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Apple’s phablet could face delays: report

Next-gen iPhone screens could enter production in May, but 5.5-inch model may have to wait

Apple’s phablet could face delays: report
The rumoured 5.5-inch model could be delayed because of problems with in-cell production technology for larger displays.

Apple Inc’s manufacturing partners are expected to begin mass production of displays for the next-generation iPhone as early as May, Reuters reported.

Production lines will start work on a 4.7-inch screen first, while the rumoured 5.5-inch model could be delayed because of problems with in-cell production technology for larger displays, supply-chain insiders said. The sources also claimed Japan Display Inc, Sharp Corp and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd have all been approached to produce the screens.

As premium smartphone markets dry up Apple has been under pressure to produce a low-end model that could soak up revenue in emerging markets, but investors and analysts saw the iPhone 5C as too overpriced to have any appeal to low-income consumers.

With the next iPhones, due for release in the autumn, Apple has moved into another growth area. Demand is growing for larger-screen handsets and the Cupertino-based firm has departed for the first time from its 4-inch screen design.

But larger screens will likely not constitute a standout feature in a market filled with vendors that appear unable to innovate. Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously hinted at "new product categories" for 2014, but he may be referring to wearable computing devices that Apple has yet to confirm it is working on.

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