Rumors of larger iPhones have been swirling around for some time now, and the WSJ recently suggested that two would arrive some time this year. Now, a Reuters report suggests that those rumored larger screens may go into production as soon as May.
Reuters reports cite supply chain sources who claim that Apple is to put a 4.7-inch screen into production soon, and then a 5.5-inch display later. The report claims that Japan Display, Sharp Corp and LG Display will be responsible for making the screens. If they are being made, which is worthing pointing out is far from definite, they'd both be quite a lot larger than the current 4-inch iPhone 5S and 5C.
According to the report, both screen sizes are supposed to use the in-cell touch panel technology introduced in the iPhone 5—where the touch-sensitive element is built into the screen to make it thinner and lighter. But, while that's apparently proving straightforward for the 4.7-inch screen, it's tougher to get working in the larger display. As a result, Reuters claims that the 5.5-inch display will go into production "several months later, with the possibility of a shift to a film sensor instead of in-cell technology for that size."
Obviously, it's worth remembering that a significant grain of salt is required with all this news: Apple may, of course, be tinkering with bigger display but that doesn't guarantee that they're going to make it to market. That said, however, this news does align fairly nicely with the WSJ's report from earlier this year, which claimed Apple was planning to produce a 4.5-inch device and one that was bigger than 5-inches. Similarly, the Journal suggested that the smaller phone was "further along in development, and... currently being prepped for mass production." Neither of these reports square with Bloomberg's previous claims that the iPhone 6 would have a curved glass screen, though.
If, and it's a big if, these rumors of larger screens are the real deal, the move is likely a play for the Chinese market—where big screens are generally more popular, and Apple has a hankering to make it big. But regardless of how accurate all these rumors are, it does look increasingly likely that a larger iPhone is on the way. Let's wait and see. [Reuters]