The next-generation iPhone, unofficially dubbed the iPhone 6, may still be months away, but that hasn’t stopped rumors and speculations surrounding the highly anticipated smartphone from the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant this year.
On the heels of a Monday report from China saying that Apple could launch as many as three iPhone models in 2013, another report surfaced online Tuesday contradicting the earlier one.
DigiTimes reported -- citing industry sources -- that Apple was planning two iPhone models for this year, both of them featuring a 4-inch screen and in-cell touch technology. The report also said that one of the iPhone models would be a cheaper version of the other, targeting the mid-range market, while the more expensive one could be the flagship version -- the so called iPhone 6.
As iDownloadBlog reported, the rumors about the next-generation iPhone having in-cell touch technology didn’t fall in line with a recent report “suggesting [that] Apple asked Sharp to cut orders of iPhone 5 in-cell panels in half for the next quarter.”
In addition, yet another report earlier this month claimed that Apple was planning to ditch in-cell technology and evaluate a new display technology for 2013 iOS devices called Touch-On-Display.
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The DigiTimes report, however, did mention that it was yet to be determined if Apple would have sufficient supply of in-cell touch panels in 2013 for a cheaper version of the iPhone since there were mass production issues pertaining to technology in 2012.
“The iPhone 5 took a hit in sales during 2012 as a result of poor yields for in-cell technology, but the sources are now saying those yields are improving,” the report added.
When it comes to the elusive larger iPhone, according to a report titled “iPhone Math,” Apple indeed is developing such a device, but it will take another year to hit the market.
“Previously, it was said that Apple would release a low-cost version of its iPhone with a bigger screen in 2013,” the report said. “But the sources claimed that Apple is indeed developing an iPhone with a bigger screen but that it will not be among the models to be launched this year.”
In terms of iPhone shipments in 2013, the report expected them to reach about 37 million units in the first quarter of this year, of which the iPhone 5 would account for as many as 20 million units. However, toward the second quarter of 2013, iPhone 5 shipments could experience a drop to approximately 18 million units.