Analyst: iPhone 6 will Sport 4.8-inch Display

Bigger screen iPhones this year? MaybeCowen & Co analyst Timothy Arcuri is jumping on the bigger screen bandwagon for the iPhone 6, and he thinks Apple has decided to go with a 4.8-inch display. His sources also tell him Apple will be bringing WiFi 802.11ac to the next iPhone for faster wireless network connections.

Mr. Arcuri is making his prediction based on supply chain sources -- the very sources Apple CEO Tim Cook has said shouldn't be relied on for speculating on what his company is working on next. His sources also have him projecting a September launch for the iPhone 6, although he isn't ruling out a June release.

His screen size expectations for the iPhone 6 put him in line with Chinese analyst Sun Chyang Xu who said the new iPhone will ship with a 4.7-inch screen and ship in June. The analyst went on to say that a 5.7-inch model will ship shortly after that.

Mr. Arcuri's big predictions extend to the iPad, too. He's telling investors Apple's next revision to its tablet will sport a 13-inch display and will "blur the lines between tablets and PCs," according to The Times of India. He added, "This is in line with previous reports about a large-screen, professional-grade iPad that will replace the Macbook Air."

The idea that Apple will introduce a bigger screen iPad to replace the MacBook Air surfaced in late December. At the time, DigiTimes cited supply chain sources saying Apple was building a 12.9-inch iPad model in lieu of the 11-inch MacBook Air -- a move that seems somewhat unlikely considering the iPad and MacBook Air offer different features and user interfaces, and aren't really interchangeable devices.

His predictions includes the next version of iOS, too. Mr. Arcuri said iOS 8 will add support for mobile payments through a combination of Passbook, iBeacon, and TouchID. Other "key software innovations" are expected, too.

Apple hasn't confirmed what it has in store for the next iPhone, although it's looking more reasonable that this is the year its screen gets bigger again. It's likely we'll see a bigger iPad model to go along with the iPad Air and iPad mini, although announcing the death of the 11-inch MacBook Air seems a bit premature.