The iPhone 6 is as popular in the rumor world as the iPhone 5S, and while we aren’t seeing iPhone 6 parts leaks yet there is a lot of information, speculation and rumors about the iPhone.
Apple is working on new iPhone models, which includes prototypes not just for the new iPhone in 2013, but for the iPhone 6 and future iPhone models. After selling 37.4 million iPhones last quarter there’s no chance Apple isn’t heavily investing in what many are calling the iPhone 6.
Don’t plan on buying an iPhone 6 this fall, but buyers that don’t want to settle for an iPhone 5S, or who are on contract with an iPhone 5 until 2014 can start looking forward to the iPhone 6.
Apple does not discuss rumored products, but based on the evidence and past company actions we should see a new iPhone this year that is an “S” release. An iPhone 6 release won’t likely come until 2014, when evidence indicates Apple will deliver a bigger screen and a new design for the incredibly popular iPhone series.
While we wait to buy the iPhone 6 and to see what Apple is planning, we rely on the word of analysts who speak to hundreds of companies in Apple’s supply chain. These companies make parts for the current iPhone, and according to leaks for iPhone 6 prototypes, which is how many leaks start. Analysts and leaks are not always accurate, but eventually we hear information from multiple sources, pointing to something more concrete.
Despite hundreds of “Official iPhone 6 trailer” videos on YouTube, there is no official iPhone 6 photos, images or videos. We are already seeing a wide range of iPhone 6 concepts. These images show what the iPhone 6 could look like, bring rumored iPhone 6 features to life and help us visualize what Apple could do with a new iPhone.
iPhone 6 Release Date
Apple will certainly release an iPhone this year, and while some are calling for Apple to skip the iPhone 5S and go straight to the iPhone 6 in 2013, this isn’t likely. Apple’s iPhone 5S release is a smart play that keeps many consumers happier with their purchase longer, and matches up with the two-year contract system in play at most iPhone carriers in the U.S.
In early May the iPhone 6 popped up in a carrier system in the UK, showing a 4G iPhone 6 name in a list of devices. The leak showed a 12M in front of the iPhone 6 listing, but nothing more. This placeholder could be for the iPhone 5S, and is not an indication that Vodafone has advance knowledge of an iPhone 6 release in 2013.
Multiple analysts point to 2014 for the iPhone 6 release, but there is not as much agreement on when it will reach carriers and store shelves.
Citi Research analyst Glen Yeung expects the iPhone 6 release in 2014, which is not a surprise. But, he is calling for a very early iPhone 6 release, pointing to the first quarter of 2013.
This would mark a major change in Apple’s iPhone release cycle, and if true could give cause to hold off on buying an iPhone 5S this fall. It is too early to tell if Yeung is spot on with rumors of an iPhone 6 release in January through March 2014.
Peter Misek, an analyst with Jeffries claims the iPhone 6 release won’t come until 2014, specifically pointing to June 2014 as a possible release month for the iPhone 6.
Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo continues to focus on the iPhone 5S, and has yet to comment on an iPhone 6 release. We’re actively monitoring this to see if there is any additionally chatter of an early iPhone 6 release in 2014.
Apple typically releases the iPhone in annual cycles other than new carrier additions. Apple saw backlash when it released the iPad 4 in October 2012, seven months after the iPad 3. We could see Apple bring an iPhone 6 to market faster than fall 2014, but a brand new iPhone 6 in the first three months of 2014 could anger consumers and mess with the successful iPhone 5S problem.
iPhone 6 Display
If rumors come true, the iPhone 6 display will be bigger and better than anything we’ve seen on the iPhone before. Multiple reports from analysts and industry insiders point to an iPhone with a bigger display and rumors of a new Retina display for the iPhone could deliver a higher resolution on the iPhone 6.
Tim Cook recently discussed the iPhone line and iPhone displays at the AllThingsD conference, talking about Apple’s philosophies and not Apple’s plans. Backing up his previous complaints about trade-offs in larger screens, Cook told attendees,
In a hypothetical world where those tradeoffs didn’t exist, you could see that [a larger screen] being one of the things that differentiates.
The video below includes the entier talk, in which Tim Cook discusses iPhone screen size and asks no one in particular if there is enough of a market for an iPhone with a larger screen.
One telling iPhone 6 display rumor is actually focused on the iPhone 5S. A report from the Wei Feng Network claims Apple is planning a Retina+ display for the iPhone 5S which would double the pixel count. We previously discussed how this could help with the transition to a larger screen on the iPhone 6. Even if Apple doesn’t deliver a higher resolution display with the 5S, we could see something like this come to the iPhone 6.
A report from December 2012 discusses an iPhone 6 prototype with a larger display and a higher resolution Retina+ display. If Apple offers an iPhone with a larger screen we would also expect a higher resolution to go along with it.
New display technology from LG delivers a very bright full HD display that is 5.2-inches but measures just 2.2mm thick and requires a very small bezel. This type fo technology could address the trade-offs Tim Cook sees with larger, higher-resolution displays. In addition to being very bright, this thin display will allow manufacturers to make thinner phones with bigger displays, which LG claims will offer phones that are easier to grip.
Apple is slow to adopt changes to the iPhone, but we think 2014 will usher in a new larger display for the iPhone. With the new iOS 7 release this fall, Apple is laying the framework to support a larger screen better. The video above outlines iPhone 6 hints from the iOS 7 beta. While small, we expect Apple is making iOS 7 changes to handle the next several years, not just 2013, so it makes sense to see some small changes that could help bring an iPhone 6 with a bigger screen.
iPhone 6 Design
While there are no leaked iPhone 6 photos yet, there are some rumors about what we could expect from the iPhone 6 in terms of design and looks.
A larger screen could come with a thinner overall design that would allow Apple to keep the size of the phone in check. Rumors of an iPhone 6 with no home button could also help Apple make an iPhone 6 with a bigger screen, but without a vastly larger footprint.
While there is not a specific rumor about a waterproof iPhone 6, this is a feature we think Apple could add to the iPhone in 2014. Samsung and Sony show that a smartphone doesn’t need to be bulky or unattractive to handle the occasional drop in water. This would be a consumer friendly feature and could help cut down on issues with repairs and replacements.
There are a plethora of iPhone 6 concepts that show us what the iPhone 6 could look like based on Apple rumors. Below are a collection of iPhone 6 concepts from a variety fo designers and artists showing the iPhone 6, as Apple could deliver it.
iPhone 6 Features
Alongside a new look and a bigger screen, expect new iPhone 6 features. Some of these features come from leaks, others based on Apple’s other products and iOS 7 and some of the rumors are just wishful thinking.
The iPhone 5S is said to get an fingerprint reader for added security, but it’s not clear if that will happen just yet. If it does, expect it to become a standard iPhone feature. If it doesn’t arrive with the iPhone 5S, look for it to debut on the iPhone 6, something at least one analyst expects.
Apple is putting faster WiFi in its products and we expect that 802.11ac WiFi will also become a standard Apple feature on the iPhone line this year.
There is talk of a higher storage iPhone 5S or iPhone 6. Apple offers an iPad with 128GB of storage, so it stands to reason we could see an iPhone 6 with more than 64GB of storage.
The continual chatter of NFC support is back, but with AirDrop in iOS 7 and payment system that might use barcodes, Apple could be sidestepping this technology.
Based on past iPhone launches expect more concrete iPhone 6 rumors as the iPhone 5S becomes official. The first major iPhone 5S rumor arrived just as Apple announced the iPhone 5 in 2012.