Apple has decided to start testing larger screens for its smartphones and tablets as it attempts to answer increasing concerns about its product lineup and competition from Samsung.
READ MORE // The new iPad is here
People at Apple’s suppliers said it asked for prototype smartphone screens larger than its current iPhone in recent months, and has asked for screen designs for a new tablet measuring slightly less than 13 inches. This means that there is the possibility for Apple phones and tablets that are larger than the current 4-inch iPhone 5 and 9.7-inch iPad.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment,
although Reuters has gone on to report Apple was investigating larger screen sizes for its iPhone.
The challenge Apple faces is how to continue expanding its customer base with innovative new products and refinements of current ones. Apple has successfully done both, but analysts note the company hasn’t launched a new product line since the original iPad in 2010.
With the rest of the mobile devices having larger screens it’s up to Apple to bring itself back from a metaphorical death within the industry. Although it’s still doing pretty well, it takes a lot longer for them to catch up with the ongoing trends noticed within the newer technologies.
The iPhone is likely to be introduced in the second half of the year and will be the same size and have a similar screen to the iPhone 5, but Apple has been working with its manufacturing partners in Asia on a less expensive iPhone without its signature metal casing.
Both iPhone models would have multiple color options, people at suppliers said.
As the smartphone market has begun to mature, Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones and tables has emerged as one of Apple’s toughest competitors. Samsung was the leading smartphone maker with 33.1% of the market in the first quarter, while Apple trailed in second place, with 17.9%, according to researcher Strategy Analytics.