back to article Apple said to be 'exploring' 5.7-inch iPhone

Apple is said to be "exploring" building iPhones with displays of 4.7 and 5.7 inches, a move – if true – that could be in response to consumer demand for large-screen smartphones such as the 5-inch Galaxy S 4 from über-rival Samsung. In addition, Reuters reports, there are also less-expensive iPhones said to be in the works, …


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  1. Chris T Almighty

    There's nothing wrong with copying

    I'd love to get back to a world (if it ever existed) where a company could protect clever technical discoveries with patents, but where no-one owns ideas of shapes or sizes or colours. If one company releases a triangular smartphone and it sells like hotcakes, then great, everyone should build them.

    I don't want to live in a world where companies aren't allowed to build things their customers want, just because someone else has already built something similar.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: There's nothing wrong with copying

      Yes, I agree. The shape, size and colour thing should not be a patent - USAians refer to "Design Patents". Don't call them patents - Much of the rest of the world refers to registered designs, or infringing trade dress, which means that it is less likely that these two concepts are conflated.

      I really don't want some cheap company using trade dress to put a cheap knock off in the market - Like say an Asian company using similar designs of packaging and product shape to dress their product as high quality European chocolate; or a supermarket's own label that looks similar to a a market leading brand name.

      What would also be nice is to get back to not allowing any patent in an agreed international industry standard - Like the LWZ submarine Unisys GIF debacle which caught a product that I developed.

      1. Wang N Staines

        Re: There's nothing wrong with copying

        Nuke the effing software patent!!!!!

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: There's nothing wrong with copying

          There are two sides to this. I agree that software patents and design/artwork patents are bad. however, infringement is also bad. If I designed a specific looking "thing" and it sold primarily because it was a specific looking "thing" I would not be chuffed if corporation X decided its next "item" was to mimic the look of my "thing" purely to take sales based on the idea people thought it was the same "thing".

          Likewise, if a company designed a brand new file system that was the "best ever". I wouldnt be too happy that other companies could simply rip it off withought fear. Software and design patents may be seen to stifle true innovation where common sense would prevail. However common sense matters not to huge corporations that only care about bottom lines and new ways to avoid paying tax.

          Whats the answer? Perhaps another layer, a specific "patent" that covers design/software that needs to be narrower and more detailed in scope - that way rounded corners on a phone would not translate to rounded corners on a GPS device etc.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: There's nothing wrong with copying

            Here's a lovely email exchange between Penguin Books Ltd and David Thorne, discussing David's use of a stylised penguin on his second book- and how removed from Penguin Book's logo they would like it to be:


      2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: There's nothing wrong with copying

        The shape, size and colour thing should not be a patent - USAians refer to "Design Patents". Don't call them patents - Much of the rest of the world refers to registered designs, or infringing trade dress, which means that it is less likely that these two concepts are conflated.

        Technically design patents only apply to ornamentation and are not supposed to cover functionality. To me a rectangular case that holds a slightly smaller rectangular screen is functional not ornamentation so it shouldn't get a design patent and being fairly obvious it should never get a utility patent either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's nothing wrong with copying

      "There's nothing wrong with copying" Apple have been doing it for years!

    3. Mark Broadhurst

      Re: There's nothing wrong with copying

      I agree but it is hypocritical when apple have sued Samsung for copying their iPad and iPhone "in order confuse customers to buy the Samsung model rather than the apple" which they won initially in the US then lost in Germany, samsung counter sued and won and then overturned the US verdict.

      It reeks of hypocrisy if apple are they going to turn around and openly copy what Samsung are doing (and probably try and sue later).

  2. Anonymous Coward

    missed opportunity

    Title should have read something like:-

    'Apple finding 10 inches a pain, said to be looking for something closer to 6 inches' .

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: missed opportunity

      "Apple almost ready to admit 4 inches just isn't enough for everyone?"

      1. Robert Moore

        Re: missed opportunity

        "Apple almost ready to admit 4 inches just isn't enough for everyone?"

        Your wife could have told you this.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll believe it when I see it

    It's just another 'There will be a bigger iPhone' prediction. Anything can happen, but I would expect to see a patent along the lines of 'Method of using a large screen phone with one hand,' first.

  4. MrZoolook

    They will do what they normally do

    Just wait till someone else builds a 5inch screen smartphone, then claim it is a patent infringement, as they came up with the idea first. Now they have published a possibility of plans to develop 5inch screens, its illegal for any one else to do it.

  5. John Tserkezis

    But wait - Apple will patent 'rounded corners' on the display.

    No wait, that's already in prototype stage, ok, they'll patent their 'retina' display, no wait, that's been done too.

    Oh well, may as well claim it as their own like they've done before anyway...

    1. g e

      Just like

      All that stuff Android has copied from IOS7 over the last X years.

      Except the lower case keyboard.

  6. larokus

    I called it!!

    I actually posted a comment in another article here six months ago saying that when apple releases a 4.7inch phone in late 2013 they will claim HTC LG Samsung and Sony were for 2 years only copying what Apple had planned for the future. Apple I can read you like a book. Its a children's book and incredibly boring. Every page seems to read exactly like the previous page!?

    1. larokus

      Re: I called it!!

      Oh and China is full of 5.7 inch HD android models. Dozens. So many in fact that Apple AND Samsung are taking a besting in China. I actually bought one myself, the Inew I2000, quad core mediatek 6589, HD screen and $200US free shipping unlocked with dual sim, expandable SD, and comes with two batteries. And benches faster than the exynos 4412 Quad. This is nothing anywhere near new, or what Apple will call 'magical' and 'groundbreaking'

      1. eldel

        Re: I called it!!

        Actually - I think they are a company that out-do even Apple. Like $2300 in shipping charges. That's airmail - it's only $230 ground mail. To either the US or the UK. Damn I bet Tim Cook would cream himself for those margins.

        It's strangely depressing to think that someone would pay that.

        1. larokus
          Paris Hilton

          Re: I called it!!

          --> 'I think they are a company that outdoo even Apple'. Which company are you referring to with these ridiculous shipping charges? The Chinese mediatek powered phones ship for free worldwide from a number of online retailers.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: larokus

        I'd like to see some of those benchmarks, have you got a link?

        1. Brian 59

          Re: larokus

    2. chr0m4t1c

      Re: I called it!!

      You posted this too early, they haven't released a 5.7" phone and they haven't complained of anyone copying this mythical device - it's all rumour, opinion and supposition at this point.

      But do come back in six months to gloat if you turn out to be correct, by all means.

  7. Chris D Rogers

    Anti-Apple bias

    I am sick and tired of the Anti-Apple tripe appearing on El Reg - its really disgusting to say the least.

    Can't your hacks take a leaf out of The Guardian when reporting anything Apple related, if you cannot be bothered to fawn over Apple, please stop reporting about them.

    As for your attack tactics on Apple accusing it of 'copying/ripping off' competitors - since when has Apple followed the pack - its a well known fact that the phablet was first introduced by Apple in the form of the Newton, and as such, it is Samsung that is copying Apple - the Apple Newton's dimensions being: 4.7 x 8.3 x 1.1 inches.

    Next you'll be claiming it was Xerox who invented the GUI and Mouse, rather than Lord Job's.

    Get a grip and stop slagging Apple off - once the new Samsung inspired, I mean Apple inspired Phablet is introduce you'll be put in your place.

    1. That Awful Puppy
      Thumb Down

      Re: Anti-Apple bias

      Look, in the past five years or so, I've bought two Apple desktops, two laptops, three iPods and two iPhones. And while I'm very happy with all of them, Apple's practice of patenting every ridiculous bit of their design is becoming quite distasteful to me, and I don't mind El Reg pointing this out.

      To me, an anti-Apple bias would be reviewing their products unfairly, and I've never found this to be the case. Taking the piss out of the business practices of an arrogant multinational, albeit one whose products I like, is NOT anti-Apple bias, it's simply telling it like it is.

      1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

        Re: Anti-Apple bias

        I get the feeling that putting </sarcasm> tags on comments may need to be compulsory to avoid confusing some readers

        1. That Awful Puppy

          Re: Anti-Apple bias

          I'll just put a few <twat> tags around my face the next time :/

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anti-Apple bias

        Erm, when you actually produce good aesthetically pleasing design you are perfectly entitled to register those designs for protection.

        Do you think Nike, Adidas and others don't register their designs? they are perfectly entitled to prevent knock off versions appearing.

        Samsung and HTC produce such god-awful boring ugly looking tripe that nobody in their right mind would copy.

    2. foxyshadis

      Re: Anti-Apple bias

      Very clever buildup to a great troll, but I'd have let it run a bit longer. :D

      1. Chris D Rogers

        Re: Anti-Apple bias

        Actually, it was The Guardian I was having a go at, rather than Apple itself.

        Having been banned from the Guardian forums for pointing out that its Apple coverage was more like an 'Advotorial' than an actual unbiased article, I take great pleasure in having a dig at them and Apple.

        By the way, I'm a Apple household and blown way by the new Mac Pro - shame my business is doing shit and won't be able to grab one.

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Anti-Apple bias

      "... once the new Samsung inspired, I mean Apple inspired Phablet is introduce you'll be put in your place."

      iPhablet, Shirley.

  8. James Haley 2

    er, why not the iPad

    Why not just put the cell phone radio in the iPad and be done with it?

    1. Ben Holmes

      Re: er, why not the iPad

      Because not even the most rabid fanboi would want to hold 10 inches of shiny shiny against the side of his head.

      There's looking 'cool', and then there's just looking 'like a dick'.

      1. jai

        Re: er, why not the iPad

        5.7 inches isn't very far away from the iPad Mini size. a 6 inch phone is practically like holding a tablet to the side of your head.

        i'll be very surprised if this actually comes to market as a phone.

        it could easily be the screen they are testing a remote control for the AppleTV or something.

        Exploring doesn't mean they're going into large scale production, just means someone at Apple has presumably ordered a few of these for R&D

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: er, why not the iPad

        Asus already have done this with the Padphone.

      3. turnip handler

        Re: er, why not the iPad

        People already use the iPad as a camera, using it as a phone probably looks more reasonable.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "By making the screen taller, not wider, [...]"

    "By making the [iPhone 5] screen taller, not wider, iPhone 5 is just as easy to use with one hand so you can tap, type and scroll the same way you always have."

    ... and ...

    "If Apple does go ahead and release a 5.7 or 4.7-inch iPhone – and remember, "exploring" doesn't mean "building" – which company will be the copycat this time around?"

    Where is the contradiction? The rumored 5.7-inch iPhone will of course not be any wider than the 4-inch iPhone 5, as new phone will still need to fit present docks/cradles etc.

    Actually a 10-inch iPhone could be made to the same Apple-patented comfortable-to-operate width - though it would be almost 10 inches tall. ;-)

    1. Matt_payne666

      Re: "By making the screen taller, not wider, [...]"

      reminds me of this iPhone 5 advert...

    2. D@v3

      Re: " as new phone will still need to fit present docks/cradles etc."

      Just wondering if anyone has actually seen any docks / cradles with the new lightning connector?

      There are millions out there for the good old 30pin but in the year that the iPhone5 has been available, i don't think i have seen a single dock/cradle, let alone any updates of the myriad of speakers and stereos that are "made for iPhone / iPod". Most seem to be going the bluetooth / airplay route.

      The idea of using one of those 30pin-lightning adapters is a joke, especially as in a lot of devices it will stop the (already taller) device from actually fitting in the designated space.

      1. Andrew James

        Re: " as new phone will still need to fit present docks/cradles etc."

        I have. In Curry's. I walked past the dock speakers and noticed several of them had the new connector. I wasn't in there for that, so didn't pay much attention to how many etc, but there were some.

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Slow news day then?

    Any company worth its salt would be 'looking at' a whole range of different size and form factored phones. They may even make a few dozen prototypes of a few sizes just to see how the work in reality.

    This is a frigging long way from actually putting the beasts into production.

    Can't El-Reg hacks understand even the simple principals?

    Nah, all they want to do is write some crap bit of fluff just to get a few ad page loads.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slow news day then?

      Missing the point entirely. Apples entire strategy has been to have a limited product range. The iphone, the ipad. They even dropped numbering ipads for that reason, every new model will simply be called new ipad.

      This is a company that has run out of ideas. First the ipad mini, now looking at different size and coloured iphones, all they are able to do is re-jig existing products. It's like when games consoles get a bit of a refresh at the end of their life with new colours and maybe a bit slimmer to eek a few more sales out before the next gen console is released but Apple have nothing to follow it up with

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Caps Lock?

        "It's like when games consoles get a bit of a refresh at the end of their life with new colours and maybe a bit slimmer to eek a few more sales out before the next gen console is released"

        You'd better not be referring to my wonderul Pikachu N64!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Slow news day then?

        > Apple have nothing to follow it up with

        Who would have thought that someone so high up in Apple's R&D dept. would take time out to comment in these forums?

        I mean, you *must* be well versed in what Apple have in the pipeline to know that they have nothing, otherwise that would just be malicious rubbish and I can't see that being the case on here at all.

        Do tell us, are The Register correct with their story? Oh, and who is doing something other that just re-jigging existing products? It seems that's a label you can stick on pretty much anything if you try hard enough.

        iPhone? All they did was put a phone inside an iPod.

        iPad? All they did was make the iPhone with a bigger screen.

  11. sandman

    Ooh, fibbers!

    "although we enjoy a good rumor as much as the next fellow" - now that is totally untrue - the Reg enjoys a good rumour FAR more than the next fellow!

  12. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I was talking to a retired doctor in the pub the other day- he doesn't have a smartphone (said he was waiting for one clear winner to emerge, 'like Betamax or VHS'... no matter), but cited a 91 year old gentleman who has always had an iPhone, until he got a Galaxy S IV- he thought the bigger screen would suit him better. However, the old boy didn't get on with it to well, probably because he was used to how his iPhones did things.

    A larger screened iPhone would have his custom.

    The cheaper model of iPhone rumour... Apple's entrance to the low-end could explain why Tim Cook was being derogatory about Android at WWDC.

    1. Mark .

      For the retired doctor, is 75% share not enough? (I don't think the VHS vs Betamax analogy works for platforms, because Apple and MS at least are never going to give up on their own platforms.)

      Switching platforms always takes a bit of getting used to, whichever way you go, I found some Android niggles annoyed me coming from Symbian, but I've got used to it now.

  13. OrsonX

    Getting the (i)va-va-voom back

    make it folding (in half) = you are the winner

    otherwise YAWN

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. fourThirty


    If there is speculation for every possible permutation of the next product from Apple, the chances of someone being right about something is increased...

    It's hardly news...

  16. Mark .

    How many apps?

    So apparently ipad is better, because loads of apps are specifically optimised for its size. So how many IOS apps are specifically optimised for 5.7"? Or are we supposed to believe that whilst Android apps for 5" phones don't work well on 7" devices (despite Android always having run on a range of sizes), all IOS apps will magically work great on 5.7" (despite apps having only been optimised for very small or very large sizes) - just like all IOS apps were counted as available software when the ipad was first announced.

    Still, remember that IOS is easier to develop for, because you only have to worry about one, sorry two, sorry seven sizes (iphone 4/4S, 5, ipad mini, ipad, 4.7", 5.7", and there are also rumours of a 12" device)...

  17. Frankee Llonnygog

    Apple is exploring different phone sizes

    As is every other phone manufacturer. It's called R&D. Some of this stuff even makes it to market.

    In other news, I'm thinking about having a sauna session with a supermodel. There is a chance this will happen (shortly after I ride my unicorn to the newsagent and buy a winning lottery ticket with gold found at the end of the rainbow)

  18. Gil Grissum


    It would indeed be ironic if Apple released 4.7" and 5.7" iPhones in 2014. They most certainly will not do that this year, as they will no doubt, release an iPhone 5S with the same screen size, case design and incremental upgrades that just don't matter. Apple is always two years behind everyone else's hardware, but those who love and buy the fashion statement tech, just don't care.

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