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WSJ: Apple Actively Testing Larger iPhones With Up To 6-Inch Displays

WSJ: Apple Actively Testing Larger iPhones With Up To 6-Inch Displays

As Android phones continue to become larger and larger, ranging from pocket-bulging 4.8-inch creations to horrifying 6+ inch masses of styluses and cheap plastic, a new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that Android makers may not be along in investigating “big and tall” smartphones. According to the report, Apple is actively testing iPhones as large as a massive 6 inches – just a minor bit smaller than the iPad mini.

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As Apple Inc. prepares to unveil both a new high-end iPhone and a cheaper version for the first time next week, it is already working on something bigger.

The electronics giant has begun evaluating a plan to offer iPhones with screens ranging from 4.8 inches to as high as 6 inches, people familiar with the matter say. That would be a sizable leap from the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5 released last year, and, at the upper end, would be one of the largest on the market.

Such plans signal further that the Cupertino, Calif., company is shifting its smartphone strategy as it searches for new engines of growth, and as competition with Samsung Electronics Co. intensifies.

As usual, it’s unclear whether Apple has any plans to release devices this much larger than the current iPhone. After all, the company is known for testing many dozens of product designs in various shapes and sizes before deciding what direction to take in an actual real-world product. The report’s suggestion that Apple is investigating larger devices to “keep up with the Joneses” also rings false.

If Apple does release a larger iPhone, it won’t be because Samsung is selling devices that challenge even the roomiest of jeans pockets – it will be because they think it will improve their product lineup. Personally, however, I very much doubt we’ll see the iPhone increase in size much at all. It’s at a pretty sweet balance of usability, resolution, and portability that shouldn’t be compromised lightly.

Fortunately, the devices won’t come out any time soon even if Apple does decide on a larger size – these babies won’t see the light of day until at least 2014, if ever. Food for thought, at any rate! What do you think?