Apple May Release New 6.5-Inch iPhone This Year: Report

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Apple Inc is preparing to launch three new smartphones later this year, including the largest iPhone in history, a device that may have a larger screen than its archrival, Samsung’s flagship phone, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people familiar with the products.

The trio also includes an updated phone the same size as the current iPhone X and a less expensive model with some of the key features of X.

The new phones could revive the screen-size wars of years past at a time when smartphone makers are struggling to find new features to attract buyers in a saturated market. Worldwide sales of smartphones fell 0.1 percent last year, according to research firm IDC. Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd expanded shipments by only 1.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

The iPhone manufacturer is already conducting production tests with suppliers and is expected to announce the new phones this fall. However, the plans could still change, the report said.

Apple declined to comment. Its shares rose almost 2 percent to $ 178.95 in the midday trade. Earlier in the day, billionaire Warren Buffett talked about his company’s participation in the iPhone maker, which also helped drive the stock.

Bloomberg reported that the largest iPhone could have a 6.5-inch (16.5 cm) screen, larger than the 6.2-inch (15.75 cm) Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus announced Monday in Barcelona, ​​Spain, and larger than today’s Note 8 of Samsung 6.3 inch screen. Samsung traditionally announces new devices of the Note series in the fall, so it is possible that it can launch a larger screen at the same time that the new models of Apple come to market.

But Bob O’Donnell, head of Technalysis Research, said the trio of new iPhones reported was “a very logical extension of the product line” for Apple: “A bigger, a cheaper and an upgrade of the existing iPhone X” .

The Cupertino-based company earlier this month forecast disappointing revenues of $ 60 billion to $ 62 billion for its second fiscal quarter ending in March, with a series of press reports pointing to a lower demand for iPhone X after that unit sales did not meet expectations. Until christmas.

With global smartphone sales virtually unchanged, sellers are focusing on features designed to encourage consumers to abandon their old phones sooner than they would have previously.

“The whole nature of smart phone purchasing decisions has changed,” O’Donnell said. “It’s not about the newest and biggest model, it’s about when my phone is so old that I need to update it, and what’s available when I need a new one.”

Samsung on Sunday unveiled its flagship Galaxy S9 smartphone with emphasis on visual applications for social networks, enhanced cameras and a voice tool with artificial intelligence.

Bloomberg said the largest phone body will be about the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus, but that the screen will be about an inch larger than the 8 Plus’s, thanks to the edge-to-edge design. Apple also plans a gold-colored device to help boost sales in Asia, Bloomberg reported.

Apple is also preparing a regular-sized iPhone X update, Bloomberg said, adding that phones are expected to use next-generation A12 processors and will continue to include stainless steel rims and will be Apple’s high-end smartphone offerings.

What is not clear is whether Apple will also remove any current iPhone model from its alignment. The company has kept the older models, such as the iPhone SE, essentially an updated iPhone 5, on shelves at an unprecedented level, offering lower-priced deals for developing markets such as India.

Apple also embraced the used iPhone market as a way to expand its share of smartphone users. When customers sell their old iPhone for a new one, the old iPhone “ends up with another customer in another place that is perfectly fine with having a previously used iPhone,” CEO Tim Cook told investors in an early earnings call. this month.