Another year, another iPhone. But with the competition pulling away, Apple must innovate to keep up with better screens, larger phones, and more health related features. Will the iPhone 6 be bigger than 5 inches? What processor will be inside? And where will the home button go? Read on to examine the rumours bouncing around the web about Apple’s next iPhone, the iPhone 6.
Judging by the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C in September 2013, an iPhone 6 is likely to appear in September 2014. However, there have been rumours about the release of a larger-screened iPhone, a model that can compete with the ever-increasing size of competitor Android devices. We may see a 5-inch or larger screened iPhone appear in the Summer.
Comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook during a 2013 Q4 conference call appear to support an Autumn iPhone 6 release date:
"You will see exciting new products from us in the fall and across 2014. I stand by that and you’ve seen a lot of things over the last couple of months," Cook said.
Other rumours allude to the iPhone 6 being released in June at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference, alongside iOS 8.
The company that provides materials for the sapphire screen display, which is thought to be featured on the iPhone 6, said that it expects 2014 to be a ‘transformational year’.
GT Advanced, which undertakes the production of sapphire materials, said: "Our results for the December quarter were in line with our guidance and the anticipated growth trajectory of our business remains unchanged. We expect to return to profitability during the second half of 2014."
‘Return of profitability during the second half of 2014’ sounds a lot like the iPhone 6 will be released then.
According to Angela Meng at the South China Morning Post, Apple will release two iPhone 6s this year, one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.5-inch screen. She cites "industry insider" who have apparently seen prototypes of the new phones.
The screen will be made out of sapphire crystal, produced by GT Advanced, and will be totally drop and scratch resistant. It’s almost as strong as diamond! The sapphire crystal already appears on the 5S fingerprint sensor.
Quantum dot technology will also feature on the iPhone 6, which dramatically improves screen image quality. Five Apple patents related to quantum dot technology have been published so far, and the technology already exists on the Kindle Fire tablets, so it wouldn’t be out of place to see it come to the iPhone this year.
Will Apple compete with larger-screened counterparts?
The next incarnation of the iOS platform is codenamed Okemo, and will most definitely stick the pattern of being announced at WWDC 2014 in June. From there, it will probably be released to the public in September…coinciding with a September release of the iPhone 6.
A maps update and an updated look will feature on iOS 8, but to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy S5, iOS 8 will most likely come preloaded with a unch of health and fitness apps that will be compatible with Apple wearable devices, much like Samsung’s Gear.
Some reports suggest Apple will stick with an 8MP camera, but add image stabilisation that will increase the quality of the image. However, we really don’t seen Apple not beefing up its camera on the iPhone 6, competitors are already starting to get ahead when it comes to sensor and MP size. Another rumour alludes to a 10MP camera with an aperture of f/1.8.
Sony will probably be providing the camera sensors for the iPhone 6, and it has been reported that Sony will be providing sensors for the iPhone’s front-facing camera as well.
The iPhone 6 will be the eighth version of Apple’s iPhone, and it could be the first to break the mould of the 4-inch screen. With this in mind, the iPhone 6 could really be the phone that allows Apple to dominate over competitors like HTC and Samsung, as many consumers are now drawn to these firms because of their larger screens.
A chassis redesign will also be in order then, and a 6mm iPhone 6 is rumoured. This would only be the third major redesign from Apple.
According to one leak, an iPhone 6 prototype has a large Retina+ IGZO display and no home button, just replacing it with the fingerprint sensor instead.
Photo credit: Martin Hajek and Steve Hemmerstoffer
The iPhone 6 will almost certainly feature an A8 64-bit processor, a step up from the current A7 CPU. The A8 will enable new features on iOS 8 like Touch ID, increased video processing power and slow motion mode. The A8 should also vastly improve battery life, as well as enhance the gaming experience.