Apple reportedly prepping 4.7″, 5.5″ iPhones with curved screens

Apple plans to release iPhones featuring 4.7″ and 5.5″ displays, according to Bloomberg, as well as “glass that curves downward at the edges,” in 2H14. Apple is also reportedly thinking of integrating “sensors that can distinguish heavy or light touches on the screen” in subsequent models; this suggests the inclusion of advanced haptic feedback tech.

There have been plenty of reports indicating Apple is looking to offer one or more iPhones with a larger display next year, as it tries to address soaring demand for phones with larger displays. Demand for such phones, along with a mix shift towards cheaper smartphones, has been pressuring Apple’s European and Asian smartphone shares.

Samsung and LG both recently unveiled phones with curved (OLED) screens, but initial volumes have been limited. Proponents of the idea have argued a curved large-screen phone is easier to grip, and offers a greater field of view. Samsung (SSNLF, SSNGY) says it plans to offer phones with foldable displays in about two years.

The inclusion of haptic feedback tech within future iPhone would be a positive for haptic IP developer Immersion (IMMR). Immersion’s shares once took off on a rumor (proven unfounded) the 3rd-gen iPad would feature haptic tech developed by Finland’s Senseg.

Bloomberg’s report comes as Apple gets set to buy huge volumes of sapphire from GT Advanced. While debate continues on whether enough of the exceptionally strong/scratch-resistant material will be produced in the near-term to replace traditional iPhone/iPad display cover glasses (such as Gorilla Glass), it’s widely expected to do so over the long haul.

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