Apple is to release its newest iPhone in September, with higher resolution and bigger screens, a report said yesterday, its latest salvo in the smartphone wars where it has lost global market share to rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co.
The new handset, expected to be called the iPhone 6, is to come in two versions with a 4.7 or 5.5 inch screen, both bigger than the current four-inch panel, the Nikkei Shimbun said, without citing sources.
US-based Apple is ordering its higher-resolution liquid crystal display screens from Japanese electronics giant Sharp Corp, Japan Display Inc and South Korea’s LG Display Co, it added.
Apple released the iPhone 5 in September 2012 and newer versions in the series last year.
A Japan-based spokesman for the California tech giant could not be immediately reached for comment on the Nikkei report, which was widely picked up by a string of technology news Web sites.
The Nikkei story comes after the Chinese-language Commercial Times said this month that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) had started producing chips for the next iPhone.
That news fed rumors that Apple is reducing its reliance for parts on Samsung, its main competitor in the mobile phone market and a bitter rival with which it is contesting several copyright battles.
Samsung last month unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone armed with a fingerprint scanner and a built-in heart rate sensor, as it tries to cement its leadership of the market.
However, the South Korean giant voiced annoyance after domestic telecom operators released its latest smartphone ahead of schedule in order to dodge sales restrictions imposed by regulators. It had planned a worldwide debut of the Galaxy S5 on April 11.
Samsung made about 30 percent of all smartphones sold globally last year, nearly twice the share of Apple.
A survey by International Data Corp (IDC) last month said Google’s Android system — used by Samsung, among others — extended its gains over Apple’s iPhone in the last quarter of last year, and Windows Phone grabbed the No. 3 market position.
However, other challengers are moving up the ranks, with HTC Corp (宏達電) having launched an update of its HTC One smartphone, while Sony has seen strong sales of its Xperia offering.