported that Apple is also working on new pressure-sensitive sensors. However, these sensors won't be ready in time for next year's iPhone release(s).

The sensors will be able to tell the difference between heavy and light touches on the screen. It's currently in testing. 

Apple's fiscal 2013 fourth quarter earnings showed 33.8 million iPhone sales, which beat analyst expectations of 31 million. It's not yet clear how many of those were 5S' and 5Cs, but it definitely beat the year-ago quarter's 26.9 million iPhone sales.

Sources: Apple Insider, Bloomberg

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By retrospooty on 11/11/2013 8:14:42 AM , Rating: 5
IDK if the curved part is true, but its pretty clear they are working on larger screen models. It's about time... I know alot of users that dumped the iPhone for that reason and only that reason.

RE: Interesting...
By saarek on 11/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting...
By hughlle on 11/11/2013 9:14:04 AM , Rating: 2
I have a nexus 7 and 10. I recently bought an htc one, well, got it free on my contract. I have no use for it as a gaming device, a video player, or web browsing. I opted for it for no over reason than for improved ease of texting due to the larger screen (long distance relationship, texts are often rather long). That and the camera are the only reasons i wanted a bigger phone. But in terms of what it's marketed for, i couldn't care less. 720p, 1080p, doesn't bother me, you're still watching, playing, browsing content on a pointless teeny tiny screen. I actually want to enjoy what i watch or play, hence the tablets. I buy devices for specific usages.

as to using the phone with two hands or one, that is a non-issue for me. The only time i used any phone one handed was for calls, other than that even the nokia 3310 i would use two handed.

RE: Interesting...
By icanhascpu on 11/11/2013 3:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
The hundreds of millions of people that own a non-phone portable gaming device would disagree.

RE: Interesting...
By headbox on 11/11/13, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting...
By augiem on 11/11/2013 9:31:53 PM , Rating: 3
I recently bought an htc one, well, got it free on my contract.

No, you were right the first time. You bought it and are making monthly payments on it via your contract's higher monthly fees vs prepaid.

RE: Interesting...
By Mint on 11/11/2013 9:26:01 AM , Rating: 3
Well let me give you my opinion from the other side of the fence.

I never really like tablets, because they offer a subset of the functionality of notebooks/netbooks (although win8 is changing that). The way I see it is this: If you can carry a tablet with you (i.e. if you're carrying a bookbag or knapsack), then you can carry a light notebook. It's not surprising that most of the market has moved towards smaller tablets (even iPad buyers).

My phone, OTOH, is on me all the time, even when I don't have a bag with me. They can do absolutely everything tablets can do, so might as well get on as big as my pocket can take. I, like most people, put my phone in my pants' pockets.

RE: Interesting...
By hughlle on 11/11/2013 9:37:50 AM , Rating: 2
With regard to tablet or laptop, in a way i agree, but i also disagree. If i could afford it, i would very much be tempted to replace my 10 inch tablet with an ultrabook. But as things stand, there is still a distinction between the two. My main reason for a tablet over an ultrabook (a laptop or netbook does not compare at all imo) is that of price. For me one of the key requirements is battery life, and for a laptop, netbook, or ultrabook, you either have to have something very bulky, or something very expensive. Tablets offer far superior battery life for a fraction of the price, at the cost of performance and functionality.

It is all personal preference though, so it's more a discussion than trying to claim one is better than the other. In the instance of a phone always being on you, i agree, but in my situation, my phone is never used. I do not want game and video capabilities when out and about, else i'd have made the compromise and bought a note or some such.

It's one of the reasons i like android over apple. With android you can chose whatever fits your requirements whether it is a little phone you can forget about or a monster that will do everything you could ever need, as opposed to a one size fits all business model.

RE: Interesting...
By cknobman on 11/11/2013 9:36:21 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe it's just me, but your post sounds like you do not really know what you are talking about because it is full of uneducated assumptions and opinions.

Maybe it's just me, but you sound like an iPhone user trying to justify their product choice by belittling competitors and those who choose to buy their products.

RE: Interesting...
By retrospooty on 11/11/2013 9:36:58 AM , Rating: 2
"Maybe it's just me, but I always felt that the huge 5" plus displays were either for people to poor/cheap to buy a tablet in addition to a phone or geeks who get excited over specs over use."

That is a very myopic way yo look at it. It's just a matter of usage. To me, putting all that great functionality on a tiny screen is a total waste. I have a 5.2 inch screen and use it with one hand just fine when I need to. Sometimes when I am doing something more in depth I use 2. 1 handed use is nowhere on my radar for requirements. I want a screen with high res and large enough to make browsing a breeze without scrolling all over the place to read pages. I get why some people would want a smaller screen, but like I said, it depends on your usage.

RE: Interesting...
By nafhan on 11/11/2013 10:06:34 AM , Rating: 2
I've got a Razr M (~same size as the 5/5s) and my wife's got an S3. Over the past year I've decided that the best screen size is the biggest one that comfortably fits in my pants pocket. As of late, that's a device with a 5 inch 1080p display.

Tablets don't fit in my pocket (definitely not comfortably), which means in most situations I'm just not going to have a tablet with me - nothing to do with money. The shirt pocket thing is also a non-issue for me as all my pants have pockets. Obviously, what size is comfortable is going to vary from person to person.

On a side note, if I was the type to always have a briefcase/purse, I would consider forgoing the smartphone altogether and just using a Nexus 7 for everything.

RE: Interesting...
By DukeN on 11/11/2013 10:18:21 AM , Rating: 2
Of course an iPhone user trying to paint non-Apple fanbois as poor.

I just got the Note 3, to go along with my Workstation, ThinkPad 420s and THREE tablets.

The reason? It is easier to use a bigger phone for a lot of people, including me.

RE: Interesting...
By retrospooty on 11/11/2013 10:26:50 AM , Rating: 2
"Of course an iPhone user trying to paint non-Apple fanbois as poor. I just got the Note 3"

Yes, the Note3... The most expensive production model phone available. Poor you.

Hell of a nice phone too BTW.

RE: Interesting...
By DukeN on 11/11/2013 11:32:01 AM , Rating: 2
That was my point exactly.

People buying these high end phones with big screens aren't doing so because they can't afford a tablet as Apple douchebags try to imply.

RE: Interesting...
By retrospooty on 11/11/2013 11:35:36 AM , Rating: 2
LOL. Yes, it cant possibly be that you like your phone over any iDevice because of the mountain of features it has that IOS doesn't even support... You must just be poor. /r

RE: Interesting...
By Motoman on 11/11/2013 1:10:47 PM , Rating: 2
Proof positive once again that Apple consumers don't buy Apple products because of the product itself...they buy it because they think it makes them cool.

RE: Interesting...
By retrospooty on 11/11/2013 2:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, alot of them are like that. It's the Kardashianizing of our culture.

RE: Interesting...
By Flunk on 11/11/2013 11:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
Some 5" phones aren't that much bigger than some older 4" phones. I recently went from a HTC HD7 (4.3") to an LG Nexus 5 (4.95") and it's only about an inch longer and the same width, it's also about 60% the thickness. I think it's pushing the boundaries of what I would consider pocketable but it's not giving me any issues, even one-handed*. I do hope they keep making phones bigger because I don't want to be forced into getting a 6" behemoth next time but I can live with 5".

*I have large hands so YMMV.

RE: Interesting...
By CaedenV on 11/11/2013 3:24:21 PM , Rating: 1
5" with a thin bezel is just about the perfect size phone. It is small enough to still be able to fit in your pocket, and still hold it up to your head to make phone calls. Large enough to support high end hardware and a decent sized battery, and makes it very easy to see the screen without holding the phone on your nose.
A 5" iPhone would be a huge success and win back some of the Android crowd that moved over for better hardware options. Still not for me as it is an Apple product, but it would be a good move none-the-less.

RE: Interesting...
By W00dmann on 11/11/2013 3:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
It's just you. I have a Galaxy Note II and I enjoy the large screen tremendously, plus of course it has full phone functionality which is something a tablet generally will not have.

However, I do think your comment was merely expressing your opinion and shouldn't have been downrated.

RE: Interesting...
By StevoLincolnite on 11/12/2013 12:02:34 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's just me, but I always felt that the huge 5" plus displays were either for people to poor/cheap to buy a tablet in addition to a phone or geeks who get excited over specs over use.

My grandmother opted for a 5" screen over the tiny iPhone's.
Why? Because the larger screen makes it easier to see information because of poor eyesight.
Larger screens/phones are also beneficial for those with gorilla sized hands like myself.

Smaller screen phones are fine for some, larger screens are fine for some, but never assume what suits you is going to suit everyone in terms of need.

RE: Interesting...
By hpglow on 11/11/2013 11:00:49 AM , Rating: 2
I'm in that camp of people dumping my ios devices because Apple isn't keeping up with the times. I spend about half of my time on my phone browsing the web. For this the iPhone 5's screen is too small. More real estate is better and there is no way I'm toting around a tablet in addition to my phone. So even though iOS is pretty simple and restrictive and Apple's devices are generally restrictive I didn't mind paying for them due to the superior home entertainment and car integration. But the screen size is a show stopper.

Apple also recently forced me out as a tablet customer. Without more flash on the base ipad and by continuing to charge $100 extra for more flash I had to move. 16GB on a media consumption device is inexcusable. After switching to android I am generally pleased but at least with the devices I own there are some pretty piss poor UI choices. For instance the nook hd+ has no battery indicator on the lock screen and often requires a reboot after nook or google store video purchases.

RE: Interesting...
By retrospooty on 11/11/2013 11:06:20 AM , Rating: 2
" But the screen size is a show stopper."

Exactly... The screen, being the part you look at and interface with 100% of the time is highly important. Whatever anyone's particular needs are for a screen, if that need isn't being met by a certain phone, the phone is a no go for them.

RE: Interesting...
By Fleeb on 11/11/2013 7:56:20 PM , Rating: 3
Jobs said something about the 3.5" screen size (particularly with regards to the horizontal width which the thumb can operate comfortably, moving from side to side) being a sweet spot though, and he was a perfectionist visionary Jesus Christ of computing.

RE: Interesting...
By kmmatney on 11/11/2013 11:42:07 AM , Rating: 1
Yup - after 4 years of iPhones, I jumped ship to get a larger screen. I might have gone a little too far getting a 5.5" screen LG Optimus Pro G. I think somewhere between 4.5" and 5" is about the sweet spot. Web browsing is great on a 5.5" phone, but it really struggles to fit in some of my pockets.

RE: Interesting...
By retrospooty on 11/11/2013 11:45:11 AM , Rating: 1
"Web browsing is great on a 5.5" phone, but it really struggles to fit in some of my pockets."

Keep the phone... Get looser jeans. ;)

RE: Interesting...
By icanhascpu on 11/11/2013 3:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
Not all 5.5" phones are the same width.

RE: Interesting...
By TakinYourPoints on 11/13/2013 4:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, 5" is too big but something like a 4.5" or 4.7" is much more physically practical IMHO, especially if the screen takes up more of the top and bottom bezel. The increase in case size would be minimal so I think they'll end up going more in that direction, but we'll see.

The additional resolution is going to be an issue though. One reason for iOS's success in the application space has been ease for developers. The iPhone and iPad effectively have two resolutions since retina resolutions are an exact doubling of the non-retina.

iPhone and iPad, that's all they ever had to worry about.

A larger iPhone will mean a third resolution for developers which is a modified version of the current iPhone's. That isn't great considering that they would have to make another custom set of UI and graphics for them. The alternative would be for Apple for scale up pixel size and reduce PPI, but that will never happen.

RE: Interesting...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/11/2013 5:56:51 PM , Rating: 1

What nobody is talking about is what this does to Apple's profit margins. A bigger phone is more expensive to produce. The market is not going to bear a $1,000 iPhone, so that leaves Apple with making much less per sale on the bigger phone.

In some ways this news disappoints me. I would much rather see Apple ride their ever-failing phone model into the sunset as they pass into obsolescence, than thrive as a me-too.

Hire. Those. Lawyers!
By DukeN on 11/11/2013 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 5
Can't wait for Apple to sue everyone else once they release these bigger phones..

RE: Hire. Those. Lawyers!
By Motoman on 11/11/2013 12:12:18 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, and just wait until their announcement that they invented curved smartphone screens, and sue everyone else into a trade embargo over it.

By Gio6518 on 11/11/2013 12:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is always at the forefront of new technology, and innovating new and exciting ways to copy and patent other companies ideas and products and claiming it's theirs and that they invented it...

RE: Innovation
By geekman1024 on 11/11/2013 8:34:02 PM , Rating: 1
What? you mean Apple is a Korean company?

This makes sense
By CZroe on 11/11/2013 4:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
This makes sense. Apple want's to make a larger phone and the rumors were that it would have no bezel so that it would remain usable in one hand and size-competitive with the competition. If the vertical edges (portrait orientation) slope down then it will have an even thinner profile while still being suitable for 1080p videos and such in landscape. Most theatrical films will not be distorted at all due to wider aspects and it would have a minimal effect on 16:9 content. The pressure sensitivity thing may have more to do with ignoring palm contact on the side or simulating side buttons (assuming the curved sides are even touch-sensitive).

By sulu1977 on 11/11/2013 7:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
I used to have a curved screen back in the 1980's. Glad they invented flat screens.

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