Sharp and LG are preparing to make larger, high-resolution LCD panels for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 slated to debut in September, according to a new report from Japan. The Cupertino giant has two versions of the phone planned for launch, one of which reportedly boasts a 5.5-inch display.Rumors of Apple rolling out two versions of the iPhone 6 this year continue to make the rounds, with the latest such claim coming from Japan’s Nikkei, which reports that “Suppliers of LCD panels for Apple's new iPhone will ramp up production soon, in line with a timetable for a worldwide launch as early as September.”
Known to have accurately predicted the company’s moves in the past, the paper cites unnamed sources as saying that “The new phone, expected to be called the iPhone 6, will likely be offered in 4.7- and 5.5-inch versions, both of which are larger than the current generation's 4-inch screen.”
Components like fingerprint sensors and various chips that are to be used in the production of the iPhone 6 are already being manufactured, according to the report. As for the displays, mass production will begin in the April-June quarter, which theoretically means the panels could start showing up as early as next week.
“Mass production of liquid crystal display panels will start as early as the April-June quarter at Sharp's Kameyama factory, Japan Display's Mobara plant, and elsewhere, according to sources. LG Electronics will supply panels as well.”
The iPhone 6 is expected to have “significantly higher” resolution compared to the existing models, the sources noted.
According to some rumors, Apple could unveil the phone as early as summer at its Worldwide Developers Conference, but shipments are likely to begin at a later date. Still, most bets are on September for the reveal and the physical launch of the handset(s).
There are many contradicting reports on the web regarding the possibility to see Apple launching a 5.5-inch iPhone, essentially a phablet. Ever since Samsung started flooding the market with these big-screen devices, the Cupertino giant has been losing market share dramatically. Despite insisting that his company does not focus primarily on selling the most phones, there’s no doubt Tim Cook still looks at these numbers.
It’s also unclear if people actually want such a big iPhone. The 4.7-inch model is still the best bet, and there are also claims that a bigger iPhone would cost at least $100 / €75 more.