This iPhone Rumor Checks Out


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.

Apple kicked off the smartphone and tablet revolution and will remain relevant a while longer. But the iDevice giant faces some challenges as well. Read all about Apple's opportunities and risks in this premium research report on Apple from The Motley Fool. With expert insight, it could help you make the right decision on whether to buy or sell Apple right now.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorAnders Bylundholds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Check outAnders' holdings and bio, or follow him onTwitterandGoogle+. The Fool owns shares of Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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