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Larger iPhones said to go into production next month

Echoing earlier reports, Bloomberg sources say the new models will sport screens measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively.

Apple getting ready to up its screen size? CNET

Apple plans to begin production in China next month of two new iPhones sporting larger screens, according to a Bloomberg report.

The models, expected to ship to retailers in September, will feature screens measuring 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively, and be rounder and thinner than its current models, sources told the news agency. The larger screens are expected to help Apple better compete with the likes of rivals Samsung and HTC, which offer displays that are as large as 5.7 inches.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Rumors of a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 have intensified in recent months. A widely cited report from Taiwan's United Daily News/Economic Daily last month indicated that out of the 80 million iPhone 6 units that the supply chain of component manufacturers expects Apple to sell this year, more than 90 percent of the shipments will be for the 4.7-inch model.

Other reports held that Japan-based machine tool manufacturers and component suppliers were gearing up in preparation for the next-generation iPhone. Domestic orders for industries connected to the next-gen iPhone are "booming," Nikkei said in the online Japanese-language version of the daily.

However, a persistent rumor holds that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 will be available only in limited quantities initially because of, in part, its use of a display cover made from sapphire, which is not available in large quantities yet.