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Tuesday, April 09, 2013, 07:15 am PT (10:15 am ET)

Rumor: Apple's next-gen iPhone will launch with 'at least two screen sizes'

Faced with growing popularity of big-screen phones, Apple will launch its next-generation iPhone with "at least" two different screen sizes, one analyst claims.

The details were reported on Tuesday by Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets, who said the details stem from a meeting with a company in Apple's supply chain. In fact, White said it's possible that Apple's so-called "iPhone 5S" could even launch with three separate screen sizes, in his view.

iPhone Plus

Mockup of iPhone with 4.94-inch screen, created by Marco Arment.


"We believe Apple is coming around to the fact that one size per iPhone release does not work for everyone and offering consumers an option has the potential to expand the company's market share," he said.

White expects that Apple will launch its next iPhone models in July, where he also believes the company will debut a lower-priced iPhone model that would address a large segment of the market that Apple currently does not serve.

The analyst doesn't believe that Apple would be able to offer an iPhone below $300 without a contract subsidy. He said on Tuesday that market watchers expecting an iPhone priced at $200 or even $150 will be disappointed, while a price between $300 and $350 "makes more sense."

"We believe this price point is reassuring for investors that Apple wants to expand its market reach with consumers in developing countries such as China," he said. "However, the company will also manage its margin profile and brand accordingly."

White is the same analyst who made waves last week when he claimed that Apple plans to launch a television set this year with a so-called "iRing" accessory for precise gesture-based controls. He also believes the "iTV" will come with a "mini" screen that will allow users to view content on a smaller display throughout the home, though this accessory will apparently not be as powerful as an independent iPad.

The analyst also made claims last week that Microsoft is working on a competitor to Google Glass that the Windows maker will allegedly launch in the first half of 2014. He believes the wearable computing market will heat up with the debut of a smart wristwatch accessory from Apple as well.

The latest claims from White regarding multiple iPhone screen sizes are not new, as earlier reports had suggested Apple plans to release a larger iPhone with a 5-inch screen, dubbed an "iPhone plus."

As larger iPhones like Samsung's Galaxy Note series have gained traction in the marketplace, there has been increasing speculation that Apple could go even bigger with a future iPhone model. The company increased the screen size of its flagship handset from 3.5 inches to 4 inches with the launch of the iPhone 5 last September.