Is this an iPhone 6 display?

A major Japan-based display supplier to Apple just announced a 5.5-inch display. Will it make its way to a future Apple phone?

jdi-1440-2560-5-5-display-3.jpg
Japan Display's 1,440x2,560-pixel, 5.5-inch display. It boasts 538 pixels per inch. Japan Display

Japan Display could be providing a hint of iPhone attractions to come.

The company announced on Thursday that it has developed a 5.5-inch-wide Quad HD, aka, WQHD, display with a resolution of 1,440x 2,560 pixels as a display format for "leading-edge smartphones."

JDI (Japan Display, Inc.) -- a major supplier of iPhone displays -- said it will begin shipping the 5.5-inch LCD in April.

Maybe not coincidentally, Tokyo-based business publication Nikkei reported on Friday that Japan Display will be one of the suppliers for Apple's next-gen iPhone. The report cited both 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays (though it didn't specify which supplier was making which display).

And the Nikkei report cited two other data points that could coincide with Japan Display's announcement. One: mass production of displays could begin in the April quarter. And, two: the display resolution will be "significantly" higher than that of the iPhone 5S' 1,136x640-pixel resolution.

Paul Semenza, a senior vice president at NPD DisplaySearch, said there's a chance that the Japan Display screen described above could be used in the iPhone 6.

But he offered a few caveats.

"Typically, Apple wants 'first dibs' on the new part, so it's a little surprising that JDI is announcing this now...We don't expect to see the iPhone 6 until 2H 14," he said in response to an email query.

He continued. "There is also a possibility of another spec -- a 4.7" 1,600x900 [display]. As always, Apple runs parallel development programs, to test out which is the best approach or just to try to confuse the rest of the world," he said.

Semenza is referring to the smaller of two rumored iPhone 6 versions.

Last year, DisplaySearch suggested some other resolutions for 4.7- and 5.5-inch-class (the latter it listed as 5.7-inch at the time) displays. Both had lower resolutions than the JDI display cited above.

And it's also not clear if the specifications for the specific display that JDI announced would match up with Apple's display-resolution scheme.

Separately, Digitimes reported Friday that the 5.5-inch JDI display could be going to "China-based handset vendors."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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