There’s been plenty of conjecture and speculation surrounding Apple’s next-generation iPhone over the last few months. We’re fast approaching this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, a date which inevitably brings with it intensified scrutiny of the company’s future product roadmap as well as a renewed sense of hope that the company will fall back to its traditional June iPhone announcement dates. It looks highly unlikely that we will get an official introduction to the iPhone 6 during WWDC, but if the latest reports are to be believed then we could be set to welcome in a new device with a 4.7-inch screen.
International news agency Reuters is citing a number of sources from within Apple’s supply chain, claiming that the order has been given to begin the manufacturing process on the 4.7-inch displays. Analysts and researchers who make their living from predicting Apple’s next move have largely agreed over the last few months that Tim Cook’s company would make the jump from the current 4-inch form factor to a 5.5-inch offering. The report argues that this larger device is still firmly in Apple’s plans, but has suffered from delays due to difficulties with in-cell production technology.
Mass production of the 4.7-inch displays could be set to start at partner companies as early as next month. This would allow sufficient time for adequate stock levels to be ready for a public launch of the hardware this fall. In order to ensure that the initial process goes smoothly Apple has drafted in the support of a number of display professionals to build the screens. Japan Display Inc., Sharp Corporation and LG Display will all be involved in the process and will also reportedly work on the 5.5-inch variant when the production issues have been resolved.
Earlier reports coming out of Asia last week had suggested that the Apple product roadmap involved launching the 4.7 and 5.5-inch variations side-by-side. The legitimacy of that that claim was immediately questioned by a number of experts at the time, with today’s unearthing seeming to all but confirm that a multiple device launch simply won’t happen.
As time progresses it’ll be extremely interesting to see Apple’s implementation of the 4.7-inch form factor and how they plan to overcome certain usability issues that certain users have with larger devices.
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