iPhone phablet, But according to the Chinese news site Huanqiu, Apple is at work on its first-ever phablet – a handheld device that splits the difference between a small tablet and a large smart phone. Huanqiu (big hat tip to the team at BGR) alleges that the Apple phablets would debut in May, months before the launch of the next iPhone, and would feature an A8 processor and a 5-inch-plus display. (For comparison’s sake, the iPhone 5S has a 4-inch display, while the iPad Mini, the smallest Apple tablet, has a 7.9-inch display.)
The Huanqiu report isn’t exactly deeply-sourced, and unsurprisingly, Apple isn’t talking. In fact, there are only two reasons this particular piece of gossip has any traction. The first: Despite former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ publicly-stated belief that 3.5-inches was the perfect size for a smartphone display, Apple has shown a willingness to expand the footprint of its smart-phone screens – in part to keep up with rivals such as Samsung.
Second: Especially in Asia, where the phablet market is up 600 percent from the same time last year, plus-sized smart phones are incredibly popular. A range of companies, from Asus to Nokia, offer phablets. Bob O’Donnell, the founder of Technalysis Research, recently estimated, in an interview with Forbes, that 175 million phablets will be sold worldwide in 2014.
That’s the kind of demand, presumably, that Apple would like to exploit.
In related news, the gossip mill is already churning out predictions on the next iPhone, which will presumably be released sometime this fall. According to one report, the device will be dubbed the iPhone Air, and will be even thinner than the current iPhone 5S.
Cupertino-based technology giant Apple is reportedly planning to launch a new iPhone phablet range, in just a few months time.
Chinese daily Huanqiu, citing supply chain sources, has revealed that Apple intends to release a new iPhone phablet series with 5.0-inch plus display as early as May, and the next iteration of the iPhone – iPhone 6 – in September.
The new report is in line with the rumours swirling on the internet for past few months, which said Apple was working on two phones – one with 4.7-inch and the other with 5.7-inch display. Like in 2013 (iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C), this year also we might witness two new iPhones – a premium phablet and a regular upgraded iPhone model.
The website claims the devices may come with either the new generation 20 nm A8 chipset from TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) or with a new 20 nm A7 processor, depending on the availability. [Apple's 2013 devices - iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display featured 28 nm 64-bit architecture A7 silicon chip manufactured by Samsung]
Just a few days ago, South Korean media house ET News claimed the iPhone 6 will measure just 6 mm thick (for comparison sake, iPhone 5S is 7.6 mm thick) and hence will debut with an appendage ‘Air’ instead of the numerical ‘6’. Apple used this same tentative ‘Air’ moniker for Apple’s fifth generation iPad for its slim and light body features.
If we go by Apple’s product launch history, we might also see the new iPhone packing an improved Touch ID finger-print based biometric technology, tough display (based on Sapphire crystal) and enhanced iSight camera. (Apple recently acquired Australian-based camera technology startup company Snappy Labs) with improved ‘Burst mode’ feature, capable of taking high resolution photos at 20-30 frames per second.
Apple’s bigger iPhone model(s) that keep popping up in rumors may be unveiled sooner than expected, a report from Chinese publication Huanqiu (via Yahoo Japan) indicates, as the company is said to be planning to debut the iPhone phablets as a separate product line in May, according to Yahoo News.
However, these devices will not be part of the iPhone 6 family of smartphones, which will launch later this year as expected, most likely in September.
The iPhone phablets will reportedly pack a display that’s bigger than 5 inches and a 20 nanometer processor made by TSMC that’s either going to be a new A8 processor or a revamped A7 CPU. Samsung manufactures the current 64-bit A7 processor used by the iPhone 5s and 2013 iPad models, on a HKMG 28 nanometer process, Yahoo News reports, iPhone phablet.