Apple (AAPL) Eyeing iPhone ‘phablets’

News agency Reuters is reporting that Apple (AAPL) is exploring the possibility of building at least two bigger iPhones next year, one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.7-inch screen. The 5.7-inch device, which if build will be in direct competition with Samsung’s popular Galaxy “phablets”, would reportedly join a wider array of iPhones, including more traditionally-sized models, and models available in 5 or 6 different colors. The report notes however, that while the Cupertino-based firm has approached suppliers with plans for the larger screens, it is still unclear whether it will actually launch its flagship product in the larger sizes.

According to Reuters, Apple’s pivot toward the phablet “comes as the long-time consumer and investor darling faces pressure to deliver more than one new handset model a year. Critics say its pace of innovation has slowed since the death of legendary co-founder Steve Jobs.”

Citing unnamed “supply chain” sources, Reuters is also reporting that Apple has discussed a price of $99 for the low-end model phone, the timing of which could slip to next year.

On Monday, Apple unveiled a major redesign of its iOS software, which will be out this fall.

Apple shares have declined 37 percent after touching an all time high of $705 in September.

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