Rumor Mill: Apple to start production of 4.7-inch iPhone screen in May

Rumors that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be producing larger-screened iPhones keep cropping up, with unnamed sources at Apple suppliers telling Reuters they will begin mass producing displays as early as May for the next iPhone, expected to be launched this fall and called the iPhone 6. According to the report, one model will have a 4.7-inch screen likely to be produced first, while a 5.5-inch model could be delayed.

The report said Japan Display, Sharp and LG Display have been chosen as the suppliers for the screens. Representatives for the three suppliers and for Apple declined to comment, according to Reuters. The iPhone 5s and 5c both have 4-inch screens.

The report said the new screens are expected to use in-cell touch panel technology, which allows for thinner designs and is a technology Apple introduced with the iPhone 5. However, because of  difficulties with in-cell production for the larger 5.5-inch model, a decision was made to begin mass production with the 4.7-inch version, the report noted. The production of 5.5-inch screens is expected to start several months later, but Apple may use film sensor technology for those panels.

Rumors of larger-screen iPhones have been swirling since June 2013. Larger screen sizes have long been popular both in smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android as well as recent phones from Nokia using Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone software.

A new report from research firm Strategy Analytics reconfirmed earlier studies that showed a correlation between larger screen sizes for phones and more video consumption. The firm found that 42 percent of mobile phone owners said larger screens would make them watch more video. The report was based on polling more than 3,000 mobile users in the U.S., China, the U.K., France, Germany and Spain.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Business Insider article
- see this TechCrunch article

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