Apple's parts suppliers are expected to begin mass producing displays for a larger iPhone as early as next month in preparation for a fall launch, reports Reuters. Multiple news outlets have previously reported that Apple is planning to launch two larger iPhones this year, one with around a 4.7-inch display and one with around a 5.5-inch display. Reuters reiterates that two iPhones are coming, though it notes that mass production on the larger of the two iPhone screens may be delayed over production issues.
Larger model reportedly held behind for several months
It's unclear if this means that Apple's reported 5.5-inch iPhone will not launch this year, or if Apple simply plans to prepare smaller quantities of it and is therefore able to start its production later. In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that the larger of the two upcoming iPhones was still in "preliminary development," while the other model was already preparing for mass production, so it's also possible that Apple does not intend to launch the new phones simultaneously — though no reports have suggested either way.
The trouble with the 5.5-inch display reportedly involves its in-cell touch technology, which allows it to be thinner than traditional panels. Reuters reports that these troubles will postpone the display's mass production for several months, with Apple potentially abandoning the in-cell technology when production starts. Japan Display will reportedly begin building the 4.7-inch panels as soon as May, with Sharp and LG Display beginning around the following month. This is around the time of year, if not slightly earlier, that Apple's suppliers have previously been reported to begin mass production of components for new phones.