Apple iPhones

Apple's 4-inch screen iPhone 5, left, and the 3.5-inch screen iPhone 4S. (Glenn Chapman / AFP/Getty Images / September 12, 2012)

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A 6-inch screen iPhone? It could happen.

Days ahead of the expected iPhone 5S announcement, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is testing iPhone designs with screens larger than any it has had before.

The report says Apple is testing screens as small as 4.8 inches and as large as 6 inches, which would be a huge leap in size for the iPhone.

The latest version of the device, the iPhone 5, features a 4-inch screen. That size is likely to remain on the iPhone 5S and 5C models that are expected to be announced Tuesday.

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The report says it's unclear if Apple will ultimately release these large-screen iPhones, but it wouldn't be surprising if the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant did.

Nearly every Apple rival sells phones with screen sizes much larger than the one found on the iPhone 5. In recent years, many top devices have come out with screens larger than 5 inches and, in some cases, 6 inches.

Apple may choose to sell the iPhone with a larger screen, or it could take an approach similar to that of Samsung and HTC by offering multiple versions of the iPhone with different screen sizes.

Either way, such moves would be counter to what late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said during his final years with the company.

Jobs was known for being adamantly against making an iPhone with a screen larger than 3.5 inches (the first five iPhones had that screen size) and a smaller-sized iPad. Since his death, Apple has released both, and it appears that it will continue to follow that strategy.

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