Apple will launch a five-inch iPhone this year to take on the deluge of large screen-toting smartphones and so-called phablets from rivals, an industry analyst forecasts.
Barclays Capital’s Ben Reitzes wrote in a note to colleagues that he’s “longing for an iPhablet” amid swelling popularity for mobile devices sporting displays five inches and larger, chiefly Samsung’s huge-selling Galaxy Note range.
He said the iGiant will launch the standard-sized ‘iPhone 5S’ sometime in summer, along with the much-rumoured cheaper, smaller model that’s been widely dubbed the ‘iPhone mini’ for emerging markets. A bigger iPhone will then follow in the last quarter of this fiscal year or early next year.
Apple has long defended the iPhone’s relatively smaller screen size as offering comfortable one-handed use. However, Reitzes think this is no longer a deciding factor for many smartphone buyers “since phone calls are becoming less important than navigation, texting, videos, books and Web access for many.”
He added: “The larger screen seems to be more popular outside of the US and the phablet has significant momentum in China.”
It all adds up
Rumours have been doing the rounds in recent weeks that Apple is prepping a 4.8-inch smartphone called the iPhone Math (also iPhone+). Little else is known about this device at this time, but as soon as we hear anything, we’ll be sure to bring it to you.
Would you like Apple to release a larger iPhone? Let us know why in the comments section below.