Apple documents in Samsung patent trial reveal the need for a bigger iPhone

Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest patent-infringement trial against Samsung Electronics is underway in California and slides that were revealed during the trial indicate that Apple is indeed thinking about a larger-sized iPhone to capture a piece of a growing market.

According to Re/code, which uncovered the slides, one presentation notes that Apple's year-over-year iPhone unit growth has slowed substantially. The presentation, dated April 2013, discusses Apple's plans for its fiscal 2014 year.

In the presentation, Apple notes that a confluence of factors is slowing down iPhone growth. Consumers are demanding less expensive and lager-screened phones (Apple has historically sought to keep margins high at the expense of market share and its largest smartphones have 4-inch screens). Interestingly, Apple also said that wireless carriers have a "strong interest in capping" iPhone sales due to a number of factors, including subsidy premiums they pay, "unfriendly" policies and "a lack of alignment."

Additionally, Apple said that competitors--most likely Android smartphone vendors and Samsung chief among them--have "drastically improved their hardware and in some cases their ecosystems," and that they are spending "obscene" amounts of money on marketing or with carriers to gain traction.

Ultimately, the presentation concludes that "customers want what we don't have," and that growth in the smartphone market is primarily coming from phones that cost less than $300 on an unsubsidized basis or phones that have screens larger than four inches.

Rumors that Apple will be producing larger-screened iPhones have been popping up for nearly a year. Recently, unnamed sources at Apple suppliers told Reuters they will begin mass producing displays as early as May for the next iPhone, expected to be launched this fall and called the iPhone 6. According to the report, one model will have a 4.7-inch screen likely to be produced first, while a 5.5-inch model could be delayed.

The report said Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display have been chosen as the suppliers for the screens. The iPhone 5s and 5c both have 4-inch screens.

For more:
- see this Re/code article
- see this 9to5Mac article
- see this Business Insider article

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