Tim Cook referred to iOS 7 as the biggest change since the introduction of the original iPhone, but Apple’s next smartphone may shake things up even further. Apple is reportedly larger iPhones, one with a 4.7-inch display (much larger than today’s 4-inch LCD) and a 5.7-inch model. That’s phablet territory.
According to Reuters, Apple is also working on a cheaper $99 iPhone that will be available in 5 to 6 different colors. This move doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given that Apple introduced several color options on the latest iPod touch. The device would come in a plastic casing, as opposed to the more premium glass-and-aluminum iPhone 5.
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The report also mentions the familiar rumor of a biometric fingerprint sensor for the iPhone 5S, although Apple has yet to confirm or deny any plans.
This information hasn’t been confirmed by Apple, but CEO Tim Cook didn’t rule out the possibility of an iPhone with a larger screen at the D11 conference. “We haven’t so far,” Cook said. “That doesn’t shut off the future.”
Suggestions that Apple may be preparing to diversify its smartphone portfolio come after analysts have criticized the iPhone-maker for doing just the opposite. “It cannot afford to ignore the trend for larger displays in premium smartphones,” Pete Cunningham, principal analyst at Canalys said to Focus Taiwan.
Test production for both versions of these alleged iPhones are expected to begin next month, and mass production could kick off in August to meet a September launch.