To be clear, though, the WSJs' sources said that devices in the range of sizes being tested, which vary from 4.8-inches to six inches, are not expected to be introduced in Apple's latest set of devices which the company is expected to introduce on Tuesday, Sept. 10 in a 10 a.m. PDT press event at its corporate headquarters.
Surveys, including one at CNET, say that many consumers want screens larger than that on the iPhone 5, four inches. Many, if not most, current Android devices ship with screens that range from 4.3-inches to 5-inches and beyond.
The Galaxy Note 3, introduced this week at IFA, defined the phablet market of large-screened smartphones with its original incarnation. The new version has increased its screen size from last year's 5.5-inches to 5.7-inches. Samsung also sells a phablet called the Galaxy Mega that has a variant with a 6.3-inch screen.
In the CNET survey, almost 80 percent of respondents to a survey given in August said they wanted a larger screen than the four-inches of the iPhone 5. In addition, a report from IDC earlier this month noted that models ranging in size between 5 inches and 7 inches overtook shipments of portable PCs and tablets in the Asia-Pacific region during Q2 of 2013.
Apple is expected to introduce two new phones on Sept. 10. One will be the typical 2013 flagship, the iPhone 5S. One, however, will be a lower-cost and colorful plastic-shelled device, the iPhone 5C. It is expected ther 5C will have iPhone 5 internals.