At a time when Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) next-generation iPhone, dubbed the “iPhone 6,” is rumored to come in two screen sizes, the timely development of a 5.5-inch display panel by one of the company’s longtime component suppliers has provided yet another boost to consumer hopes that a larger iPhone is indeed on its way.
On Thursday, Japan Display Inc. (TYO:6740), a major supplier of iPhone displays, announced that it had developed a new 5.5-inch-wide Quad HD, or WQHD, display with a resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 pixels (538 ppi) for “leading-edge smartphones.” And, according to a report from CNET, there is a chance that the new display could make its way to the upcoming iPhone 6.
Tokyo-based business publication Nikkei reported on Friday that Apple’s next iPhone iteration would be released in two variants with different screen sizes, including 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays. The report also stated that Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753), Japan Display, and LG Display Co Ltd. (NYSE:LPL) will produce the iPhone 6's Retina display.
CNET said that the timing of Japan Display’s announcement of the development of the 5.5-inch WQHD display and the news from Nikkei about a bigger iPhone 6 may not be a coincidence.
According to CNET, the Nikkei report included two other data points that could coincide with Japan Display's announcement -- first, mass production of the display panels would begin in the April-June quarter; and second, the iPhone 6’s display resolution could be “significantly higher than that of current models.”
The CNET report also cited Paul Semenza, a senior vice president at NPD DisplaySearch, who said that the newly developed Japan Display screen could be used in the iPhone 6.
However, Semenza also said that a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 1600x900 pixels also seems to be another possible spec.
“As always, Apple runs parallel development programs to test out which is the best approach or just to try to confuse the rest of the world,” Semenza said.
While leaked details about the iPhone 6 and its features are fairly scarce and inconsistent, many reports have suggested that Apple could release the next iPhone sometime in September. The Nikkei report in question also stated that suppliers of LCD panels for the iPhone 6 are expected to ramp up production soon, “in line with a timetable for a worldwide launch as early as September.”
Schematic-Like Drawing Of iPhone 6 Surfaces
Meanwhile, an alleged schematic-like drawing of what is said to be the next-gen iPhones surfaced Friday on a popular Japanese magazine called MacFan. The drawing showed two different handsets, one with a 4.7-inch display and the other one with 5.7-inch display.
According to MacRumors, the two devices in the image were referred to as “iPhone 6c” models. Although it may sound odd for many that Apple could offer two iPhones with multiple screen sizes, the rumor did correspond to previous tidbits about the device.
In addition to a larger, higher-resolution display, the iPhone 6 is likely to sport a thinner design, three new sensors, an improved 8-megapixel camera, sapphire cover glass and iOS 8 among many other new features and upgrades.