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The age of the Apple phablet edged a few crucial inches closer to reality today, after one of the smartphone sector’s better-connected analysts threw his weight behind talk that larger iPhones will drop later this year.

In a research note for investors, KGI securities wonk Ming Chi Kuo claims that the 2014 iPhone will come in 5.5-inch and 4.7-inch variants, after the tech giant resisted the trend towards ever-larger display dimensions for years.

The way Kuo tells it, the 5.5-inch edition will feature the higher-res screen with 401 ppi. That’s in keeping with its undoubted status as the premium model. Choose the smaller model and you’re looking at a rather more modest 326ppi, it seems.

Both handsets will purportedly feature a repositioned sleep button, which is heading to the side of the device to make the larger phones easier to use with one hand, and will pack the same eight-megapixel iSight camera that’s now been in place for two generations of iPhones.

However, as with the iPhone 5S, this is expected to feature some enhancements this time around, such as better image stabilisation and improved performance in low light conditions.

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Kuo also backs rumours that both phones will land during autumn, setting up a battle royale with the forthcoming fresh iteration of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note phablet, which typically tips up in October.

Talk of Apple’s plans comes after what were believed to snaps of a hitherto unseen iPhone cropped up online last week.

The photos showed a handset with the bezel trim that surrounds the display trimmed to an absolute minimum to allow the phone-maker to expand the screen without making the handset itself larger.

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