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BIG changes ahead for iPhones, per report

NEW YORK – iPhone screens are about to get a lot bigger, if a new report is to be believed.

Suppliers in China are about to start work on two new iPhones, according to an article from Bloomberg.

The phones will have display screens that are 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches across, when measured diagonally — a major leap from the 4-inch displays on the iPhone 5S and 5C.

Such a move would appear to be an effort to keep up with the competition. Rival smartphones, most notably those from Samsung, have been packing ever-larger displays in recent years. If these rumors are true, the bigger iPhone would nearly match the screen size of Samsung’s massive Galaxy Note 3, with its 5.7-inch “phablet” display.

The Korean company’s flagship Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch display, the new HTC One M8 has a 5-inch screen and the recently announced Amazon Fire phone checks in at 4.7 inches.

The Bloomberg report says the new iPhones will ship to retailers “around September” and be more rounded and thinner than previous models. That would be consistent with launch patterns from Apple, which for the past several years has announced new iPhones in early fall.

If the report is true, this would mark the second consecutive year Apple has released two phones.

Last year, Apple borrowed from the playbook of Samsung and other competitors by releasing the high-end iPhone 5S and the cheaper, more colorful 5C model. Almost a year later, the plastic iPhone 5C sells for as low as $99 with a wireless contract. For the previous six years, Apple had offered only a single, iconic phone even as competitors rolled out phones with many sizes, shapes and prices.

The new iPhones may also be part of a one-two punch from Apple, which has been under pressure to innovate and which has promised new products in 2014.

Reports have said a long-awaited Apple smartwatch is also coming this fall. A Reuters report says the watch will have a 2.5-inch screen and be “slightly rectangular.”

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