Apple Reportedly Trying 4.7- and 5.7-Inch Screens On iPhones Next Year, Cheaper Model Coming In Fall

Apple is looking at various changes to its iPhone lineup over the course of the next year, according to a new report from Reuters, including two sizes of larger smartphone devices, in both a 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch flavor. The “phablet” plans are also being considered alongside a less expensive iPhone model, which is slated to begin production next month, according to Reuters’ sources, after a brief delay as Apple attempts to get the colors right for the new plastic-backed device.

The cheaper iPhone would be launching in September following full production kicking off in August, according to some of Reuters’ sources, with an initial shipment target of around 20 million low-cost devices for the holiday quarter next year. The report details echo what we’ve heard from other sources recently, including from fairly accurate analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who previously shared reports of multi-color options for the cheaper iPhone, with a thin plastic case and the same 4-inch screen as the iPhone 5. Reuters adds that it should cost around $99 when it launches, and that its release timeline might be pushed back by as much of a year.

iphone5smockReports of the low-cost iPhone have been making the rounds in more or less reliable circles for a while now, which is the more interesting component of this new report. Other sources have reported that Apple is looking at bigger-screened devices, so-called “phablets” to compete with similar offerings from Android smartphone manufacturers, including the Galaxy Note line from Samsung. But even Apple’s flagship smartphone, the iPhone 5, lags behind most competing general-purpose non-phablet devices like the HTC One and Galaxy S4 in terms of screen size at 4-inches.

Apple’s big-screen iPhone plans are less evolved than those for its low cost device, the report claims, with one of Reuters’ sources suggesting that we could still see the plans shift considerably before anything reaches a production stage. Apple has discussed the idea with production partners, but has not set any kind of timeframe for test production or launch as of yet. Reuters says that Apple is considering the different screen sizes comes as there’s increased pressure to field more than one device a year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that we might see a larger iPhone when the trade-offs of battery life, screen quality, color reproduction and other failings brought about would be possible to counteract, speaking at the recent AllThingsD D11 conference. He did admit that some consumers are interested in those devices, however, so it’s likely that these reports come from Apple’s attempts to overcome those limitations with engineering. Plenty of Apple products don’t make it past the testing phase, however, so while you can be sure Apple is experimenting with big displays for iPhone, you can’t be equally sure we’ll ever see one. Still, Cook’s guidance to consumers and media that they can look for big product launches in the fall and through next year specifically do line up with the timing of possible iOS phablet launches reported by Reuters today.

Asus Nexus 7 sales accelerate: 1 million units sold per month!

Nexus 7 sales accelerate: 1 million units sold per monthAsus has just announced one of its most prosperous quarters, and its success has a lot to do with the

Nexus 7 sales accelerate: 1 million units sold per monthstrong sales of the Nexus 7 tablets. Up until now, we knew Google’s tablet is doing okay, but we had no numbers to put this into perspective. Now, Asus reveals that the Nexus 7 sells at around 1 million units a month.

“At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500K units a month, then maybe 600, 700K. This latest month, it was close to 1 million,”Asustek CFO David Chang said.

We don’t have the actual accumulated sales figure as Google is careful to keep it a secret. This probably means that it has sold far less than the mainstream option that is the iPad, but closing in on 1 million sales is a solid figure to report on and it seems to be getting good traction.

Earlier speculations pegged Nexus 7 sales for the whole of the third quarter at between 800,000 and 1 million, but with this new
information it seems the actual sales clocked in higher.

As the Holiday quarter approaches, the Nexus 7 will fight against the iPad mini and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. It has the advantage of sporting full and unrestricted Android unlike the Kindle Fire, and can boast with a price tag of $199 for the 16GB version.

It definitely looks competitive, but it’s hard to say whether Google and Asus have enough of a sales representation to push sales to iPad-like levels.

Apple concedes top smartphone vendor title to Samsung

Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones last quarter, nearly doubling the amount of handsets it sold in the same three month period a year ago. But despite its record-breaking performance, the company still conceded its top smartphone vendor title to Samsung.

During the holiday quarter, Apple shipped 37.1 million handsets — the most out of any of the other smartphone manufacturers in the world. And it looked like it was set to do it again this time around, but the Korean handset-maker edged it out…

Selling a staggering 42.2 million smartphones, Samsung reclaimed its spot at the top. And even though its handsets sport a mix of several different operating systems (Windows Phone, Android, etc.) you can’t help but be impressed by the numbers.

To put this in perspective, Nokia came in third place (behind Samsung, Apple) with just 11.9 million smartphones shipped. Remember that this is that the same company that, a year ago, led the pack with 24.2 million units shipped. Yikes.

RIM came in fourth place with 9.7 million smartphones shipped. And HTC continued its skid, coming in last place with just 6.9 million. The sad part is that Apple shipped more smartphones than Nokia, RIM and HTC combined.

But the quarter belongs to Samsung. The June period, however, is anyone’s game. The iPhone is making its way into mainland China — which is home to over 1 billion cell phone users, and Samsung is launching a new flagship handset next month.