More rumors have emerged from Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) supply chain that suggest that the California-based company will be rolling out larger screen sizes for its upcoming iPhone models. The latest rumors come courtesy of the South China Morning Post. According to unnamed “industry insiders,” the so-called iPhone 6 will be available with a 4.7-inch screen and 5.5-inch screen.
“They have to tackle the phablet [devices that serve as both phone and tablet] market,” said one of the South China Morning Post’s sources. “People want bigger screens now.” Large-screen smartphones are especially popular in Asian markets, and many analysts have predicted that Apple will unveil a large-screen iPhone this year in order to boost market share in China, according to Bloomberg. The screen size rumor reported by the South China Morning Post also aligns with screen-size rumors reported by various other media outlets. The Wall Street Journal reported the same upcoming iPhone screen sizes last month.
As seen in the image above, well-connected Apple leaker Sonny Dickson also managed to obtain some images of what is supposedly the rear casing for the new large-screen iPhone. Although it is unknown if this image is authentic, it should be noted that Dickson was able to obtain casings for the iPhone 5S before its release last year.
The South China Morning Post also affirmed recent rumors that the iPhone 6 would use sapphire as the protective covering for the iPhone 6 display. Apple currently uses Corning’s (NYSE:GLW) Gorilla Glass for its mobile device screens. Although Gorilla Glass is relatively durable, sapphire is an even harder and more scratch-resistant material. Apple currently only uses sapphire to cover the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the lens for the iPhone’s camera.
Import/export documents recently uncovered by 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman and analyst Matt Margolis appear to provide strong evidence that the GT Advanced Technologies plant in Mesa, Arizona, will be producing sapphire displays for the next-generation iPhone. 9to5Mac reports that Apple recently ordered “inspection tool components” that are specifically designed to inspect “display-grade” sapphire.
Although the South China Morning Post’s sources affirmed the widely circulated screen size and sapphire display rumors, the sources also dismissed reports that the iPhone 6 will feature a curved display. “The screens will be flat,” said one source. “Apple doesn’t do anything until Samsung (SSNLF.PK) does it, and then they improve upon it.”
However, this doesn’t eliminate the possibility that Apple will use a curved display. The sources noted that Apple’s plans for the iPhone 6 will remain in flux until April, when the final design plans will be locked down.
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