Can Apple Make a Bigger iPhone?

If it ever sounded like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) wouldn’t make an iPhone bigger than the current iPhone 5, that’s because it wouldn’t — past tense. But, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook left the door wide open for making one in the future.

Trends are trends for a reason; if a large amount of people are interested in something, they aren’t the kind of thing companies should ignore. Yet Apple hasn’t jumped onto the large screen smartphone bandwagon despite the fact that is where smartphone trends are heading. Already, Samsung (SSNLF.PK) dominates the 5-inch smartphone segment with its Galaxy Note devices. In comparison, Apple’s latest iPhone, the iPhone 5, has a screen that is only 4 inches across.

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There are surely some people out there that would love to get their hands on a larger iPhone, and the lack of such a device in Apple’s lineup could be driving those potential customers to other manufacturers’ smartphones. As Apple has been having trouble holding its market share as strong competitors like Samsung release device after device at all price points, losing potential customers by not following a trend might be a bad move for Apple.

However, despite the degree to which Tim Cook was committed to not building a larger smartphone that sacrificed quality for size, the company may not have ruled out a bigger iPhone altogether. Cook has said that competing manufacturers “made some significant trade-offs … in order to ship larger displays,” suggesting that those displays don’t have as good of resolutions, color quality, power consumption, or any of a number of qualities that Apple devices should have…

After underhandedly dissing the large-screened smartphones of other manufacturers, Cook made a carefully worded statement. “We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist.” This suggests that Apple could consider marking a device with a larger screen if it can keep the quality as high as its other devices — oddly enough, the company released the iPad Mini, which featured a much lower pixel density than the fourth generation iPad and the iPhone 5.

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It’s been suggested that Apple is working on a new iPad Mini with its Retina display technology. The iPad Mini makes a good example of Apple following the competition, as other tablet makers were the first to create tablets at the smaller 7-inch size. It’s possible Apple could do some following again if it were to launch a device at the 5-inch form factor that other manufacturers have proved works in the market.

Here’s how Apple traded Wednesday:

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