Apple is preparing to ramp up production of displays bound for next-generation iPhones which, according to Reuters, will launch this fall in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch varieties.
Citing supply chain sources, Reuters on Tuesday reported that Apple partner display manufacturer Japan Display will be first to start mass production of 4.7-inch panels bound for the so-called "iPhone 6" as early as May, with Sharp and LG Display to follow in June. Current iPhone 5s and 5c models sport a 4-inch display.
A second, larger 5.5-inch version is also on the way, but difficulties with in-cell manufacturing methods have delayed a ramp to mass production. An initial kick-off date is unknown, but suppliers are expected to begin manufacturing the large phablet-size screen "several months" after the 4.7-inch version. To push production forward, Apple could initially fall back on older thin film technology for the 5.5-inch display, then switch to in-cell at a later date, sources said.
According to the publication both new iPhone models were slated to use in-cell touchscreens, a technology that slims down the overall thickness of a device's touch panel by incorporating capacitive touch sensors into the LCD array. Apple first employed the tech in 2012 with the iPhone 5.
The latest rumors run counter to a report from Japanese financial publication Nikkei, which last week said Apple was already producing 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays to be used in the next iPhone. While the publications disagree on a manufacturing start date, they agree on screen sizes and suppliers.