The highly-anticipated and yet-to-be-announced iPhone 5 may be a bit smaller than expected.

Apple's popular smartphone, which has remained relatively small throughout the years compared to competitor's devices, is rumored to be released this fall with a screen under 4 inches. While the current 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4 hasn't seemed to hinder sales, the company's top competitors using the Android OS have successfully produced and sold devices well over 4 inches.

Despite the small size, the screen is also rumored to cover the entire face of the phone – meaning a larger display size in a smaller package.

With its long history of closed systems and trend setting, Apple has been both bucking and setting trends since its inception. As Android-based smartphones continue to be offered in a variety of sizes, and open-system tablets range from borderline phone-sized devices to screens as large as a small laptop, Apple's signature sized iPhone remains a constant in the industry.

Larger smartphones and smaller tablets are getting closer in size, and due to the similarity between the technologies, may eventually blend into a single type of product with every size available from pocket-ready through laptop-sized display.