The next-generation iPhone is going into production next month, with Apple instructing its Asian suppliers to ramp up their activity as competition from rivals is increasing. A larger, 5.5-inch model is being prepared alongside the all-but-confirmed 4.7-inch iPhone 6.
Bloomberg has learned from people familiar with the plans that “Apple Inc. suppliers in China will begin mass production of its largest iPhones ever next month,” noting that “One model will have a 4.7-inch display [...] that may be available to ship to retailers around September [while] a 5.5-inch version is also being prepared for manufacturing and may be available at the same time.”
Confirming pretty much every rumor about the technicalities surrounding the iPhone 6, the sources revealed that both versions of the phone will be “rounder and thinner” and that “Production of the 5.5-inch model is more complicated than the smaller version.” Yield rates for the larger version are expected to be lower.
Apple is said to be developing curved-glass designs for the iPhone, complete with “enhanced sensors that can detect different levels of pressure,” though it isn’t clear if such plans are meant for the upcoming iPhone 6 or another generation of iPhones.
The Cupertino tech titan is reportedly using 2.5-dimension glass, which “lets manufacturers taper the edges of the screen where the bezel meets the frame of a smartphone,” the report says. The iPhone 6 display has been rumored to have tapered edges, but there haven’t been any conclusive leaks to support this claim.
Compared to the current-generation iPhones, even the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be considerably bigger. This is one of the reasons Apple has relocated the Power button, which also works as the Sleep/Wake switch, to one of the phone’s sides, so that users can reach it easily with their thumbs.
According to various case mockups, the device will also have a camera model that sticks out of the chassis, a design compromise that allows Apple to further enhance the optics of the iSight while reducing the thickness of the handset.
A video showing a mockup of the 5.5-inch model surfaced on YouTube recently, giving us an idea of just how large this variant of the iPhone 6 will be. At least at first glance the phone appears to be ridiculously big, mainly because Apple seems reluctant to reduce the upper and lower screen bezels.
By contrast, manufacturers like Samsung and LG have continuously reduced the bezel around their respective screens to achieve handsets not much larger than the screen itself.