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What could be the first photographic evidence that Apple is readying its first-ever phablet for release might just have cropped up online, adding weight to months of rumours in the tech press.

The image, which surfaced on Chinese social networking monster Weibo before arriving on the Apple-fixated, shows a front panel that’s substantially larger than the current-gen one that it appears alongside.

iphone 6 panel leak

The panel's appearance comes after months of conjecture that Apple is about to drop a 5.5-inch iPhone this year, blurring the lines between the phone-maker’s handsets and tablets.

Close inspection of the component reveals very thin bezels – that’s the trim around the phone’s screen. This tallies with rumours that Apple is cutting back on bezel, so that it can fit its phone with a larger screen without having to make the device itself any larger.

Otherwise, though, the layout of the iPhone appears to be very familiar indeed. Present and correct is the home button sitting square below the screen. And the speaker and front-facing snapper all look to be in the same place too.

Apple, which has vehemently resisted the move to larger smartphone screens, is also thought to working on a 4.7-inch screen-toting handset, which will reputedly drop with the 5.5-inch model later this year.

Believe what you hear on the iRumourmill and we’re in line for a $100 price increase for the iPhone this time around too.

According to analyst Peter Misek, Apple has already warned US carriers to expect to pay a higher price to secure the 2014 iPhone - presumably in part to cover the cost of the larger display.


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