Apple reportedly readying a 5-inch iPhone for a 2014 launch

This year, the display on the Apple iPhone could grow as much as an inch. 

Apple may be prepping a pair of larger-screen iPhones.

Apple is prepping a pair of large-screen iPhones, according to a new report out today. 

The first device, according to the Wall Street Journal, would have a display measuring 4.5-inches, while the second would get five full inches of digital real estate. That would be a significant step up from the 4-inch screen on the current iPhone 5S, which was itself a bump from the 3.5-inch screen that debuted on the original iPhone, way back in June of 2007. 

The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, of course, was famously opposed to expanding the size of the iPhone screen – he didn't believe people would want an oversized handset. But Jobs was wrong. In recent years, dozens of large-screen smart phones have flooded the market (to say nothing of the current "phablet" craze). Chief among is the iPhone's biggest competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S4, which has a 5-inch screen. 

The Galaxy S4 has sold very well. So in that sense, it's not a surprise that Apple would seek to increase the screen size on its flagship phone: It doesn't want to get boxed out of the market. 

"Both new [iPhone] models are expected to feature metal casings similar to what is used on the current iPhone 5S," the Journal reports, citing sources familiar with Apple's plans, "with Apple expected to scrap the plastic exterior used in the iPhone 5C... The smaller of the two models is further along in development, and is being prepared for mass production."

The plus-sized iPhones would reportedly hit shelves this year. 

But there is one bit of disappointing news. Remember those reports about the curved displays that got everyone all worked up? Alas, the Journal's sources say, it just isn't true: The display on the next iPhone will be as flat as the display on the current model. 

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