Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6, the presumed next-generation iteration of the company’s flagship smartphone, is mostly expected to come in two versions, with both models sporting screens larger than the current iPhone 5s and 5c, which sport 4-inch displays.
The company’s suppliers are set to begin mass production of the bigger displays beginning in May and the new handset could launch sometime in the autumn, according to a new report released Tuesday.
Although the company is expected to offer up two iPhone 6 models, the relatively smaller one -- with a 4.7-inch screen -- is likely to be produced first, while the larger phone -- with a 5.5-inch screen -- could be delayed, Reuters reported, citing sources in Apple’s supply chain, who also revealed that Japan Display Inc (TYO:6740), Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) and LG Display Co Ltd. (NYSE:LPL) would produce screens for the iPhone 6.
Japan Display would be the first supplier to begin production of the iPhone 6 screens at its plant at Mobara, east of Tokyo, in May, while the others are expected to begin output by June.
The sources also told Reuters that both screens, to be featured on the new iPhone 6 models, are expected to be developed using in-cell touch panel technology, which will be built into the displays while “allowing for thinner construction than with standard touch panel films.”
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However, according to the sources, Apple has faced some difficulties with in-cell production technology for the larger 5.5-inch screen size, due to which the company is rumored to have decided to launch its 4.7-inch screen phone first. The sources added that production of the 5.5-inch screens could be delayed for several months, and that there is a possibility that Apple could shift to a film sensor, rather than in-cell technology, for the larger phone.
iPhone 6 Release In Russia In September?
Meanwhile, Maxim Nogotkov, CEO and owner of Svyaznoy, a Russian retailer, claimed during an interview with the country’s DOZHD TV channel that “the iPhone 6 will arrive in Russia in September.”
Svyaznoy, which is said to have strong ties with Apple, has been the iPhone-maker’s retailer in Russia since late-2012. The company runs a chain of Apple-related retail outlets called “C-Store,” iDownloadBlog reported, adding that the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant depended on Svyaznoy to sell iPhones in Russia “almost exclusively” after the country’s wireless carriers refused to offer the iPhone following a dispute in 2012.
Rumors have it that the iPhone 6 would sport a considerably thinner form factor than the existing version of the device. The device is also likely to come with an improved 8-megapixel camera, sapphire cover glass, three new sensors and iOS 8.
The bigger iPhone 6 is also expected to drive significant upgrades among existing iPhone users, as well as convert a large number of Android users to iOS.