Rumor: Apple Testing iPhone with 4.9-inch Screen

We're going to have months of rumors regarding the next iPhone, but already they're starting to converge around a common theme: the iPhone 6 will have a larger screen. According to AppleInsider, the latest rumor comes from a popular Chinese technology blog, which reported that Apple is field testing an iPhone with a 4.9-inch display. Earlier Bloomberg had reported Apple was developing phones with curved 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays. In the past I've read that in fact Apple typically tests a variety of different models before settling on a particular one, so that may be what's going on here. But it does seem to indicate that Apple is serious about adding a larger iPhone to its line. In 2014 we may therefore see both a larger iPad and a larger iPhone.

The most recent rumor doesn't mention that the new phone will have a curved display. I suspect Apple is also testing such a model, and in an earlier post I wrote about the advantages of making it curved.

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It will also be interesting to see what resolution the iPhone 6 will have. According to a report on MarketWatch, Apple's competitors are really upping the ante, with their displays next year expected to reach 3840 x 2160, compared to the retina's 1136 x 640. What's crazy about this to me is that after a certain point you can't really see the difference between displays once the resolution gets as fine as this. In addition, such high resolution is a greater drain on the battery. According to the article, chip maker Qualcomm has developed a mobile processor that will be able to power these ultra-high-resolution displays on Android phone. No doubt Apple will find a middle ground, one that's more focused on user experience and less on impressive specs.

In other Apple news, according to CNET, you now have more options if you happen to drop your iPhone or iPad in water and damage it. Apple is now offering an Apple Store gift card in exchange for water-damaged devices. You can apply the gift card toward the cost of a new phone or accessory. The offer is part of Apple's recycling program, which until earlier this week wouldn't accept devices with water-damage. Note, though, that they do have to still be working. How much will you receive? CNET says that a 32GB Verizon iPhone 5 is worth $265 to Apple in comparison to $235 for one with water damage. An undamaged 16GB iPad 2 is worth $126 to Apple, but one damaged by water is worth only $96. 

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.