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Will Apple Delay the iPhone 5S to Deliver a Bigger Screen? (AAPL)

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It's the question on everybody's mind: would Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) really delay the next iPhone to add a larger display?

Apple was expected to release an iPhone upgrade comparable to the iPhone 4S, one that would improve upon the existing model without making too many drastic changes. But after months of hearing about this familiar release, the rumor mill has turned its attention to a more significant revision.

According to a Bloomberg translation of a Commercial Times report, Apple might delay the iPhone 5S to increase the screen size from four inches to 4.3 inches.

This minor display increase may appear to be an unlikely cause for delay, especially when Apple has been so content to go its own path. The company famously resisted the lure to release a smartphone with a large screen for four years. Finally in 2012, Apple caved when it stretched the Retina Display from 3.5 inches to the four-inch model available today.

That said, Apple has been breaking records at retail, selling more than 37 million March quarter and nearly 48 million units during the quarter before that.

If Apple can continue to sell a large amount of iPhones -- even without releasing a new model -- then it has fewer reasons to rush the development of the next iteration.

Apple recently asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to postpone the sales ban of four products, including the iPhone 4. That device is expected to be retired the moment the iPhone 5S is released, since it would push the iPhone 4S into the third sales bracket.

Currently, Apple offers the following iPhone models:

  • iPhone 5 (starting at $199 with contract)
  • iPhone 4S ($99 with contract)
  • iPhone 4 (free with contract)

Apple could continue to manufacture the iPhone 4 (and release it in a multitude of colors) and sell it as the low-cost smartphone that analysts are currently anticipating. That would explain why Apple wants the ITC to postpone the sales ban.

Alternatively, Apple may also want to extend the sales of the iPhone 4 through the end of the year because it knows that another iPhone will not be released until that time.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple Bloomberg Commercial Times iPhone 5SNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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