Apple is likely to launch two variations of its next-gen iPhone, but we might get only one of them this year. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 5.5-inch version of Apple’s purported iPhone 6 could be delayed until 2015 due to production difficulties related to the device’s phablet-like size.
Kuo, a reputable KGI Securities analyst with a history of predicting Apple’s future, notes that all of the challenges facing the 4.7-inch iPhone 6’s production are even more of a problem for its big brother. The phone’s previously rumored in-cell touch display technology is reportedly taking a toll on production, as are the uneven colors of the upcoming device’s new metal shell.
Another factor holding up the Apple phablet’s production is the ultra-durable sapphire crystal display that’s expected to adorn both versions of the handset. According to Kuo, drop testing for the 5.5-inch sapphire display is far from complete.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about delays facing the larger iPhone 6; previous reports have pointed out the high costs of crafting a larger display, as well as difficulties in producing an appropriately sized battery. It also doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the “leaked” iPhone 6 front panels that some outlets have gotten their hands on are of the 4.7-inch variety.
Despite a potential 2015 release date for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 (or iPhone Air, as some sources are suggesting), most rumors are consistently pointing to a September 2014 release window for the 4.7-inch version of the highly anticipated handset.
This might give shoppers fewer options at launch, but a staggered release could better highlight the advantages of each version of the device, which is expected to pack a fast A8 processor, improved camera functions and NFC technology when it hits shelves.