One of the most tenacious rumors surrounding the iPhone 5 (or, more likely, “new iPhone”) has concerned its screen size. Apple has held doggedly to the original 3.5-inch screen through five generations of iPhone, beginning with the very first one in 2007. With the launch of the Android platform in 2008, smartphones began to get larger screens. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, launched last year, has a 4.65-inch screen, while the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S III has a 4.8-inch display.
Yet as Android screens have gotten bigger, the iPhone’s screen has stayed the same. That, however, may be about to change. The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the next iPhone will in fact be getting a screen that is at least 4 inches on the diagonal. Citing “people familiar with the situation,” the report says that Apple is currently in the contact with several display manufacturers, including LG, Sharp, and the newly-formed Japan Display, Inc. Notably absent from the list is Samsung, which supplies the displays for the current iPhone and iPad.
As noted above, rumors of a larger screen iPhone have been around for years. As soon as the first Android phones debuted with screens larger than the iPhone’s, people began to speculate that Apple would follow suit. Apple, however, has consistently refrained from following the latest trends in a market it effectively created. Nor was that decision arbitrary. When asked, Apple has often pointed out that given the size of the average human hand, 3.5 inches is about as large as a screen can get and still allow the user to operate the phone one-handed.
Nevertheless, a larger screen has been the major focus of the rumor cycle concerning the upcoming iPhone. Reports from multiple – and increasingly reputable – sources have seemed to confirm the increase in the iPhone’s size. One of the first rumors (this time around) came from a South Korean newspaper that listed LG as one of the possible suppliers for a 4.6-inch iPhone screen. Since then an industry analyst has said that Apple would be increasing the iPhone’s size to 4 inches. Another report earlier this month iLounge seemed to confirm the 4-inch size.
Now with the Wall Street Journal adding its voice to the mix, it’s starting to look like we really will be seeing a 4-inch (possibly larger, but probably not) iPhone when Tim Cook takes the stage in October (probably). Of course, nothing is confirmed yet. Apple could well stick with the 3.5-inch screen for the sixth time in a row. As always with Apple, nothing is certain until Apple actually says it.[Lead Image: Concept Photo from ADR Studios]