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Despite rumors to the contrary, we didn’t see a larger iPhone from Apple this fall when the company released the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

That will change in 2014, according to one analyst.

“iPhone 6 [will] launch with its 4.8″ screen,” Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek said today in a research note. “We estimate about 50 percent of smartphone shipments have larger than 4″ screens and that iPhone 6 will catalyze a large upgrade cycle.”

iPhone 6 concept

Above: iPhone 6 concept

Image Credit: Nikola Cirkovic

It’s not the first time we’ve seen rumors of larger iPhones, but it is a particularly credible source. According to relatively recent reports, Apple has been working on phones as large as 5.7″ — firmly in phablet territory — and other options such as 4.7″ and 4.8″. While 5.7″ is likely just a proof-of-concept and test platform, if it exists at all, the 4.7″ or 4.8″ range is pretty much right in the sweet spot of standard-sized Android phones today.

And given that it’s a popular size for Android smartphone users, there’s no reason to believe it wouldn’t be a popular size for iPhone owners as well.

The only problem for Apple, of course, is that those who want the larger screen — and have seen reports that suggest the new iPhone 5S is not really that much faster than the iPhone 5 in real-world use — might wait until 2014 to upgrade.

Misek, however, is bullish on Apple for a change and suggests a price target for the $491 stock of $600.

A bigger screen would be the biggest change in the iPhone lineup since the iPhone 5, which moved up to a 4″ size from the iPhone 3GS and 4’s 3.5″ screen. And it would, in Misek’s words, catalyze a big upgrade rush. It would also give Apple the opportunity to get creative with the iPhone hardware platform and answer some critics who have complained both about the lack of larger screens and about the perceived “lack of innovation” in iPhone hardware lately.

But it may not fit in your pocket quite as smoothly.

Hat tip: BGR

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