The rumor mill has been grinding out this idea for ages: Apple (NAS: AAPL) will boost the screen size on the next iPhone.
You could dismiss it if The Wall Street Journal said it alone, maybe even write off a concurring Reuters report as a coincidence. But we've moved beyond that -- Bloomberg weighs in with the third independent confirmation, and this time we're told that Steve Jobs had a direct hand in the decision.
According to Bloomberg's anonymous sources, Jobs guided the design of the 2012 iPhone while on medical leave in 2011. And if Jobs put a personal stamp on this iPhone before passing away, I find it highly unlikely that Apple designers and engineers would override even the slightest of details in this legend's final product.
The new screens are allegedly already on order with a handful of Asian screen builders. The Journal drops a few names: Sharp, Japan Display, and LG Display (NYS: LPL) are supposedly in on this deal, but lead iPhone 4S screen supplier Samsung wasn't mentioned.
Moving to a 4-inch display from the time-honored 3.5-inch size might point to an all-new body design, but the rumormongers don't agree as much on that point. Some say there's an all-new aluminum and glass body on tap; others suggest that the larger display could be squeezed into the existing form factor if you just move things around a bit.
Either way, it looks like a done deal. Apple is going for a modestly larger screen this time, perhaps thanks to Samsung's success with the Galaxy S2 line of larger-than-4-inch smartphones. If nothing else, iPhone owners should appreciate a bigger screen for the increased precision in their Draw Something masterpieces. Then again, Zynga (NAS: ZNGA) might just regret buying Draw Something creator OMGPOP before the new iPhone arrives as the game becomes a gathering place for crickets and tumbleweeds.
The jury is still out on another size-related Apple rumor. I'm not convinced that we'll see a half-sized iPad tablet this fall. That product would be made even more unlikely if the iPhone is growing -- Apple isn't big on the idea of confusing users with too many product choices.
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