According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple may have something new up their sleeve for this year's consumer mobile market and it may have to do with the growing phablet craze. If you aren't familiar with the term “phablet” then let me bring you up to speed. A phablet is generally described when dealing with a smartphone that packs a screen larger than 5.5″. You can think of it as an oversized smartphone or a smaller tablet with full 2-way calling capabilities.
Research shows that device manufacturers shipped over 20 million phablets to consumers around the globe last year so presumably you'd expect Apple wants to jump in and get their cut of the market. The two major players currently involved in the phablet game are Samsung and Windows Phone, companies that Apple would likely have no issue dominating as they do with their standard smartphone and tablet product lines.
According to the WSJ report, multiple sources who are “familiar with the situation” have leaked that the Cupertino-based company would release a new model with a 4.5″ display as well as a second model with a display larger than 5″. A detail that is even more exciting is that these new models could be released sometime within this calendar year.
The WSJ article went on to state that Apple plans to drop the plastic exterior from the current iPhone 5C instead opting for metal casings on future devices. The anonymous sources also hinted that the new larger iPhone models will not include curved displays which earlier rumors had depicted thus sticking with the traditional straight-edge design.