Apple Inc. Reportedly Making Bigger iPhone

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) is under intense pressure to demonstrate innovation didn't end when Steve Jobs died. For some, that means new product categories; for others, that may mean a bigger iPhone.

Citing four people with knowledge of the situation, Reuters reported the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant is looking at making a 4.7-inch version of the iPhone, a 5.7-inch version, as well as a $99 model of the iPhone in a variety of different colors. It's still unclear whether Apple will actually release the larger iPhone, as one of the sources noted the company constantly changes production plans.

It's expected that the next iPhone, the iPhone 5S, will incorporate fingerprint technology as part of Apple's AuthenTec acquisition from last year.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.

Hearing rumors about about a larger iPhone or a cheaper iPhone are nothing new, as Apple has lost market share to the team of Samsung and Google ( GOOG) in recent months.

CEO Tim Cook has added fuel to the fire by recently speculating whether Apple was at the point where it needed to expand its iPhone product in the future. "We haven't so far," Cook said, referring to an expanded iPhone product line. "That doesn't shut out the future. It takes a lot of really hard work to do a phone when you manage the hardware and software and services in it. We've put our focus on doing that right. We haven't been focused on working multiple lines."

There have been concerns Cook has brought up that a larger screen, which several analysts have called for in the past, has issues that customers aren't willing to accept. He noted issues with battery life, resolution and brightness.

Samsung, HTC and other device makers have demonstrated that there is a market for larger smartphones, especially in China. Apple's iPhone 5 is the smallest smartphone among the newest set, at 4-inches.

This comes as Apple accounted for the highest market share in the U.S. ,according to comScore, with 39.2% of the handset market.

Apple has clearly felt the pressure to show innovation to the marketplace and Wall Street, as its stock has come well off the highs. in Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address, Apple senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller showed off the new Mac Pro. "Can't innovate anymore, my ass," Schiller said, clearly referencing the innovation concerns.

Shares have fallen 18.8% year to date, and are down 34.58% since the introduction of the iPhone 5 in late September.

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Apple shares were lower in premarket trading, off 0.27% to $431.02.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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