iPhone 6 rumors are stirring up, and as we’re now a couple weeks into 2014, we’re expecting a new iPhone launch at some point this year.
The iPhone 5s may still be fairly new — just releasing back in September — but it’s never too early to talk about the next generation. We’ve seen plenty of rumors already, including what the iPhone 6 might look like, what it’ll be called officially, what features it’ll have and what we can expect from the camera and other performance factors.
But there’s also a list of features that we probably won’t see on the next iPhone, even though rumors suggest otherwise. Apple has been known to jump on the bandwagon late in the game when it comes to smartphone features, so while the iPhone 6 will obviously still include a ton of new features, we think there are some features that Apple will wait on.
We’d be surprised to see NFC as a feature on an iPhone anytime soon, and that’s mostly because Apple probably wants to use its new iBeacon as an NFC alternative. If you’re not familiar with iBeacon, it’s essentially a low-power communication system that lets others know when you’re nearby.
Right now, it’s mostly marketed as a technology that stores can use to let them know that you walked in the door, allowing them to shoot you discounts and deals that you can view on your phone when you enter the store. It can even get more specific, including letting users know about any deals on sporting equipment when they’re near the sports section of a store.
However, the future of iBeacon is quite promising, and it’s possible that Apple will use it as their digital wallet payment system of sorts, completely bypassing NFC altogether for its own solution. Of course, NFC and iBeacon are different as far as how they work; NFC only works within a few inches of the transmitter or receiver, while iBeacon has a much larger range (like a WiFi network). However, the uses are very similar, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple used iBeacon instead of NFC.
Wireless charging is a growing phenomenon in the mobile market, and more and more devices are taking advantage of the convenient feature. It allows users to bypass the annoying wall adapter and cable in favor of a simple charging pad that they can just rest their phone on in order to charge it.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see wireless charging become a standard feature at some point in the future, but seeing as how Apple treads carefully around “fads,” it’s likely that the company will watch how wireless charging plays out over the next year or two before deciding to put such a technology in the iPhone.
Will Apple put wireless charging in the iPhone at some point in the future? It’s completely possible, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the company did such a thing; it’s a simple enough technology that Apple could easily market it to everyday consumers and tell them how much more convenient it is to charge an iPhone without needing cables and a wall adapter, but we also wouldn’t be surprised if the company dismissed wireless charging just so they can keep their overpriced USB cable business going strong.
A Massive Screen
The first five generations of the iPhone were all set at 3.5 inches for the display, but Apple bumped that up to 4 inches starting with the iPhone 5. Was it pressure from the competition? Possibly, but one thing is for sure: phone displays are getting larger and 5-inch screens are now the norm.
Again, Apple isn’t one to jump on the bandwagon, but the company did so just slightly with the iPhone 5, so will the iPhone 6 include an even larger screen? It’s possible, but we highly doubt that we’ll see an iPhone with a 5-inch display or even a 4.5-incher. Maybe a 4.2-inch screen with a slightly higher resolution of 1280×720 (ballparking), but this is something that we’ll have to wait and see about before we can really be sure.
This one seems like an obvious one, but the price of the iPhone 6 probably won’t change from what it has been the past few years. The new handset will most likely still be priced starting at $650 off-contract and $200 on-contract.
The only time that a new iPhone has had a lower price at launch was when the iPhone 5c released back in September, when it was $99 on-contract and $550 off-contract, but that wasn’t even Apple’s flagship iPhone.
So will we ever see Apple’s flagship model creep below the $199 subsidized/$649 unsubsidized price tag? It’s not likely anytime soon.
Hand and Eye Gestures
Unless Apple can convince users that hand and eye gestures (like we see on the Samsung Galaxy S4) are easier and quicker to use than just normal touchscreen operation, then I doubt that the company will put such features on the iPhone.
Apple did acquire PrimeSense, which was the company that developed the Xbox 360’s Kinect sensor, so it does make us a little curious as to what Apple is planning to do with PrimeSense and it’s motion-tracking technology. However, the Galaxy S4’s hand and eye gestures still seem a little gimmicky at this point, and we’re not so sure Apple really wants to go down that route right now.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 made headlines when it initially launched, boasting a 41-megapixel camera sensor that can churn out some pretty impressive photos. Plus, more and more smartphones are being equipped with 10+ megapixel cameras, except the iPhone.
However, this isn’t a bad thing, and as you might have heard from countless folks in the past, megapixels aren’t everything — they just determine how big a photo is resolution-wise. What really matters is the quality of the photo, including low-light capabilities, contrast, saturation, etc. The iPhone has nailed this with just an 8-megapixel camera, and Apple doesn’t seem antsy about slapping on a bigger megapixel count.