Will The iPhone 5 Really Have a Bigger Screen and Ship In The Summer?

By Jamie Condliffe on at

There are a bunch of rumours currently circulating the web that suggest that the next iPhone will have a bigger screen, and also that it might be here soon. But they are just rumours, which could do with some perspective.

According to a leak reported by 9to5Mac, a source at Foxconn in China has suggested that the iPhone 5 is now "gearing for production". What's more, they suggested that "various sample devices are also floating around..., so it is impossible to tell which one will be the final". Hmmm. Apparently these manifold devices have a few features in common, which again according to 9to5Mac include:

"4+ inch display (made by LG on at least one of them).
No teardrop-shaped devices, as rumored in the lead up to the iPhone 4S. Samples so far have been symmetrical in thickness (also longer/wider).
Neither of the sample devices have the iPhone 4/4S form factor.
Neither of the devices are the final versions."

I think it's fair to say that this last point is telling. These devices are prototypes, definitely, and don't give us much to go on. Even if a final design is already chosen — which may, or may not, resemble these descriptions — you can probably expect a six-month lead time. At best.

So, we might expect it to appear some time this year, sure, but I'm skpetical of the summer launch some people are suggesting. I could well be proven wrong, but a nine-month product refresh is very swift. Of course, the 4S built on the 4 rather than redefining the iPhone, so if it was a stop-gap as far as Apple was concerned, maybe an August-or-later launch could be a possibility.

As for the screen size, we've discussed before that the iPhone is likely to keep a screen that's 3.5 inches. If Apple is upping the screen size, that's a big departure, so it will be interesting to see what actually happens. For now, though, keep an open mind. [9to5Mac]