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Apple testing larger screens for iPhone and iPad

Apple is testing out large-screen iPhones and iPads with its Asian suppliers, according to a recent report.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has asked its Asia-based manufacturing partners for prototype iPhone screens larger than the current 4-inch size. It has also requested a prototype of an iPad screen measuring just under 13-inches.

Of course, this in itself is no guarantee that Apple will ever ship such super-sized devices. It’s a common occurrence for Apple to test out new device designs before committing to a single, refined approach.

Still, as the report says, it shows that “Apple is exploring ways to capture diversifying customer needs.” It’s also responding to the very obvious threat of Samsung, which has overtaken Apple as the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world and is closing the gap in the tablet market.

It has done this through offering numerous size options for its devices, providing something for everyone.

More specifically, the likes of Samsung, LG and Sony have proved successful in offering so-called phablet devices with screens over 5-inches in size.

Apple has yet to produce its own equivalent hybrid device, with the iPhone 5 sitting at 4-inches and the iPad mini at 7.9-inches. Could the company be working on something to bridge that gap?

The report also makes mention of the next full-size iPad, which is expected to sport the same resolution of 9.7-inch display as the iPad 4 and iPad 3, but to be considerably thinner and lighter. It will apparently incorporate a “thin film instead of glass.”

It’s also suggested that Apple’s assembler, Hon Hai, has been notified to get ready to ship the next iPhone – which is being referred to as the iPhone 5S – in late August.

Read: iPhone 5S rumour round-up

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