Apple’s iPhone 6 May Begin Production Soon

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A news report out of China’s Commercial Times has claimed that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is close to beginning the production of its next series of phones, the iPhone 6, reports Reuters. The details are few an far between, but Pegatron Corp is said to be dedicating some manpower to the project and even expanding for the task, while Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, better known as Foxconn, is also expected to take on a share of the production.

According to the report, production of the iPhone 6 will begin in the second-quarter of this year, which means it’s coming right up. Pegatron’s shares rose as the word got out that it would be a primary assembler of the iPhone 6. As of this writing, Apple shares also have bounced up 0.4 percent.

There is plenty of apparent value in an iPhone 6 for Apple. Product refreshes of Apple’s devices tend to garner a large surge of business, and with the high margins on those devices, the iPhone maker wins big. Typically, when a new iPhone comes out, over 10 percent of iPhone users upgrade, according to data from ISI Group reported by Forbes.

Many are predicting that the iPhone 6 will offer users the choice of a larger screen that Apple has traditionally been willing to build. Analyst Brian Marshall suggested that a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen option would be available, according to Forbes. If that were the case, it could pull in a lot of customers who have been wanting something closer to the phablet domain. On top of that, it could steal a number of customers from the Android market, which has had plenty of larger form factor devices available.

Plenty of other rumors about the iPhone 6 are going around as well. Some think that all of the devices will feature sapphire-crystal glass displays, not just sapphire covers for the camera and fingerprint sensor. With Apple’s stake in an Arizona sapphire production plant and a patent for a sapphire laminate, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for this to be the case, and it could mean even more popular iPhones because of sapphire’s strength.

apple iphone curve patentOne rumor that may be more of a stretch — or curve — is that the next iPhone will feature a curved display that wraps around the sides of the device. The image on the left was included in a patent application discovered one year ago. If Apple did come out with a such a device, it would leap ahead of the competition in the curved display arena, as LG and Samsung both have curved-screen devices. However, the curve is only a minor feature and could even go unnoticed at first glance. Something like this could help Apple steal even more Android users and would likely garner an even higher jump in upgrades.

With a high upgrade rate, Apple’s earnings per share for the year could jump up by several dollars. According to Forbes, Marshall’s estimate of the iPhone 6 getting a 12-14 percent upgrade rate in the September and December quarters would give Apple a $3.18 boost to earnings per share. Keep an eye out for any more rumors that could give even more people a reason to switch or upgrade to an iPhone 6 when it comes out.

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