Apple is reportedly testing big-screen iPads and iPhones with its Asian suppliers as a way to meet the needs of customers with varying tastes, but it is unknown if any of the larger prototypes will ever make it to market.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Apple has been examining smartphone prototypes
with screens larger than 4 inches and tablet designs with screens just under 13 inches. The current iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen and latest iPad has a 9.7-inch screen.
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"In the long run, we will see touch screens in all sizes as the future vision of the technology industry is to offer the same user experience across all screens," IDC analyst Helen Chiang told the Wall Street Journal. "The key is to bring down the cost and introduce compelling applications for large-screen devices."
While Apple's flirtation with bigger screens does not mean anything yet, the pressure put on by rival Samsung has forced Apple to get into the large-screen smartphone and tablet game.
"What Apple tests internally definitely doesn’t equal what it eventually ships, and plenty of products kick around the (research and development) center and never see the light of day," Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch.com said on his blog
. "But it seems to have given a lot more thought to a larger iPhone device, at least per these recent leaks. Rival Samsung has played the big screen phone game to its benefit with the Galaxy line of devices, and that can’t have escaped Apple’s attention."
Tiffany Kaiser of DailyTech.com said while Apple is exploring how to keep its marketing share, it may be struggling
with how far it should stray from the late Steve Jobs' original vision for the iPhone.
"This is a big step for Apple, and further shows how much it has changed since former CEO Steve Jobs left the company," Kaiser said in her DailyTech blog Monday. "Jobs used to say that an iPhone screen size any larger than 3.5 inches (which was the screen size for all iPhones up until the iPhone 5) didn't make sense. He insisted it was the perfect size for holding it in your hand."
The Wall Street Journal wrote that an Apple spokeswoman declined to comment to the report.
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