Following the leak of photos of the alleged manufacturing mold of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 on Monday, a photo of what is believed to be the front panel of the bigger next-generation iPhone appeared online on Tuesday, lending more credibility to rumors that the upcoming iPhone could be larger than the current offerings.
The photo of the front panel, which surfaced on Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging site, showed a person in a factory-type setting holding a black iPhone 5s next to a large front panel supposedly belonging to the iPhone 6. The panel included cutouts for a front-facing camera, ambient light sensor, ear speaker and home button, while also featuring a notably thinner bezel, MacRumors reported.
According to a report from AppleInsider, a closer look at the alleged iPhone 6 front panel will help identify “an immediately noticeable difference” between the two front panels in the photo. The report also said that the iPhone 5s seems to fit into the purported iPhone 6 screen's cutout without much trouble.
However, it is still unclear whether the larger iPhone 6 panel shows a screen with the correct 16:9 aspect ratio, which has been used in all iPhone models since the iPhone 5. Although the validity of the image is not yet confirmed, it is the most recent leak among many others that have hit the iPhone 6 rumor mill recently.
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On Sunday, several photos showed details on manufacturing molds said to be of the iPhone 6, followed by a leaked photo Monday, which hinted at a 4.7-inch display for the iPhone 6. In March, MacFan, a Japanese magazine, published alleged design drawings of what were claimed to be 4.7-inch and 5.6-inch iPhone 6 models.
Apple is likely to release the iPhone 6 in the third quarter of 2014, with rumors suggesting the company could ship the new flagship smartphone in two different screen sizes -- 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. Some reports have also indicated that the smaller 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6 is expected to ship by the end of this year, while the shipment of the larger version could be delayed until early 2015 due to manufacturing issues.
In addition, a report cited Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies, as stating that Apple has been negotiating with wireless carriers to increase the price of the iPhone 6 by $100.
“The possibility may at first seem far-fetched in light of investor concerns regarding possible carrier subsidy and handset price cuts due to smartphone saturation and lack of differentiation,” StreetInsider quoted Misek as saying. “But we think this general lack of differentiation could be the reason why Apple may be able to get a price increase. Carriers realize that the iPhone 6 will likely be the only headline-worthy high-end phone launched this year and that they will lose subs if they do not offer it.”