Reports say Apple will give iPhone larger screen

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Reports say Apple will give iPhone larger screen

Apple is expected to yield to the trend of larger smartphone screens when it releases its much-anticipated successor to the iPhone 4S.

The U.S. tech titan is preparing to overhaul the look of its iPhone, Bloomberg New reported Friday, quoting anonymous sources. Apple has placed orders from suppliers in Asia for screens that are bigger than the 3.5-inch size it has used from the first model in 2007, it said.

Apple is working with several screen makers on the new phone, including Korea’s LG Display, Japan’s Sharp and Japan Display, according to Thursday report in the Wall Street Journal.

The iPhone maker has been engaged in a fierce competition with Samsung Electronics in the global smartphone market and Samsung unveiled a 4.8-inch Galaxy S3 flagship smartphone, armed with unseen technological features, earlier this month.

Apple has been working on the next-generation iPhone since before the iPhone 4S was introduced last October, said Bloomberg. The company’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, who had gone on medical leave from Apple starting last January, played a key role in developing the phone, it said.

The report comes as surprise because Jobs was known to believe that a display larger than 3.5 inches was “too big.” All iPhones have had 3.5-inch screens.

As to when the new iPhone will be unleashed remains a secret. Many analysts predict it will be released by October while others say it could be earlier.

Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray Companies, said in April that an October release is probable after chipmaker Qualcomm announced it was having trouble meeting demand for components that the analyst expects to be in the new iPhone.

The evidence for an earlier release is that U.S. retailers such as Best Buy and Target began offering discounts on iPhone 4S and its predecessor, iPhone 4, starting earlier this month.

“The timing of all these iPhone 4 and 4S sales is intriguing. Are retailers simply trying to boost sales or are they looking to clear out inventory?” asked Cnet news on Thursday.

Meanwhile, top officials of Apple and its smartphone archrival Samsung Electronics are scheduled to meet face to face today and tomorrow in a court in San Francisco to see if they can narrow their differences on claims and counterclaims in lawsuits filed in the U.S.

The meeting is taking place at the order of Federal Judge Lucy Koh. Apple claims Samsung infringed patents for both the iPhone and iPad while Samsung says Apple has done the same with 3G-mobile communications patent. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung’s Vice Chairman Choi Ji-sung will represent each party.

By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]
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