WSJ: iWatch, iPhone 6 to link via NFC, watch coming in two sizes with curved OLED screens

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A new report from The Wall Street Journal today is corroborating many previous rumors about Apple’s upcoming wearable, including that the device will include some form of NFC technology and will be shipping in multiple sizes. Furthermore, the report notes that Apple will also be bringing NFC to its next iPhone as seen in previous leaks, making it easier for the two devices to pair and signifying that the watch will be more than just a fitness gadget:

The gadget’s use of near-field communication, or NFC, reflects Apple’s broader ambitions for the so-called iWatch beyond health and fitness tracking, the most commonly cited use. Apple also is expected to add the wireless technology to the next versions of its iPhone, people familiar with the device said, potentially simplifying the process of connecting, or pairing, the two devices.

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Apple Stores to finally begin iPhone 5s display replacements on August 4th

iPhone screen

Apple will finally begin offering iPhone 5s screen replacements in its official U.S. and Canada retail stores in the coming days, according to several sources. Apple Store Genius Bars are said to have begun taking delivery of large quantities of iPhone 5s screens for the repair program. The crucial service’s debut is currently scheduled for Monday, August 4th. This upcoming rollout will mark an official launch as a few stores in the U.S. have piloted iPhone 5s screen repairs over the past several months. Apple officially rolled out iPhone 5c screen repairs in January, and it began replacing other iPhone 5c and 5s parts late in 2013. The screen replacements will cost approximately $150 per repair, and this is more affordable than the $269 price of completely replacing a broken iPhone 5s.

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iPhone 6 with larger, sharper 1704 x 960 resolution screen in testing

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Apple is preparing to release a new iPhone with a larger screen later this year, and while multiple reports have indicated that the screen will be larger, the exact dimensions of the screen and its resolution have so far been guesswork.

Some industry watchers have speculated that Apple could stretch the iPhone software’s interface and retain the iPhone 5s’s screen resolution of 1136 x 640. This approach would allow all iOS software and App Store apps to function normally on the iPhone 6 without work from developers. The downside of this approach would be that the iPhone 6’s display would fall below Steve Jobs’ somewhat arbitrary 300 pixels per inch definition of ‘Retina’ for a phone.

Just like with the transition to the iPhone 4’s Retina display in 2010 and the transition to the iPhone 5’s taller screen in 2012, Apple is preparing major resolution changes for the iPhone 6 that will require software changes by both Apple and developers, according to people briefed on the specifications of the new device…

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GT Advanced provides update on Apple Arizona partnership in latest earnings results

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GT Advanced Technology has given an update on the status of its contract to supply Apple with sapphire displays for the upcoming iPhone 6 displays. According to the information provided with the company’s Q1 2014 financial report, Apple has already made three of four payments to GT Advanced for the sapphire, and GT notes that so far it is on track to meet demand.

Apple struck a deal with GTA last year to manufacture the sapphire displays that are expected to appear in the next-generation iPhone at a new plant in Mesa, Arizona. Earlier this year the plant was outfitted with enough sapphire crystal furnaces to create an estimated 100-200 million displays. At the end of April, Apple started sending its first shipments of sapphire to China, where the new iPhone models will be manufactured. These displays are expected to make their debut in the fall of this year along with two new iPhone models, each sporting a different size sapphire screen.

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Physical iPhone 6 mockups & upcoming accessories shown off at Hong Kong Electronics Fair

Following a number of leaks claiming to show prototypes, cases, and manufacturing tools for the next-generation iPhone, today yet another leak of a physical iPhone 6 mockup has popped up via Japanese blog Macotakara.jp. The site posted images from the Hong Kong Electronics Fair taking place from April 13-16 that apparently show mockups of the iPhone 6 used by case makers to create cases and accessories they plan to launch alongside the new iPhone.   Read more

iPhone 6 displays could go into mass production next month, 5.5-inch model reportedly delayed

iPhone 6 concept iCulture Martin Hajek

Reuters is reporting that the displays for the next-generation iPhone could go into mass production as soon as May, with Japan Display, LG, and Sharp all said to be working on them. Previous reports indicated that the iPhone 6 would be available in two different sizes: 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches. According to today’s new report, however, the larger model could see delays of several months due to manufacturing difficulties.

Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 6 later this year.

The updated smartphone will run a new version of the company’s iconic iOS software that—as reported by 9to5Mac—will feature a new focus on health and fitness; better iCloud tools for developers; Preview and TextEdit companion applications; changes to Messages and Game Center; and improvements to the Maps application, including public transit directions and better 3D support.

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Next iPhone reportedly sports a larger screen and sapphire crystal display

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Apple is preparing to release not one, but two new versions of the iPhone in September, according to the South China Morning Post. Each version will ship with a larger display than the iPhone 5s, coming in at a whopping 4.7″ and 5.5″, respectively. The displays are said to have a pixel density of 441ppi, much higher than the current 326ppi found in the iPhone 5 and later.

The report also states that both displays will be made from sapphire crystal, which fits with recent reports that Apple is planning to have its latest sapphire plant in Mesa, AZ operational in February for a “critical” product component. The displays will also be flat, not curved, the Post says.

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Apple to begin in-store iPhone 5c screen repairs next week

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We’ve gotten word from multiple sources that Apple will begin repairing/replacing broken iPhone 5c displays in its retail stores next week. The current plan is to begin offering replacements on Monday, January 20th. As we noted in November of last year, this initiative has been in the works for several months as Apple needs to source individual screens for replacement and supply each of its stores within special calibration machines…

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Bloomberg: Apple to introduce larger, curved screen iPhones in Q3 2014, enhanced pressure sensors for later models

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Concept render by Federico Ciccarese

Bloomberg is reporting that “sources familiar with the plans” say Apple is planning to release two new iPhone models next year with curved displays. The two phones would have 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch displays respectively, both substantially bigger than the 4 inch Retina Display currently offered in the iPhone 5s and more in line with Samsung’s S4 and Note 3.

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Peter Misek rumor roundup: Sharp developing iTV display, along with sharper iPad 3 display

A few months ago Analyst Peter Misek reported that iOS and OSX would become one in 2012.  That kind of flies in the face of Mac OS 10.8 that’s been hitting everyone’s Web logs. He’s also talked about Apple opening up super data centers all over the world for a confusing Netflix service that mostly already exists.

With that boulder of salt consumed, AllThingsD quotes Misek as saying that Apple has selected Sharp specifically to manufacture new TFT LCD panels for the upcoming iTV, an Apple-branded television set rumored to boast Siri as the flagship feature (here and here).

The analyst speculates the iTV could ship mid-2012:

Over at Jeffries, analyst Peter Misek suggests that Sharp is retooling a production line at its factory in Sakai specifically to manufacture modified amorphous TFT LCD panels that will be used in the so-called iTV. If all goes well, the line should be ready for commercial production by February of 2012, which means we could see Apple’s take on the TV by midyear.

The report also mentions some manufacturers of current televisions are becoming nervous of what exactly iTV might be (we know Sony is one of them) and hope to adapt quickly so they don’t suffer the same fate vendors in other  industries face, such as the smartphone folks. It should be noted that Misek has been wrong one too many times, so you’re cautioned to apply skepticism to his thinking. The iTV reportedly isn’t the only thing Sharp will be supplying displays for…

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