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Larger screened iPhone 6 ready for mass production

Apple will launch two larger screen smartphone later on this year with both models sporting a screen that is noticeably bigger than its current 4.5in offering and at least one classed as a phablet.

Related: Early Apple iPhone 6 rumour roundup: Specs, release date and features

The Wall Street Journal reports that people familiar with the matter told them that one model will have a screen size larger than the 4.5in that the iPhone 5S has and a second phone will have a display that tops 5in thus taking it into phablet territory.

Both new iPhones will have a metal casing similar to the iPhone 5S and the plastic casing, which debuted on the iPhone 5C, will be scrapped according to the same sources.

The devices, which could be released in the second half of 2014, won’t ship with a curved display and the sources cautioned that the plans are by no means final and the company could easily change course in the coming months.

It’s also reported that the smaller of the two models, which is likely to have a screen larger than 4.5in but less than 5in, is furthest along in its development and already being prepped for mass production whereas the larger version is still in preliminary development.

Larger screen iPhones have been mooted for some time as many see it as a way to combat the likes of Samsung that have a Apple-free reign of that sector of the market and it would give Apple access to a larger market.

"Apple definitely needs a larger-screen smartphone soon, particularly to address the demand in the emerging markets," said Canalys analyst Jessica Kwee.

Related: A closer look at why Apple’s iPhone 6 won’t feature NFC

Rumours surrounding a larger screen iPhone predate the release of the iPhone 5S and 5C with pictures emerging early this year that show what is reportedly the back casing of a phablet sized iPhone.