According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal Apple and its Asian suppliers are testing out a 13-inch iPad and an iPhone with a bigger screen. The report quotes officials at the company’s suppliers.
The sources said that, in recent months, Apple has asked for prototype smartphone screens larger than 4 inches and has also asked for screen designs for a new tablet device measuring slightly less than 13 inches diagonally
Apple’s iPad has traditionally measured 9.7-inches diagonally but the news that Apple is testing out a bigger iPad has sparked interest as to where the company is preparing for a drastic revamp of its best-selling tablet. The Journal adds, that the new version is expected to be the same size and have the same resolution as the existing 9.7-inch model, but with a lighter and thinner display structure and that the new display structure integrates touch sensors with a thin film instead of glass which is used in existing iPads.
In the tablet market Apple continues to remain the leader with a 39.6 percent market share in Q1 2013, according to IDC numbers. But rivals like Samsung and Asus are growing fast and they offer a variety of tablets. For Apple to continue the lead, a 13-inch tablet might sound like a good idea but one needs to remember that the iPad mini with its 7.9-inch screen has made quite a splash.
According to research firm Gartner, consumers are going for budget tablets with smaller screens and the sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 percent of overall iOS tablet sales in the first quarter of 2013. Apple’s 7-inch iPad mini has definitely been a big hit and it would strange if Apple launch a tablet with 13-inch screen.
As far as the iPhone is concerned, the iPhone 5 currently has a 4-inch screen but the fact that Apple is looking at bigger screens isn’t new. Previously, Reuters had reported that the company could launch new iPhones with 4.7-inch, 5.7-inch screens, more colours and there could be a cheaper version of the smartphone as well.
A bigger screen on the iPhone might make sense given that rivals such as Samsung, HTC are launching flagship phones with 5-inch screen. The HTC One has a 4.7-inch screen while the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 5-inch screen. In addition to that the smartphone market has seen a growth of phablets with 5-inch screen becoming common in most phones.