updated 04:32 am EDT, Mon July 22, 2013
Apple testing 13-inch iPad, larger iPhones
A new report from the Wall Street Journal says that Apple is testing larger display sizes potential future models for both the iPad and the iPhone. According to 'company officials' within Apple's supply chain, Apple has requested a 13-inch panel for a larger iPad, and display panels larger than 4-inches for its prototype iPhones. Last month a Reuters report stated that Apple has been testing iPhones with 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch displays for possible introduction in 2014.
Apple routinely tests products with different components including models with different display sizes, although many do not make it into production. During its US court case with Samsung, a number of prototype Apple mobile devices with varying screen sizes were revealed, although the company ultimately went on to settle for a 9.7-inch display for the first iPad and a 3.5-inch display for the first iPhone. In addition to reasons of usability, Apple has also cited battery life as considerations when it deciding what are the optimal panel choices for its devices
In terms of Apple's immediate product plans, the WSJ says that Apple's suppliers have begun ramping production of the next-generation iPad, which will continue with the same Retina 9.7-inch display but with a 'thinner and lighter display structure." To help drive weight down further, the new iPad display is expected to use smaller thin film transistors, suggesting that the new panels could utilize Sharp's battery saving IGZO display technology. Apple is also said to have begun mass production for the next iPhone, widely thought to be the iPhone 5S, which is expected to begin shipping in late August.