Will the iPhone 6 be bigger? In January, the Wall Street Journal reported Apple was working on two new iPhones, presumably to replace its current lineup. Both would have noticeably larger displays than the 4-inch screens on both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. According to the Journal, one would be 4.5 inches, while the second version would be about 5 inches.
Today, Reuters is lending some credence to the original WSJ story—only the sizes are different. According to sources, Apple suppliers "will begin mass producing displays as early as May for the next iPhone," expected to launch this fall. One would be 4.7 inches, while the other would be a more phablet-like 5.5 inches. (Steve Jobs's argument that 3.5-inches was the Platonic ideal for consumer phones has all but evaporated.)
The usual caveats apply. Apple experiments with hardware variations regularly, and the iPhone 6 could very well end up looking nothing like these initial reports. That said, the rumor mill has become astoundingly accurate when it comes to approximating finished Apple products. The supply chain in Asia is too large and unwieldy to plug every leak, and Internet skeptics have become pretty good at sniffing out fakes.
Part of the challenge with building larger iPhones though, per Reuters, has been incorporating Apple's "in-cell touch panel technology." Instead of requiring two layers for the touchscreen and the display, you can shave off a few precious millimeters by combining them, but Apple is having trouble fitting it all together.
And while we've seen pretty renderings based on leaks before, I'd say these renderings by concept designer Martin Hajek (which are based off leaked drawings unearthed by Macotakara) seem pretty on-the-nose. Basically, it's an iPod Touch with antennas. (Images courtesy of Nowhereelse.fr.):
Noticeably thinner? Check. A larger display that bleeds all the way to the edges like an iPad Mini? Check. Rounded edges that clearly communicate this is a new and premium device, inspiring twinges of envy from iPhone 5s owners stealing glances? Check, check, and check.
[Image: Flickr user Brad Greenlee]