iPhone 6 to feature a 4.8-inch screen: Report

Following a number of rumours about Apple testing a bigger screen for the next version of the iPhone, an analyst now suggests that the Cupertino giant will indeed ship its next flagship with a 4.8-inch screen.

According to a research note issue to investors by Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek, the iPhone 6 will ship with a 4.8-inch screen.

The note was cited by BGR, which suggests that Misek's supply chain sources point at Apple getting more favourable prices from its component suppliers.

The analyst has now increased his target on the Apple stock to $600, and put in a 'buy' rating. Previously, he had put a 'hold' rating on the stock with a $450 target. The change in the rating was due to the news of the next iPhone sporting a 4.8-inch screen.

"Despite still seeing risk to CQ4 and FY13 revs, we now believe better [gross margins] will allow Apple to skate by until iPhone 6 launches with its 4.8-inch screen," said the research note. "We estimate ~50% of smartphone shipments have >4″ screens and that iPhone 6 will catalyse a large upgrade cycle. The stock is attractive based on the attitude change, FY15 revs >+15 percent, and valuation."

While the note is more of a source backed prediction, Misek has a good record in terms of the accuracy of his calls.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal had reported that Apple was considering a plan to offer big screen iPhones. The publication cited people familiar with the matter to report that the company was introspecting whether it should offer screens ranging from 4.8-inches to 6-inches on future iPhones. The WSJ sources had even mentioned that Apple had been particularly interested in a 4.8-inch screen, going by recent tests.

In July, the same publication, had informed that Apple was testing larger screens for iPhones and iPads. It had cited officials at Apple's suppliers to report that the company had asked them to supply prototype smartphone screens larger than 4-inches and screen designs for a new tablet measuring slightly less than 13-inches diagonally.

Apple recently released the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, both with 4-inch screens. Most Android flagship phones including phones made by Apple's biggest rival, Samsung, feature big screens. In fact Samsung's flagship device, the Galaxy S4, sports a 5-inch display.

Apple started offering a 4-inch iPhone, the iPhone 5, last year, increasing the screen size by 0.5-inch compared to the one seen on previous phones like the iPhone 4S.

Considering all the above, it's likely that Apple will indeed increase the size of the display on the next iPhone.