Big changes are coming to Apple’s iPhone line this year, says KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo.
In a note picked up at Apple Insider, Kuos predicts Apple releases two larger iPhones by the end of the year.
He’s calling for a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 in the third quarter, and then a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 in the fourth quarter.
Kuo isn’t the only person calling for two big iPhones. We’ve heard it from a variety of sources. The more we hear, the more we think it’s actually going to happen.
Apple knows that it needs to release a phone with a bigger screen. Last year, in an internal presentation, it said big screen phones are the best selling phones. Since Apple only had a 4-inch iPhone, it concluded, “Customers want what we don’t have.”
It’s only natural that Apple would release at least one bigger phone. We’re still sceptical Apple really releases the 5.5-inch phone, since it would be such a radical departure for Apple.
Kuo seems pretty confident Apple releases the 5.5-inch phone.
He says the 5.5-inch phone will have a higher resolution than the 4.7-inch phone. Apple Insider reports, “the top-of-the-line 5.5-inch model will sport a higher-resolution screen at 1,920-by-1,080 pixels, which translates to 401 pixels per inch. The 4.7-inch iteration will use an oddly-spec’d 1,334-by-750 pixel display to maintain scalability with existing apps. That screen is good for a pixel density of 326 ppi.”
Kuo also says Apple will make the bezel, or the thin edge of the phone, even thinner by 10-20% making the screen look like it extends to the edges. Additionally, the phone will get thinner overall. He expects it to be 6.5-7 millimeters thick. The current iPhone is 7.6 millimeters thick.
He also says that the power button will be moved to the side of the phone to make it easier for one-handed use. The power button on top of the phone would make it too hard to use.
He says Apple will include a near field communications chip (NFC), which we doubt happens. NFC lets devices talk to each other by tapping them against other NFC devices. It’s commonly used for mobile payments or sharing content between phones. But Apple has never had NFC.
One more detail: It’s getting an A8 chip, which is a bump from the previous generation’s processor.