iPhone 6 Release Date, Specs and Features: Improved Camera, A8 Chipset AND Multiple Display Sizes
A Quick Overview Of The Latest News [9/6/2014]We’ve reached a point where many of the iPhone 6’s potential features have been so consistently leaked and rumoured from a range of relatively believable sources that we’ve got a pretty good picture of how we think the next handset will be.
The repeated suggestion of two display sizes – 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches – makes us think this is pretty much a certainty, meanwhile, a lot of recent picture leaks have shown what’s believed to be a mockup or dummy of the iPhone 6, revealing its new design.
It does indeed appear to be larger, and we seem to be looking at the 4.7-inch model with a thinner 7.6mm thick chassis, redesigned keys and an overall smoother design with rounded edges rather than the old, flat surround. There’s also a contrasting metallic edging to the two end “cap” shapes.
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What’s completely unknown at present is how Apple will “do” payments. As it stands Apple has one of two choices: 1) join an existing alliance like ISIS or 2) build its own, bespoke service to rival ISIS, Google Wallet and PayPal. Our money is firmly on the second option. Apple, as we all now know, does not like sharing the wealth. And if this is all true there's going to be A LOT of money at stake. Like hundreds of millions. Perhaps even billions.
In terms of a release date, Apple’s past launches towards the end of the year appear to have been verified by its announcement that iOS 8 would arrive in “the fall”. Previously Apple has used the iPhone as a debut device for new software builds.
Read on below for a more in-depth look at the iPhone 6, its specs, hardware and features.
iPhone 6 DisplayThe iPhone 6 – or, Air, as it is also being called – is said to have a 4.7in display. Multiple sources have now confirmed this, and we’ve also seem plenty of leaked images which also affirm the handset will indeed have a bigger screen. There’s also said to be an even larger, phablet-sized iPhone in the works, too – although that is pegged for release until late on in Q4 2014.
South Korean investment firm KDB Daewoo Securities, a company which allegedly has a good track record for this kind of thing, claimed there will be a standard iPhone 6 model with a 4.7-inch or 4.8-inch display at a full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution, and a larger phablet variant with a 5.5-inch display using a 2K QHD resolution at 2272x1280 pixels. Another report out of China claims to have heard from insider informants that the iPhone 6 will arrive in both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch variants.
There’s been a lot of talk about the iPhone 6’s display and what type of resolution it will rock. One school of thought, posited by 9to5Mac, suggests the iPhone 6 will have three times the resolution (1704x960) of the iPhone 3G – and the reason behind this is to do with iOS and developers.
Time also chimed in on the discussion with yet more solid points on why such a resolution makes sense: “App developers will ultimately have to tweak their code to make things look great on the larger screen, but until that happens, it behooves Apple (and users) for these apps not to look horrible. An increase in resolution at the same aspect ratio would leave apps looking decent enough until developers got around to optimizing their apps. Unlike with the transition from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5, you wouldn’t have to deal with any black bars surrounding the screen.”
Apple will apparently split the production of its next-generation iPhone handsets; Pegatron is suspected to be taking a 15% stake, while Foxconn is believed to be taking the lion's share with 85%.
iPhone 6 Design: Dimensions & AestheticsA Romanian website managed to get its hands all over an iPhone 6 dummy and measured it up using an ultra efficient digital sliding gauge. This way we can finally find out the full dimensions of the handset. According to the dummy iphone-store.ro, the dimensions are 137.5 x 67 x 7mm. It’s a tad longer in length and width but slimmer than the iPhone 5s which was 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm.
Apple Insider. According to the report the handset in the render, though dubious, packs in everything we’ve come to expect from the upcoming iPhone; stuff like rounded corners, power button on the side, slimmer chassis.
iPhone 5 series,” said the report, “an impressive accomplishment. The current-generation iPod touch slots in at 6.1 millimeters thick.”
iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5s: How Do They Compare?iPhone 6 dummy’s a doing the rounds at the moment and they all seem to be pretty accurate. One Apple insider, Sonny Dickson, has managed to snap the new dummy next to all the previous flagship devices.
iPhone 5s. Just check out how thin it looks compared to last year’s flagship iPhone 5s.
Sonny Dickson’s website if you want an even more comprehensive comparison. And if that wasn't enough to get you excited, here's a bunch more comparison shots via Nowhereelse.fr
Guy That Leaked iPhone 5 Just Leaked This...Images of what’s claimed to be the iPhone 6 have been posted online by Apple Daily – a Chinese website. According to the report, Jimmy – the same dude that leaked the iPhone 5 ahead of launch – has struck again, and this time he’s got his hands on the iPhone 6. Check out Jimmy in all his glory below:
That said – Jimmy did get the iPhone 5, so we’re prepared to give the cheeky chappy the benefit of the doubt this time around.
Apple iPhone 6 Squares Up To Samsung Galaxy S5iPhone 6 dummy’s are making the rounds all over the globe at the moment. To give us some perspective of the size of the new expanded handset someone has kindly photographed one next to the Samsung Galaxy S5. Sorry about the image quality, it's not great.
Take note of those bezels too, the top and bottom are far smaller on the Samsung Galaxy S5. Those size bezels are much thinner on the iPhone 6 though. It’s still looking quite like the iPod Touch to our eyes, are you liking the design of the iPhone 6?
iPhone 6 Design ConceptsAnd now, as is usually the case in the run up to a big iPhone launch, we have lots of very impressive, computer-designed concept renders of the iPhone 6 to look at before the real thing arrives later this year. If you follow iPhone launches, one name you’ll probably be familiar with is Martin Hajek – and if you’re not, well, you can check out some of his work below and see why he's so well known:
iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Phablet Cases LeakWhile pre-launch case leaks should always be viewed with a healthy dose of suspicion, they can also at times be useful. This latest leak comes via prominent French leak site nowhereelse.fr, a site which has proven accurate in the past. The images show a duo of cases allegedly designed specifically for the rumoured 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Phablet. Notably, the leak refers to the phablet as the iPhone 6S.
Nokia's Lumia 1520. Both iPhones are 7mm thick, which fits with earlier rumours and is thinner than the current flagship iPhone 5S.
iPhone 6 Features: Quantum Dot, Curved Screens and Sapphire Glass
Intriguingly, this technology uses "components that can be smaller even than biological viruses to fine-tune emitted light," according to Techcrunch. Apparently such display tech is also cheaper and easier to mass produce in a range of sizes.
A source reportedly told Bloomberg that Apple is working on two curved handsets with larger screens, with Apple subsequently filing a patent for a 'curved touch sensor'. Apple's patent suggests it would take a slightly different approach to the technology, placing the different components onto a flat surface before heating and curving it as a single entity.
Reports also indicate Apple has bought a number of furnaces to make 5-inch Sapphire Crystal displays. According to 9to5Mac, Apple bought the equipment from GT Advanced which allows the company to make 100 to 200 million 5-inch displays. The documents explaining the plans claim the two companies will work together to create bigger displays.
The machines the company has purchased meet high-quality standards and are built to produce display-grade components unlike the small pieces of sapphire used in home buttons and cameras.
The iPhone 5s' home button is constructed from sapphire. But making a display from the material is something else entirely, which begs the question: how many iPhones could Apple build with these machines?
GT Advanced has got 518 units already with another 420 machines on order which need to be assembled. Those 518 units could produce between 103 and 116 million displays per year – so more than enough, it would seem.
Your Ass Is (Sapphire) GlassGT Advanced, the company Apple is known to be in cahoots with over its Sapphire TouchID Home key and camera lens.
It's well established that these components will continue to be using Sapphire glass for the iPhone 6, but what's been the subject of much speculation is whether or not the entire display will use it too. The main issue here is one of expense, Forbes says Sapphire panels cost around three-to-four times the price of Gorilla Glass (which itself costs about $3 per panel). Some reports have outright said it's too expensive and Apple won't use it in full production, even though it's reportedly appeared on design prototypes.
Writing for Forbes, Mark Rogowsky claims to have analysed GT Advanced's report, specifically the company's projected estimates for the second half of 2014, and he calculates GT could produce between 50 million and 100 million Sapphire panels for Apple this year to achieve those expected revenues. In other words, he seems to believe Apple is dropping around $500-$700 million into GT for Sapphire. GT also estimates it will hit $1 billion revenue in 2015.
"This kind of volume can't be for an iWatch," says Rogowsky. "There is only one product that Apple - and GT - can get that jind of confidence around today. And that product is the iPhone."
Extra Sensitive Touchscreen As WellReports also suggest Apple could be working on extra-sensitive touchscreens with the ability to detect pressure as well as regular capacitive touch. The patent in question, titled "Touch-sensitive button with two levels," describes technology Apple has invented that allows the touchscreen to detect different amounts of pressure exerted upon it.
Games could take the pressure sensitive touch screen even further. Imagine playing a first person shooter on your iPhone. Light, normal taps from your finger would let you shoot bullets from your revolver, while harder, more pressure-intensive taps would automatically switch you to —and fire—your grenade launcher.
In short, a pressure sensitive touch screen could solve the limited screen real-estate problem UI developers have with working on four-inch smartphone screens. If you need fewer buttons because the existing ones can have dual functions based on how hard the user touches them, you’ll have more space on the screen for displaying what really matters—the content of the app, be it 3D levels in a video game or the canvas in a painting application.
iPhone 6 Hardware
New Battery DesignA new leak from sources inside Apple's Asian supply network suggests that not only will the phone feature a larger battery cell but supports rumours of an all new handset design with a larger display panel.
The leaked info and images come via Chinese source MyDrivers.com, which reports the iPhone 6's battery will be rated between 1,700mAh and 2,000mAh, with the lower option being more likely. Certainly the 1,700mAh rating would be a logical step up from the previous iPhones as the iPhone 5S went up to 1,570mAh from the 1,440mAh of the iPhone 5.
The leaked photos show that Apple has moved the connector pins, suggesting the layout of the internal components has changed, which in turn implies the phone has undergone something of a re-jig. We've previously seen rumours that the phone will have an "all-new" design and that it will have a larger display, and both these factors could have caused this reshuffle.
And Then There's This Patent...Apple files a lot of patents and some are more useful than others. But one thing most people agree on is that smartphone battery performance sucks. And it is this prickly issue that is at the heart of Apple’s aptly titled latest patent, “Inferring user intent from battery usage level and charging trends”. How this mouthful of a patent filing works is fairly simple in theory: the software learns what you do with your iPhone, how you use it and when you use it.
From here the software can determine when you need juice and when you don’t which, in turn, makes for a more efficient battery. The report also notes the system works automatically, without “user intervention or user knowledge” – spooky. “A power management action may be performed to accommodate such an unusual situation.
For example, if the battery usage level is too high compared to the daily average battery usage, power consumption of certain hardware or software may be reduced to conserve power capacity, such that the remaining power capacity can last for the estimated period of time without charging,” Apple writes. The system can also communicate with other apps, too. Basically, it will learn exactly how you use your phone over a period of time and then calibrate the handset’s power usage and battery accordingly.
“The system would be able to tell how long a flight is, determine whether a movie can be watched in its entirety with the available battery life, or determine the work schedule of the user,” added the filing.
Apple iPhone Battery To Improve With iOS 8?Apple has now unveiled its new operating system iOS 8 which will be available in the Autumn. It’s expected to be released at the same time as Apple next flagship handset, the iPhone 6. During that announcement Apple referenced a new feature called “battery usage by app.”
It’s something Android has had for a while now which shows you which apps are using up the most or least battery. That way you know what to turn off and when to save on your battery. Overall you should get some much better battery life as long as you keep an eye on each app.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c have both struggled with some battery problems since the release and introduction of iOS 7. Of course for this new feature to help extend your battery life you’ll actually need to be sure to keep an eye on which apps are using up the most battery. Not everyone will remember or be bothered to do that.
iPhone 6 Hardware: A8 Chipset, iOS 8, LTE & NFC ChipsDigiTimes, Apple has recruited three chip production companies to build its next-gen A8 processor. Amkor Technology, STATS ChipPAC and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering have allegedly all been drafted in for processor "packaging" processes.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is also said to be involved in the process. The report states that TSMC will "ramp up" A8 20 nanometre chip production by Q2 2014 aiming for a June launch for the handset at the earliest. Another report claims Apple has now completely ditched Samsung in favour of TSMC. Accoridng to G For Games, TSMC will now undertake production of Apple’s 20nm A8 chipset for the iPhone 6 – and that same chipset will presumably be used inside Apple’s next-generation iPads as well.
“The reason why Samsung is reportedly out of the race is because the A8 CPU is expected to be built using 20nm manufacturing process, and apparently Samsung is facing low yield production issues with the chip. On the other hand, TSMC has supposedly been able to meet Apple’s demands, and chances are that the aforementioned giant will handle all the production,” said the report.
It added: “Samsung might’ve lost this one, but whether or not the Korean giant will be able to strike a deal with Apple once the “next-next-gen” A9 processor enters production remains to be seen. The SoC will most likely be developed using 16nm / 14nm technology, and Sammy already has some experience in the 14nm scene.”
First To Come With NFC?Whilst every Android manufacturer under the sun has been adopting NFC technology or at least seriously contemplating it, Apple has steered well clear. That may be all about to change though. With a rumoured emphasis on mobile payments some experts are predicting the company will adopt the technology in the next handset.
According to Morgan Stanley the manufacturer will be adopting the technology with the help of NXP. The M7 motion-sensing chip within the Apple iPhone 5s was supplied by NXP so it’s likely the NFC wireless hardware will be supplied by the same company.
“A recent patent filing by Apple revealed potential use of NFC and secure element, which we think could be embedded. NXP has also accelerated R&D spend to support a new program related to the IP deal, with revenue expected in 2H, lining up well with the launch of iPhone 6. We see this potentially adding $250mn in sales and EPS of $0.25 in 2015.”
It’s not only Morgan Stanley though; various other analyst firms have been reporting the same kind of rumours. So prepare to be able to use NFC technology on your iOS handset in the near future.
D, D, D, D...DRAM?With the iPhone 6, Apple will be upgrading its chipset to a brand new A8 offering. One report is claiming the A8 will be attempting to bring it closer to being a “system-on-a-chip” (SoC). Currently, the iPhone 5s holds the A7 chipset which includes the CPU, GPU, cache, image processor and TouchID features all on one chipset - there is a lot currently on the chip, but it isn't a complete SoC compared to rival offerings.
Other features such as the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass processing are dealt with on the A7's companion chip, the M7 motion coprocessor andthe DRAM is separate. One report is claiming, however, that Apple will integrate the DRAM into the chipset on the A8. That doesn’t mean there won’t be an M8 motion coprocessor but it’s a step towards the full system being on one chip.
iPhone 6 Specs: Improved Wi-Fi, Biometric Scanners, Mobile Payments And More
Arcuri also commented on Apple’s broader feature set, saying that updates to iOS (iOS 8) are likely to focus on things like iBeacon, Touch ID, and Passbook. Arcuri added that 2013’s iPhone 5S was just the start – or, put another way: the jumping board for this year’s products. In 2014/15 the company will focus more and more on mobile payments, leveraging services like TouchID, iBeacons and the currently (pretty useless) Passbook application.
Apple brought in a number of features with the iPhone 5S. One of these included the Touch ID fingerprint scanner which has received mixed reviews. In our review we said the fingerprint scanner works well but offers little benefit at present. It looks like Apple will be taking this to the next level for the iPhone 6 though by building in a facial recognition feature. Apple has secured a patent which uses facial recognition for its devices and it’s likely to be deployed inside the company's next-gen iPhones.
Touch ID Coming To iPhone 6 Says AnalystShock! Touch ID will be coming to the next generation of Apple products. After ploughing hundreds of thousands of dollars into researching and development of the finger print technology who would have thought it would be coming to more than just one generation of Apple handsets?
Research firm KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested Touch ID will be coming to the iPhone 6. The bigger news here is he thinks it’ll launch on both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3.
“Considering shipments of new products and iPhone 5S sales last longer than in 2013, we forecast unit sales of the fingerprint sensor module to grow 233% to 120mn for 2014.”
We all expected Apple to feature Touch ID on the iPhone 6 but do you think it’s a necessary technology for the iPad range as well?