Apple tests larger display for iPhone, 13-inch iPad, sources say

“Apple Inc. and its Asian suppliers are testing larger screens for iPhones and tablets, officials at the company’s suppliers say,” Lorraine Luk reports for The Wall Street Journal. “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, they said.”

“The current iPhone 5 has a four-inch screen, while the iPad has a 9.7-inch screen,” Luk reports. “Whether the designs will make their way to market is unclear. The Cupertino, Calif., company routinely tests different designs for its products as it refines them during development. The company also changed its offerings of the iPhone and iPod last year to include larger screens, while adding a variant of the iPad with a smaller display.”

Luk reports, “The new tests come as Apple and its suppliers are also preparing to ramp up production of a new iPad later this month, according to officials at component suppliers. 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, they said… Suppliers have also started mass producing components for the new iPhone last month, said officials at the suppliers… At the same time, Apple has also been working with its manufacturing partners in Asia on a less expensive iPhone that will likely use nonmetal casing, to differentiate itself from the aluminum casing of high-end iPhone 5.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: MaxiPad™.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

31 Comments

  1. Apple is currently rumored to be doing tons of things…. like try new ideas….. Wow who would have thought.

    But still no anti-gravity or teleportation….. What give Apple??

    Major /s. 🙂

    Apple is doing just fine folks. Sit back and relax and expect to be pleased this fall… Just a thought.

  2. The key to this is called AutoLayout. Apple has since WWDC 2012 repeatedly asked developers to adapt this new technique that will allow one design to adjust itself to different screen sizes.

  3. something is totally wrong with Apple Execs from TC to Ji to all
    Apple marketing/product research, these testing should had been done 2 years ago.

    1. You realize you are not reacting to fact, right . . . just rumor. They did test them 2 years ago – and 4 years ago – and they are testing them again now. Haven’t you noticed it’s all about balancing what makes sense at any particular moment in time? When they get the right screen at the right price with the right speed and the right user experience that will disrupt the market – that is when they will release it, not before.

    2. Um, how do you know this testing hasn’t been done CONTINUOUSLY for the last several years? Why do you, and these asinine analysts, assume that the folks at Apple have been doing nothing for the last few years besides swimming in a pool of money or twiddling their thumbs?

  4. last night at the pub I got my first look at someone using a huge Samsung phone a phablet if you will .the impression I got looking over his shoulder was one like watching a blind senior citizen use one of those gigantic easy read calculators. it wasn’t as if the device gave you more desktop space it just blew up graphics made to be smaller to larger proportions to fill the extra screen the overall effect was one of some sort of retro general dynamics device .I could see no advantages to the user experience and wondered where he kept the monster when not in use. I hope apple does not fall into this trap and actually make one of these mules

    1. They look ridiculous. I’m sure people are wowed by them in the phone store but I wonder how many days of toting around those beasts it takes to realize they’ve made a super-sized mistake. Probably just past the 14-day return window, in many cases. Or maybe they’re just ordering then online, thinking bigger is always better. It’s not.

      1. If so many people thought they made a mistake in purchasing big screen phones then the market would’ve responded and sales would’ve fallen off a cliff about two years ago. Instead they just keep rising in popularity. They’re all over the place and you anti big phone people sound like Blackberry users in 2008 complaining about phones without physical buttons. It is what it is. Apple can either adapt or continue to leave billions of dollars and hundreds of millions of sales from the high end phone market on the table.

        1. blackberry offered the z10 – no keyboard phone – it seems to have done poorly, the next offering is with a physical keyboard – i believe it is too late Rim isn’t doing well with that latest phone either….

          virtual keyboards are pretty good, and size of these keys are important for use, feed back on touch is also important when a key is pressed… my only personal beef on virtual keyboards on phones is… the keyboard suddenly eats up real-estate space for word entry.

          only a bigger phone would solve the key size and display room for me.

        2. Those are some valid points but I’m not sure if it’s the right market for Apple. When I go sit at my local coffee shop, everyone has a smartphone, and the one’s with their little iPhones look like the market I would be going after. I see occasional giant samsungs but they’re being used by young kids playing games or by older women who seem to be fumbling around making calls and texting, and the giant screen seems helpful. The hipsters and middle aged people who look like they’re getting work done (making and spending money on their phones) while having a coffee or running errands are happily using tiny iPhones 90% with a MacBook Air or iPad set up on the table.

          A giant phone is risky business for Apple. It would take away some iPad sales, and it would risk creating unhappy customers once they see that a giant phone really is not the right solution for their needs.

          The iPhone 5 is such an awesome device. So much power that fits in any pocket, and it’s not an eyesore at the lunch table. Amazing. I envoy having my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air. I use them separately or together, and they all have access to all my data via iCloud.

        3. @R2
          Actually – as far as I’ve seen (from data posted on MDN at various times) the really big screens don’t sell as well as the numerous smaller screened Android phones.

    2. You’d see an advantage if you could watch movies and TV shows, read ebooks and browse the web with that person’s phone. All look tremendous with a large screen phone.

      And just because Android hasn’t taken optimal advantage of the screen size doesn’t mean iOS would fall victim to the same mistake. When Apple does something that has already been done they do not merely copy it, they improve upon it.

      I hope and expect that Apple will come out with a phone that’s 5 inches or close to it, and it will be the first iPhone for which I line up outside an Apple store since the original. It will instantly become the best selling phone on the planet, even if they continue producing a 4 inch iPhone (as I also hope they do).

        1. Why not both? An iPhone Plus and an iPad mini with telephony sound like great ways to bolster the iOS lineup (which, btw, would also include the addition of an iPod touch XL as an offshoot of the larger iPhone). I don’t see why it must be one or the other when they’re both good ideas. Hell, give the larger iPad(s?) telephony as well.

          1. Yes, but Apple only needs to simplify its line to offer

            Chose between iPhone or iPad.

            The solution is that, Apple needs to streamline its line: Something Steve Jobs did on his return to Apple… 4 categories. On the day in 199 when he introduced The iMac to go.

            And also consider this:
            iTouch s a confusing product and overly priced — there would no longer be a need for it – that like there is no need for a 13 in iPad – as that only further confuses of the product line. It confuses and ruins customer choice too – more so when updates and new products keep coming out each year. This is what I mention as Apple fragmenting its own products. Make Retina a only option. As Apple value and quality should be the best possible in the industry.

            So – really, Apple needs to simplify again.

            iPhone — Large 9.7 in/ Medium 7.9in / Small 4.0in
            iPad — Large 9.7 in/ Medium 7.9in / Small 4.0in

            Do not complicate things. And this doesn’t.

            iPad is essentially a iPhone. But at the time, screen size differentiate the product so that it also make it clear the iPad was without telephone capabilities. Apple can still remain on track with the differentiation of the product. One is Wifi only the other is both.

            Apple offers all those iPods still – I don’t think they sell all that great. Close that off… they look junky they seem pointless yet still they do pull some into the ecosystem if they don’t opt for a iTouch first. Well consider iTouch from my suggestion – as the iPad Small. And the iPhone 5 as the iPhone small. iPad medium is the iPad mini. iPhone Medium is a iPad mini with phone capabilities.

            Apple could truly benefit from this simplification.
            Its clear and honest for consumers. And offers the variety and quality. And well Apple is creating devices on iOS already with 3 different screen sizes… so why not for a phone.

            A 5 inch phone just seems again somewhere in the middle and confusing, Unless Apple had planned better and made Large Medium and Small a plan by stepping up screen sizes more logically, By obvious increments in sizes. 12″ / 8″ / 4″ would have been a well planned category adding 4 INCHES each step up the way. But Apple has 9.7 (10) 7.9 (8) 4.0 (4) so the cost of Small to Medium seems the better value in real-estate choice and usability and also in portability.

            If Apple was so keen on testing, why a 11 inch Macbook Air and not a 9.7 inch. The laptops need to carry up the scale of choices… 11, 13, 15, 17 — increases well decided on. So how come on the iOS side this is a mess?

            TWO CATEGORIES. iPhone and iPad. with Screen size and memory options makes best sense to me.

      1. Ok, R2, I’ll bite. You say these large screen phones are all over the place, that they’re rising in popularity, and that Apple has to adopt them if it wishes to survive.
        If that’s the case, then where are they, and who’s using them? I was in London on Saturday, (that’s London, capital of the UK, just in case anyone ignorant of global geography is reading), and I was casually looking at all of the phones people around me were using, on the Tube, in the Natural History Museum, and at a Goldfrapp gig at Somerset House in the evening.
        At a rough guess, of all the smart-phones in use, Apple had about 90+%. I saw a few Samsung phones, that looked almost identical, I didn’t see a single Windows phone, and I saw one, yes one, person using a large screen Samsung Galaxy. Or Nexus, sorry I can’t tell them apart.
        So, if these phones are so popular, who the fuck’s buying and using them?
        None of the hundreds of foreign tourists I saw were, especially not the Japanese.
        Maybe they’re really popular in Seol…

        1. You’ve created a strawman by putting words in my mouth. What I typed is right there clear as a sunny day: that Apple would be leaving lots of money and sales from the high end phone market to their competitors if they failed to adapt. Nowhere did I question the survival of the company. They could do just fine, perhaps even flourish by maxing out at 4 inches. But they can do better by going larger. That’s what I clearly stated to prevent people like you from coming out the woodwork and accusing me of doomsaying.

          As for your failure to see bigger phones, maybe it’s a matter of confirmation bias. Maybe you don’t want to see them. But I certainly do. And the sales numbers speak for themselves. Samsung growing not only market share but profits, encroaching on Apple’s territory. The tens of millions of Galaxy phone and Note sales. Gee whiz, Rorscach, is this all a magical trick? I’m sure you’ll tell me “they’re just shipped not sold” right? But this has been going on for years now. Where are the phones going, and why would retailers continue filling their shelves with product that doesn’t move?

            1. @Barmy’s left nut

              Thanks SO much for your insightful contribution. Your thinking is like a laser, cutting to the heart of the matter, illuminating the issues like a veritable ray of wisdom. I’m sure everyone has been persuaded by the devastating logic.

          1. I really feel like Apple could have something else up their sleeves besides another phablet. For instance the iPad mini could get phone capabilities. No – not so you put the huge thing near your ear, but with a bluetooth headset that maybe has some new functions by way of Siri. If you look at the development of the iPod they found other products that made sense – that had usable features at lower prices. Put the iPad mini in you briefcase or purse and put on the headset. That would leapfrog over the 6″ size and give Apple a better product area to play in. As for the larger iPad – yes please. It would be the perfect sketch pad and portfolio all in one.

        2. well not to cause an issue here, but in Ontario Canada, I see many people using Samsung S2 and S3… the numbers are very high.

          honestly the number of iphone still wins and I believe even the S2 users might be unhappy with their choices

          my guess is for ever iphone user there is almost a samsung user
          this is comparing High end Samsung not the cheap 40 – 99 dollar models – TWO PHONES sold for about the same price 699.99 on a three year contract. And the truth is those who bought the Samsung do for the size… not for Android features or the apps – most are computer restricted and have no idea the capabilities that these smart phones can do.. meaning they are not wise or educated about their purchases other then the screen size – that seems to be the most obvious reason for the choice

          1 : 0.8

          or TAKE it as — for every 2 iPhones being an 4/4s/5
          : there are 1.6 Samsung users on a S2/S3 some S4

          why did this happen:

          Rogers and Bell offered Samsung S2 and S3 deals and locked them in to 3 year contract at a lower entry prices for the phone — below Apples deal – and sales people claimed the phone was better

          A ban on Samsung phones would have been a better win for Apple in North America yet it never happened.

        3. Thanks. I thought you meant London Ontario.
          I do see a lot of large Samsungs in use in Canada. I also wonder why and where the users keep them when not in use. iPhone 5’s size seems about perfect to me (an iPhone 4 owner).
          I do like the idea of a larger iPad though.

    3. yes, it looks silly for a huge device to sit next to your head to make calls… but thats an Apple problem to solve.

      One would not FaceTime that way.
      My point is telecommunications is still evolving.
      Apple already offers a solution to this situation.

      ear plugs with microphone

      i dont need my iPhone next to my head to call or even dial

      so i do not buy into this big phone silly situation scenario to fed off Apple from making a large phone

      if you think a 13 inch or a 9.7 inch iPad that was capable to call people is strange… consider doing so with a bluetooth enabled Siri ear plug… making calls without even touching your iPad at all

      and hence why – iPad mini is the perfect size

      all Apple needs to do is offer true telephone capabilities on the iPad mini – its the right size for content creation, portability, virtual keyboard text entry

      however, Siri if capable of everything… no screen one day may ever be needed. Ask siri to call and text and read back emails – proof read voice dictation ask directions — screens would be reduced to watch sizes or next to nothing – app icons are meaningless… just tell siri what you want to use… launch itunes download — oh wait… games need screens, movies need screens, maps need screens – do phones?

      my point is, our habits and the way we use our devices could be changed as Apple sees it… so use a ear plug if your screen is too large people – other wise we look silly apparently – lol

  5. a maxipad doesn’t interest me, but i hope apple much success

    ipad was essentially just a bigger iPhone minus the telecommunications of calling with a telco.

    ipad maxi 13 inch, what will that bring?

    ipad feels right in the home but not right for travel

    ipad mini feels right for travel and right for bigger hands to make calls it feels right for file and content creation on the road, where iphone doesn’t and ipad feels too much to port round… ipad mini makes the right compromises for a person to do away with carrying two devices… if only ipad could make phone calls – apple would have a clear winner and an option for people on phones.

    apple could solve the size issues and product list

    iphone – large 9.7in / medium 7.9in/ small 4.0in
    ipad – large 9.7in / medium 7.9in/ small 4.0in

    and by this people would easily understand the difference is one device (iPhone) uses a telephone sim – and data packages while the other is wifi only (iPad)

    Apples product line is only going to get messier by overing a 13 in iPad

    1. *offering an iPad that is 13 inches

      but apple makes retina 13 inch MacBooks so why not filter those elements into selling other products to bring the cost down on the MacBooks… this benefits apples earnings not really us the consumers… unless there is a true calling for a 13 in iPad — i dont think so

      however, there is a much stronger calling for a bigger phone

  6. All this is expected and speculation –
    of course Apple tests all sorts of things.

    It could be debated that a 13 in retina on the Macbook could be a component for another device. Thats normal Apple practice.

    Apple knows what they are doing.

    Yet, there is a demand from faithful iPhone users on a bigger screen still after the 4.0 inch offering.

    iPad mini could help if it had phone capabilities.

    Apple offers 3 screen sizes for iOS. 9.7, 7.9 and 4.0.
    Large / Medium / Small…

    it would be nice to offer iPad or iPhone in three sizes.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.