iPhone 6-incher is coming (but not tomorrow)

Rumors of iPhablet won't go away.

Tim Cook

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is testing bigger iPhones we're told (again). Could Cupertino be planning to release a 6-inch iPhone phablet? Yes, but not tomorrow.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers brace instead for the expected 5S and 5C.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Ian Sherr, Eva Dou and Lorraine Luk spread the blame evenly:

Apple...has begun evaluating a plan to offer iPhones with screen [sizes] as high as 6 inches, people familiar with the matter say. ... Component suppliers say Apple already began testing larger screens for iPhones in recent months.

...

The screen sizes of the two iPhones that Apple is unveiling...Tuesday aren't expected to change. ... An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.  MORE

And Andrew Nusca sounds skeptical:

That's quite different from the 4-inch display on the current iPhone 5 and the 3.5-inch display on iPhone 4 and 4S models.

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Apple typically tests various configurations before deciding upon the version it will take to production, though it is interesting that such an established and successful product would continue to [change] dimensions—in this case, in the opposite direction that technology tends to move.  MORE

But Michelle Maisto notes an embarrassing leak:

Marketing stunt or extreme goof-up? China Telecom...posted an advertisement...enticing consumers to preorder the new iPhones. [But] it may also have been a marketing stunt, meant to assure Chinese consumers that the new iPhones will arrive soon and dissuade the practice of smuggling new iPhones to China.

...

The iPhone 5C is reportedly intended for not only China but India and other emerging markets where prepaid wireless service is the prevailing strategy.  MORE

Speaking of China, how would that market react to an iPhablet?

Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald issued a note to investors...in response to a new report that claimed Apple has been toying with screen sizes measuring up to 6 inches. ... The analyst has taken numerous trips to China over the last 18 months. ...consumers in that country have increasingly been preferring smartphones with larger displays [so] White believes an iPhone approaching 5 inches would help Apple gain traction.

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White believes Apple's so-called "iPhone 5C" will help the company gain market share in China, but that a larger iPhone is also needed. ... China is the largest smartphone market in the world, representing about a third of annual shipments. ... Cantor Fitzgerald has maintained its "buy" rating for AAPL stock, with a price target of $777.  MORE

So what of the ecosystem? David Carnoy talks cases and such:

Not a day seems to go by without some new leaked image. ...that's a good thing for accessory makers who want to have cases ready to go...(Apple didn't have any cases in its stores when the iPhone 5 launched, which frustrated a lot of consumers).

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This is one what one case maker, who wished to remain anonymous (for fear of angering Apple), told me: "All the info we've received points to the 5S having nearly the same form factor...with the exception of the...opening on the back [for] the new, larger (expected) dual-LED flash."  MORE

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