Larger-screen iPhone on the way to rival Samsung
Apple is to begin production of a larger iPhone in the coming weeks, with a view to launching an iPhone 6 in the Autumn. Two models are to be produced, with a 4.7-inch iPhone to become Apple's standard smartphone size, replacing the current four-inch iPhone 5S. A larger 5.5-inch model could be delayed, according to supply chain sources.
Japan Display, Sharp and South Korea's LG have all been approached to make the screens, according to sources quoted by Reuters.
Representatives for the three suppliers and for Apple declined to comment.
Larger iPhones, the subject of months of speculation, would mark yet another incremental tweak to the popular smartphone line and an attempt to catch up to rivals like Samsung.
Apple's shares have languished below $600 (€430) since November 2012, in part because of worries about smartphone market saturation and its ability to stay at the forefront of tech innovation.
Both iPhone 6 screens are expected to use in-cell touch panel technology, built into the screen and allowing for thinner construction than with standard touch panel films. But due to difficulties with in-cell production technology for the larger 5.5-inch size, a decision was made to begin mass production with the 4.7-inch version alone, according to supply chain sources.
Production of 5.5-inch screens is expected to start several months later, with the possibility of a shift to a film sensor instead of in-cell technology for that size.