The iPhone may be getting bigger again. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is developing a pair of new iPhones with larger displays, one over 4.5 inches diagonally and one over 5 inches diagonally, and plans to release them this year. Reports that Apple is planning a larger iPhone have persisted for some time now, with the Journal itself reporting several times in 2013 that such devices were in the works.
Rumors of larger iPhones have persisted since last year
Both phones will reportedly be made of metal but will not feature curved displays, a feature recently rumored by another outlet. Development is reportedly farther along on the smaller of the two phones, which is being prepared for mass production. The larger phone is still said to be in preliminary development, though earlier reports would suggest that it's been in the planning stages for some time now. Nonetheless, the Journal cautions that neither plan has been finalized yet and could ultimately be changed.
The Journal also suggests that because both phones are metal, Apple will stop producing phones with plastic casing — a style it reintroduced last year with the iPhone 5C. It seems unlikely that Apple would remove the iPhone 5C's design from production one year after its debut though, as all but the very first iPhone model were kept around for multiple years. Instead, one of the new iPhone models could represent an additional product line or option, rather than both serving as replacements of the existing pair of iPhones.
Regardless of how they're positioned within the iPhone lineup, it appears that Apple is finally preparing to address the onslaught of large Android phones that many consumers have been drawn to. The iPhone's display size last increased in 2012 — from 3.5 to 4 inches diagonally — with the introduction of the iPhone 5, only to see Android phones grow even larger in the time since.
Previous reports from multiple news outlets have pegged the potential devices' display sizes at 4.7 and 5.7 inches, slightly smaller than the flagship devices from many Android manufacturers. It would be a big change to the iPhone on its own, and so far no other major features for the devices have been consistently rumored. The new iPhones would be a welcome addition for fans of Apple's devices though, finally offering options to those who don't want smaller displays.