With an iPhone 6 announcement speculated to come sometime in the first half of September and shipments rumored to begin later that month, leaks regarding phone parts are now commonplace. Even more, with the iPhone 6 launch so close, the leaks are more likely to be accurate. What can we glean from the latest leaks? If you had any doubts that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was readying an iPhone with a larger display, you might as well finally give in to the rumors: The iPhone 6 is coming, and it will almost certainly sport a larger display.
Apple is rumored to be launching a bifurcated lineup this year, with two models in different screen sizes -- both larger than the 4-inch display in Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c. A 4.7-inch model is expected to launch in the usual September timeframe, and uncertainty remains about whether the larger 5.5-inch version will launch the same month or later in the year. The iPhone 6 is also rumored to sport a faster and more efficient A8 processor, possess a sleeker form-factor, and possibly have a sapphire crystal display that is nearly indestructible in terms of everyday use.
The latest iPhone 6 part leaks
The most recent hardware leak is purportedly an internal part from the iPhone 6. Shared by Nowhereelse.fr, the photos appear to be the bare logic board used in the 4.7-inch version of the iPhone 6.
Comparing the the leaked logic board with the one used in the iPhone 5s, the longer, skinny piece on the board speculated to be used for the iPhone 6 (which would extend across the top of the device) offers more evidence that the iPhone 6 will have a larger form-factor.
Also, as MacRumors editor in chief Eric Slivka notes, the screw holes that line the top of the logic board align perfectly with the ones in leaks of the casing that has been rumored to be the rear shell of the iPhone 6.
Why Apple needs a larger iPhone
Apple is lagging behind when it comes to launching a larger smartphone, given how many other manufacturers have already introduced them to the market. But in the meantime, competitors have done Apple a favor by proving the market is hot. The late entry to the market, therefore, offers Apple shareholders an excellent risk-reward profile for the company's venture into larger screens. Even more, there is likely to be pent-up demand among consumers as they wait for the company to catch up with competitors in screen size.
Apple has internally acknowledged that it needs a smartphone with a larger display since as early as April 2013. Internal Apple slides, possibly shown in a high-level marketing meeting, pointed to an important problem: "Consumers want what we don't have."
There's no shortage of bullish sentiment for Apple's iPhone 6. In a Fortune piece by Philip Elmer-DeWitt highlighting 11 analysts who had shared their latest thoughts on Apple stock after Apple's Q3 earnings report, the majority of them were singing the praises of the iPhone 6. All but one of the 11 analysts had a "buy," "outperform," or "overweight" rating on the stock.
The iPhone 6 will almost undoubtedly serve as a meaningful lever for Apple's business, and the move to larger smartphone displays in this year's lineup and future models may be a big enough driver for earnings to also turn into a catalyst for the stock in the coming years.