There's no shortage of rumors concerning the iPhone 6 floating around the Internet, but considering how tight-lipped Apple remains on product launches, what do we think we know so far?
At a glance:
- 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions
- Sapphire glass display
- 2GHz+ processing power
- 1GB RAM
- Improved camera optical image stabilization, but no update on 8 megapixels
In-depth materials and capabilities:
A sapphire glass screen is a hotly debated aspect of the new flagship phone, and two videos appeared in June which suggested a 4.7-inch display made of this material may be in the works. According to The Guardian, Professor Neil Alford of Imperial College London has spoken previously with Apple concerning sapphire displays, and the video below "could well be legitimate," according to the academic. Smaller bezels and an expanded use of screen real estate are expected to increase display size without making the iPhone itself much larger, according to uSwitch.
Bloomberg says that the iPhone 6s will be in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions, and will feature curved glass screens able to detect different levels of pressure thanks to new sensors, while the Wall Street Journal agrees that two types of handset will be on offer, both of which will have larger screens than the 4-inch iPhone 5.
9to5Mac goes further, and claims the iPhone 6 could sport a screen resolution of up to 1704x960.
New patents filed by Apple suggest the latest handset could be thinner than its predecessors, and the company may use the LiquidMetal technology that it licensed in August 2010 and renewed last week to bind a Liquidmetal bezel to a sapphire glass screen, resulting in a thinner device than standard aluminium-framed handsets.
The handset -- or at least one version thereof -- is rumored to come with 1GB RAM, which is the same power sported by the iPhone 5 product line but less than Samsung's Galaxy S5.
GforGames claims that Apple's newest flagship phone will contain a faster A8 processor. Citing Chinese media source cnBeta, the publication says that Apple's A8 SoC will boost frequencies of 2GHz or more per core, an increase from the iPhone 5S' 1.3Ghz A7 SoC. However, the chipset will continue to use dual-core architecture.
GeekBar believes that the iPhone 6 the iPhone 6 will feature a Qualcomm MDM9625 modem, which lacks support for LTE Category 6, but is faster. If this is true, the iPhone 6 could reach data speeds of up to 150Mbps, carrier allowing, but will not be capable of 300Mbps speed.
In terms of battery life, Apple Daily says the larger iPhone will pack a powerful 2915 mAh battery, while the smaller version is rumored to sport a cell with capacity between 1800 and 1900 mAh.
Wireless charging may also be on the cards. TMZ claims that following a patent filed by Apple in 2012 for wireless charging protocols, leaked images reveal the possibility of charging without wires.
According to Pacific Crest Securities analysts John Vinh and Kevin Chen, the 5.5-inch version will come equipped with improved image stabilization techniques for the handset's camera. Optical image stabilization (OIS) is designed to reduce shake and improve the sharpness of images, and is often found on high-end DSLR lenses. The China Post reports that the iPhone will retain its 8 megapixel camera -- rather than be upgraded to 12 - 16 megapixels -- but image stabilization will improve the camera's capabilities.
Multiple reports suggest the iPhone 6 will come equipped with Apple's biometric fingerprint scanner TouchID, although retina scanning technology could also eventually become part-and-parcel of our future handsets.
uSwitch claims to have snagged a market-ready iPhone 6, and says the device is the first to feature an Apple logo which lights up when the user is sent notifications. Slightly more out of the way, reports from China indicate that the iPhone 6 "secret weapon" will be new types of vibrator which will allow app developers to vary levels of vibration depending on the handset activities.
When will it launch, and what else?
- The iPhone 6 has an expected launch date of 9 September, before going on sale on 19 September.
- However, a report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may face production issues, and may not be available until next year.
- uSwitch, in collaboration with Apple sleuth Sonny Dickenson, says that the iPhone 6 will remain usable with one hand, despite its size boost, as the tech giant has worked minimise the screen area that isn’t reachable.
- Apple has reportedly ordered 70 to 80 million units ahead of launch, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- The handset will run on Apple's iOS 8 operating system, with a particular bent towards fitness applications.
- Sonny Dickenson, the source of rumor concerning the iPhone 6's supposed sapphire screen, posted the image above on Twitter, suggesting that the new handset will come with a reversible USB cable. If true, the cable will be more user-friendly as you will not need the cable the 'right side up' to charge your iPhone or iPad. As noted by The Verge, Apple has already filed a patent for the cable shown in Dickenson's picture.
- In addition, with Apple's acquisition of Beats Audio, we're only going to start asking questions about a potential lineup of new audio equipment. Rumors suggest that Apple is preparing a new line of earphones for the launch of the iPhone 6, but it remains to be seen whether Beats technology can be integrated within the timeframe allowed.
Finally, how much can we expect to pay?
Details are thin on the ground surrounding the iPhone 6's rumored price, but many media outlets believe the handset's price will match the iPhone 5S.