The upcoming iPhone 6 may be one of the most-anticipated smartphones made by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL), and given Apple's track record, that's saying something. The general theme for the iPhone 6 is that it will be bigger, faster and more powerful than any previous version. But now, let’s get into the details:
One of the most prevalent iPhone 6 rumors is that it may have a display much larger than has been seen on previous models. The iPhone 6 is expected to have a 4.7-inch display, which would put it on par with many of its large-screen Android counterparts. Apple may also opt out of using Corning Inc.’s (NYSE: GLW) Gorilla Glass and make its own displays from sapphire glass. These rumors have come about at least in part because of the sapphire manufacturing facility Apple is building in Mesa, Arizona, as well as the sapphire-related patents the company has filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
However, YouTube content creator Marques Brownlee believes that the displays may not be pure sapphire. In a recent video, he contended that while sapphire is a quality and highly scratch-resistant material, pure sapphire may be too expensive to produce in large quantities to meet iPhone demand. Instead, Apple could use a sapphire laminate material, which is sapphire combined with a different material like quartz or silica.
Reports also suggest that Apple may release a second, larger iPhone with a 5.5-inch display. This device might be called the “iPhone Air.”
Because of its supposed larger screen, the iPhone 6 is expected to be much taller and wider than previous models. A recent leak on Amazon suggests that its dimensions could be 130 x 65 x 7mm, which would also make the device one of the thinnest iPhones. Its possible weight of 113g would be only one gram heavier than the current iPhone 5s, which would be impressive achievement, considering that one of the main challenges for manufacturers in creating a large-screen smartphone is keeping the device light.
In addition to the possible sapphire screen, the iPhone 6 is expected to have an aluminum back panel. Many concept designs have envisioned the iPhone 6 with much curvier edges than previous iPhone models.
The iPhone 6 will likely include Apple’s 64-bit A8 chip, which reports out of China suggest could be a dual-core processor running at 2GHz or more. The faster processor should help improve the efficiency of the battery on the iPhone 6, which is expected to be within the 1800mAh to 1900mAh power range (the 5.5-inch iPhone may include a 2500mAh battery). The larger battery will in turn support the larger display, which will reportedly have a 1704 x 906 resolution.
The iPhone 6 is expected be available in 32GB and 64GB internal memory option, but may also come in a 128GB option. Some reports suggest that the sapphire display may only be included on the iPhone 6 model with the highest internal memory – either 64GB or 128GB, which would make the device very exclusive and expensive.
Like the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6 is expected to include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into its home button. Apple may also include the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol on the new device.
The iPhone 6 is expected to run Apple’s iOS 8 operating system, which was introduced at the World Wide Developer conference in June. The new software includes a number of enhancements and new features such as interactive notifications, which allow users to respond to notifications without having to leave the application they are in; upgrades to iMessage, which allows users to add or remove people from individual threads, and put individual chat threads on “Do Not Disturb” mode; and continuity, which allows users to sync their iPhones with Apple’s new desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite.
The iPhone 6 may have a rear camera between 8-megapixels and 13-megapixels. One rumor suggests a 10-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 aperture and improved filter. The iPhone 6 camera may also include electronic image stabilization (EIS) to prevent images from blurring.
The iPhone 6 could include near-field communication connectivity (NFC) to enable various banking and quick-pay applications. However, recent reports suggest that Apple may be developing its own iWallet feature, which would be compatible with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Apple’s iWallet would likely compete with Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Wallet, which uses NFC. It is believed that Apple has avoided developing with NFC because while the technology has been around for many years, it remains in its infancy.
The iPhone 6 is expected to have a similar price point to older iPhone models and may sell for between $199.99 and $299.99, with a two-year contract from a mobile carrier. Prices will depend on the amount of internal memory the iPhone 6 model contains. Off-contract with carriers, the iPhone will likely sell for about $600. Customers purchasing the device directly from Apple may have to shell out at least $650. Analysts expect the larger, 5.5-inch iPhone to sell for around $700.
The iPhone 6 will likely be announced at an Apple keynote event during the second or third week of September and may release soon after that. Currently, the smartphone is expected to go on sale on or around Sept. 19. The 5.5-inch phone may be announced and released in December or early 2015.