iPhone 5 growing up, but not out, this fall

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I don't often cover Apple rumors these days; there are just so many of them, most of which turn out to be completely wrong. But this week we seem to be seeing some kind of consensus on at least one aspect of the next iPhone: a bigger screen.

Sources? All over the place. Last week, The Wall Street Journal suggested a screen size of at least 4" diagonally. (The current iPhone has a 3.5" screen.) Reuters said 4" on the same day. 9to5Mac jumped in to offer more detail, saying that the width of the screen wouldn't change but it's length would, resulting in a 3.999" diagonal screen with a resolution bump to 640 x 1136, giving the screena 16:9 aspect ratio; nice for playing widescreen content. (The iPhone 4s has a 640x960 screen.) Finally, MacRumors is claiming to have images of an new taller iPod Touch faceplate, the assumption being that a bigger iPhone would be coupled with a bigger iPod Touch so that both devices had the same screen. However MacRumors is saying the screen will be 4.1" diagonally.

Now granted, having many sources doesn't mean the rumors are true, but for my iPhone-using friends out there, I hope they are. After carrying my Galaxy Nexus (with its 4.65" screen) around for a while, iPhone screens start to look really puny and it's hard to imagine Apple wouldn't bump up the screen size at least a bit. I do like the idea of making the screen longer but not wider, though. It can take a certain amount of thumb stretching to use the Nexus one handed due to the width of the screen. A taller, narrower form factor would probably slip more easily into pockets, too.

So when will we know for sure? Only Apple knows, but since most of the rumors seem to be coming from parts suppliers who've yet to ramp up production, most experts seem to be assuming we're looking at September or October for the iPhone 5 launch.

Needless to say, these won't be the last iPhone 5 rumors we hear between now and then.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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