Apple will release its newest iPhone in September, with higher resolution and bigger screens, according to a Japanese report.
iPhone 6 screens to enter production
Production is set to start in May, as Apple enlarges the new iPhone's screen size to compete with Samsung.
The new handset, expected to be called the iPhone 6, will come in two versions with a 4.7- or 5.5-inch screen, both bigger than the current four-inch panel, the respected Nikkei said on Friday, without citing sources.
US-based Apple is ordering its higher-resolution LCD screens from Japanese electronics giant Sharp, Japan Display and South Korea's LG Display, it added.
The move would be the latest salvo in the smartphone wars in which Apple has lost global market share to rivals such as Samsung.
Apple released the iPhone 5 in September 2012 and the iPhone 5s and 5c last year.
A Japan-based spokesman for the tech giant could not be immediately reached for comment on the report.
The Nikkei story comes after Taiwan's Commercial Times said this month that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing had started producing chips for the next iPhone.
That news fed rumours that Apple is reducing its reliance for parts on South Korean giant Samsung, its main competitor in the mobile phone market and a bitter rival with which it is contesting several copyright court battles globally.
Samsung in February unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone armed with a fingerprint scanner and a built-in heart rate sensor, as it tries to cement its leadership of the multibillion-dollar market.
However, the South Korean giant voiced annoyance after domestic telcos released its latest smartphone ahead of schedule in order to dodge sales restrictions imposed by regulators. The world's biggest mobile phone maker had planned a worldwide debut of the Galaxy S5 on April 11.
Samsung made about 30 per cent of all smartphones sold globally last year, nearly twice the share of Apple.