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Apple mulling larger iPhone screen sizes in bid to rival Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3

Apple is considering making new iPhone devices with significantly larger screen sizes, according to sources cited by Reuters, which would put it in stronger competition with Samsung's growing “phablet” range.

The sources, which include Asian suppliers, suggested Apple wants to launch two larger form factor iPhones in 2014, a 4.7in model and a 5.7in model, effectively mirroring the sizes of Samsung's Galaxy S and Note smartphones.

Apple has approached suppliers with plans for the larger devices, suggesting this is more than just an idea, but there is no confirmation yet that the new iPhones will become a reality.

One source commented that Apple constantly changes the specifications of its devices “almost to the final moment,” making it difficult to tell what will be in the final prototype.

Apple has already adjusted the size of its smartphone screen in the iPhone 5 released last year, which touts a 4in display, compared to the traditional 3.5in display that has been employed in all previous iPhone models. This suggests a shift away from Steve Jobs' design principles.

The Cupertino, California-based firm has tough competition on its hands, however, with Samsung largely dominating the industry. The Galaxy S4 boasts a 5in screen, while the Galaxy Note 3 is rumoured to have a 6in display, pushing things closer to the small tablet category.

Other rivals have followed suit, leaving the iPhone a noticeably smaller model in comparison.