My, that's a big iPhone 5 screen you have

The latest Apple iPhone 5 rumor centers on the anticipated smartphone featuring a 4-inch screen

The latest Apple iPhone 5 rumor centers on the anticipated smartphone featuring a 4-inch screen, about 14% bigger than the standard 3.5-inch display of current iPhones and more in line with what Google Android phone makers have been offering.

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The scuttlebutt about the bigger iPhone 5 screen started at the DigiTimes website, which focuses on electronics news in Taiwan and China. DigiTimes cited "upstream component suppliers," who say the Apple move is an attempt to fend off competition from suppliers of Android smartphones with 4- to 7-inch screens, such as the latest from ZTE introduced at the Mobile World Congress event this week. "With Apple joining the 4-inch and larger market, 4- to 5.5-inch will become the major battlefield for smartphones and further change the industry dynamics for small- to medium-size panels," according to DigiTimes.

Bigger screens also make sense if you buy that video will become an much bigger percentage of traffic. Cisco earlier this month released research stating that video will account for64% of mobile traffic by 2013, up from 39% in 2008. 

Even as speculation swirls about iPhones with bigger screens, others are buzzing about Apple downsizing the iPhone and offering less expensive models.   One notion is that Apple is working to squeeze its screens closer to the edge of its devices, meaning that even bigger screens wouldn’t necessarily mean much bigger iPhones. 

Reports surfaced last week suggesting Apple would introduce the iPhone 5 in June at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. 

Other speculation about the new iPhone include that Apple is working on a new A4 processor that could boast a dual-PowerVR SGX 543 graphics and video core and that it will work on both GSM and CDMA networks to accommodate AT&T and Verizon’s networks

All of which is raising questions about whether people should forge ahead and buy an iPhone 4, newly available from Verizon, or hold out for the iPhone 5 (or whatever Apple calls it).

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Tags unified communicationsNetworkingPhonesZTEsmartphoneswirelessiPhone 5videoconferencingAppleGoogleconsumer electronics

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Bob Brown

Network World

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