Cited as the most accurate Apple analyst in the world, KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi-Kuo released an extensive research note on his predictions for Apple’s hardware, all of which will be released in the second half of 2014, he says. Kuo’s predictions heavily favored already reported rumors about the iPhone 6, but he added in a few specifics that had not previously been given. According to Kuo, Apple may move the sleep/wake button, one of only four tactile buttons on the iPhone, from the top of the phone to the side, in a move to better accommodate one-handed operation on the highly speculated larger iPhone 6.
Kuo subscribes to the idea that Apple is currently working on two models of the next iPhone 6, a 4.7-inch version and a 5.5-inch version. He also agreed with recent rumors that state that Apple will release the iPhone 6 models at different times in the year. The smaller 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will most likely release late September, similar to the last three iPhone launch dates, while the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 is rumored to be later in the year, in the fourth quarter. Problems in the display production lines have been cited as the reason for the shift in the launch dates.
Kuo stated that the new iPhones will both possess a bevy of features like Touch ID, the new A8 processor, and will be 0.5mm thinner than the current iPhone 5s, coming in between 6.5-7.0mm. He proposed that Apple will finally add NFC technology to the next iPhone 6, something users have been guessing at for several generations. However, NFC is a similar technology to Apple’s iBeacon, which has been getting more play lately, so that remains highly speculative.
Despite popular opinion, according to Kuo, the only iPhone 6 to get a sapphire screen will be the larger iPhone 6, making it a higher end option instead of a standard. He also stated that the sapphire substrate will be useful if Apple wants to incorporate the Touch ID system into the screen, as sapphire provides better accuracy.
Oddly, Kuo doesn’t think Apple will improve the camera on the iPhone 6, sticking with the current 8-MP f/2.2 camera. But Apple, he says, will include an optical image stabilizer, which will improve the quality of shots. Kuo also thinks the bezel will be reduced on the edges, and battery life improved on both devices.