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Will Apple Go Bigger With Next iPhone?

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Here we go again. New iPhone 4S owners are still settling in to their Siri-assisted lives, and off we go with next year's iPhone 5/6/Ultra 64 rumors.

Prior to the iPhone 4S release, early reports suggested that Apple might boost the device's screen size past the four-inch mark. Such a claim wasn't out of the realm of possibility, especially when many folks are taking to larger-screened Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola Droid Bionic. However, the rumors were dispelled even before CEO Tim Cook showed off the iPhone 4S on stage.

But it looks like hints of a big-boned iPhone are back.

According to Japanese site Macotakara, insiders claim that Apple has been in the market for four-inch LCD screens. Suppliers Hitachi Displays and Sony Mobile Display Corporation have allegedly begun shipping the larger screens for an iOS device. Roughly translated:

"According to Asian source, Hitachi Displays, Ltd. and Sony Mobile Display Corporation started to ship 4-inch LCD for new iOS device and LCD for iPad 3. These two companies will be merged their business with Toshiba Mobile Display Co., Ltd., as 'Japan Display' in 2012 spring."

This claim jibes with a recent report from iLounge which suggests that Apple's entire iOS line will undergo modifications.

"Our source says that the next-generation iPhone will not look like the teardrop-shaped version that was widely rumored for release in 2011. We've been told that the device will have a 4-inch display and will be 8mm longer than before, with a metal casing (probably aluminum). It is on track to be introduced in summer of 2012, and is still in the engineering phase, not early production. We suspect that poor battery life doomed the prior prototype version, and that this one is being built with LTE-ready battery drain in mind."

As for going bigger or maintaining the current size, there are proponents in both camps. Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phones notwithstanding, some would love to see the iPhone's Retina Display as large as possible -- preferably with an edge-to-edge screen. Others, however, prefer the pocket-sized 3.5-inch iPhone without the thumb-straining screen.

Still, it'd be interesting to see what Apple does with that extra half inch.

(See also: How to Use Siri on Apple's iPhone 4S and Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure)

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