Sketchy but plausible supply-chain report repeats rumors of larger 6.5-inch iPhone for next year

A supply-chain source is echoing an earlier rumor that Apple is planning on an even larger OLED iPhone next year.

Hinting at a source within Samsung Display, the report suggests that next year’s iPhone will be offered in two sizes: a 5.85-inch one with the same screen size as the iPhone 8, and a larger 6.46-inch ‘Plus’ model …

The Korea Herald source appears to be the same as for the earlier report, which suggested then that Apple was working on a slightly smaller 5.28-inch model alongside the 6.46-inch one. This latest report says that the claimed decision to stick to larger screens was driven both by consumer demand and technological developments.

Sources said Apple until recently considered launching 5.28-inch and 6.46-inch OLED iPhones next year but the plan for the 5.28-inch model was ditched due to the growing consumer demand for bigger-screen phones and related technical progress such as full-screen display.

The Herald says that development work on next year’s phones have been advanced for a number of reasons, including ‘facility investment and production plans.’

It was reported in June that Samsung was building the world’s largest OLED production plant as it sought to meet future demand for displays for the iPhone 8 and beyond. As the sole supplied of OLED screens for the iPhone 8, Samsung is believed to have seven separate production lines dedicated to the upcoming phone.

While the report appears to rely on a single source, the idea is at least plausible, suggesting a return to the company’s recent tactic of offering a standard and Plus model each year. While a 6.5-inch display would previously have resulted in a tablet-sized device, the near-bezel-free design of the iPhone 8 would produce something not too dissimilar in dimensions to the existing iPhone 7 Plus.

There’s also the fact that Apple appears to be in no hurry to produce a new iPad mini. The last update to the iPad mini 4 was two years ago (with a price-cut since), and even then the official $399 entry price (though cheaper elsewhere) compares poorly to the $329 low-cost 9.7-inch model.

It seems possible, maybe even probable, that Apple plans to discontinue the iPad mini altogether. If so, offering a larger iPhone to those who like that kind of form factor would make sense.

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