Apple is working on an iPhone 6 that could arrive this summer or in the fall. While The company won’t confirm a new iPhone for 2014 but there is no doubt that Apple is working on a follow-up to the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 6 rumors trickle in daily as leaks point to small parts of a bigger iPhone 6 picture, company patents and statements suggest possible directions and analysts share details on iPhone 6 rumors that start as a whisper in the supply chain in Asia, offering a glimpse of what is to come.
It’s still much to early to know exactly what Apple is planning for an iPhone 6, but we are to the point where features and specifications start to emerge from very small pieces of information that insiders are able to weave together for a clearer picture. The iPhone 6 rumors don’t all agree, which is expected as Apple tests ideas and components with partners and may not even bring some of these parts or ideas to market.
The first iPhone 6 rumors started in late 2012 with chatter about a larger screen, which remains the biggest constant in all iPhone 6 rumors. At this point there are no analysts or leaks pointing to an iPhone 6 with a 4-inch screen, which is as close as we will get to a confirmed feature for this new iPhone.
With an iPhone 5s on store shelves Apple’s launch patterns suggest the iPhone 6 will bring a bigger upgrade that offers a new design and more changes to the feature-set than the iPhone 5s did. Apple traditionally uses the iPhone design for two years, and during the last update to the iPhone design the company slimmed down the phone, increased the screen size and made several other changes to the design.
As Apple prepares an iPhone 6 or multiple iPhone 6 models to compete with a soon to be announced Samsung Galaxy S5 and other devices, this article shares everything we think we know about the upcoming Apple iPhone 6.
iPhone 6? iPhone Air? What’s in a Name?
Will the new iPhone arrive with the iPhone 6 name? It’s not clear what name Apple plans to use and how it might separate the two rumored iPhone 6 sizes especially if the iPhone 5c branding dies off like The Wall Street Journal claims.
Analysts and consumers are already calling the new iPhone for 2014 the iPhone 6, so that is the name that will stick for at least the next several months until a credible rumor points to a new name or until Apple announces the new iPhone on stage.
Some rumors suggest Apple will call the device the iPhone Air, adopting the Air naming of the iPad Air and MacBook Air lines. So far Apple keeps the iPhone naming scheme predictable, but nothing is set in stone.
iPhone 6 Release Date
Apple traditionally releases a new iPhone in the fall, but this year sources point to two areas for a possible iPhone 6 event and release — summer and fall.
If Apple chooses to deliver a summer iPhone 6 release it would cut down the time Samsung and HTC have on market with a newer phone competing against the iPhone 5s. This would put the iPhone 6 out around Apple’s WWDC event which traditionally focuses on software and would make for a short lead time for the rumored iOS 8 update we expect to see at the event.
A fall iPhone 6 release date is more likely based on Apple’s patterns and analyst notes. If this is the case, September is a likely candidate so that Apple can offer a new iPhone 6 right as many iPhone 5 owner contracts come to an end. In a note published on AppleInsider Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company suggests the iPhone 6 release is most likely set for September, but a summer release is , “not out of the question.”
Eldar Murtazin, an industry insider who previously shared details about the Galaxy line of smartphones suggests an iPhone 6 release in summer is possible.
Another good news. Next gen iPhone possibly will be on market in June. Shorter cycles for the whole industry
— Eldar Murtazin (@eldarmurtazin) January 21, 2014
A Macorakara report from October claimed Apple is planning to deliver an iPhone 6 in September 2014, a year after the iPhone 5s. The last three iPhone releases arrived in the fall, which adds to the possibility of a fall release, but Apple previously moved up an iPad release window by several months to start a new cycle and in 2013 the company did not introduce any new mobile products until the iPhone in September.
The iPhone 6 will feature a larger display according to almost every leak and analyst note available. Tim Cook dodges any question about an iPhone with a larger screen, but it is one of the most likely iPhone 6 features.
Four main reports stand out when it comes to showcasing what the iPhone 6 display will offer consumers later this year. Three of the reports suggest two iPhone 6 models while one only comments on single iPhone 6 model.
The previously linked WSJ report claims Apple is working on two iPhone 6 models and is nearing completion of the smaller model. NPD DisplaySearch suggests two iPhone 6 models with higher resolution displays. A KDB Daewoo Securities report uncovered by OLED-Display includes two iPhone 6 display sizes. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who accurately predicted many iPhone 5s features, believes Apple is planning an iPhone 6 with a screen between 4.5-inches and 5-inches.
Here’s a short rundown of the most likely iPhone 6 screen sizes from reliable sources.
- 4.5-inch display – WSJ
- 4.7-inch display – 1600 x 900 resolution – NPD
- 4.7-inch to 4.8-inch display - 1920 x 1080 resolution – KDB
- 4.5-inch to 5-inch display – Kuo
- 5+ inch display – WSJ
- 5.5-inch display – 1920 x 1080 resolution – NPD
- 5.5-inch display – 2272 x 1280 resolution – KDB
The video below shows what iOS 7 looks like on larger screens from 4.5-inches all the way up to 5.7-inches. A larger iPhone 6 above 5-inches will challenge Apple to design a phone and software that continues to support the one-handed use current iPhone owners enjoy.
iPhone 6 Design
The iPhone 6 design is a major unknown and will likely remain one for several months. Apple is best known for putting an emphasis on the industrial design of products like the iPhone so we don’t expect a major deviation from anodized aluminum, but we could see Sapphire play a larger role, possibly as part of the screen cover on an iPhone 6.
According to a Wall Street Journal report the iPhone 6 will use the same anodized aluminum material. A 9to5Mac report revealed that Apple is fast tracking the output from the Sapphire factory that Apple invested over half a billion dollars in during 2013. The report outlines the role of this factory and its output to a small degree,
“Project Cascade will conduct high-tech manufacturing of intermediate goods/components for consumer electronics. All finished components will be exported. This high-tech manufacturing process will create a critical new sub-component of Apple Products to be used in the manufacture of the consumer electronics that will be imported and then sold globally. By pulling this process into the U.S., Apple will be using cutting edge, new technology to enhance and improve the consumer products, making them best in class per product type.”
While the report does not specifically mention an iPhone 6 display, Sapphire is a strong material that Apple’s partner previously demoed on an iPhone and Apple received a patent for using Sapphire as an iPhone screen according to AppleInsider. Additionally the facility reportedly has tools on hand that Apple uses to cut anodized aluminum and hired iPhone and iPod engineers for the facility.
If Apple is planning a larger display for the iPhone 6, we could see a new design with thinner bezels and a new look that helps Apple keep the overall size of the iPhone down while adding larger screens.
Many iPhone 6 concepts attempt to show what an iPhone 6 might look like. Some of the most exciting are shown below, but keep in mind these concepts are artistic renders based on ideas, not leaks from Apple.
iPhone 6 Specs and Features
iPhone 6 specs are still very much up in the air but the KDB report and others reveal possible iPhone 6 specs and features thanks to small leaks that point to a bigger picture.
The KDB Daewoo Securities report outlines a complete iPhone 6 spec list, which we share below combined with some additional insights from other reports. When making sense of iPhone rumors it is best to look for patterns and combine multiple reports for a better picture of what to expect.
- Apple A8 64-bit processor
- iOS 7.2 or iOS 8
- 4.5-4.8-inch and 5 -5.5-inch displays
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB / 128GB storage options
- 3.2Mp front-facing camera
- 8-10MP rear-facing camera
- 1,800 mAh battery
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Touch ID
The iPhone 6 camera rumors suggest Apple is planning an improved an improved 8MP camera or a 10MP camera depending on the day and source. According to DigiTimes, the iPhone 6 Touch ID sensors will arrive in Q3.
It’s important not to get too caught up in the rumored iPhone 6 specs as the best parts of Apple’s specs are the features they enable such as a better camera experience, Touch ID mobile payments and more. At this point, it is best to consider these an early estimate that is under change even as Arcuri claims the specs are “locked down” and the WSJ claims the smaller iPhone 6 is almost ready for mass production.
Apple is currently working on iOS 7.1 for a release in February or March with fixes and some continued visual tweaks. After iOS 7.1 the plan is for an iOS 8 unveiling that will likely take place at WWDC 2014 before a public release timed with a new iPhone.
The biggest source of information about what we can expect in iOS 8 is from 9to5Mac, which reveals several details in a recent report. The iOS 8 release will not reportedly bring a lot of visual changes. Instead it will pave the way for health and fitness tracking. Apple is working on an app code named Healthbook which may connect with sensors in an iPhone 6 or iWatch to help users track and manage,
- steps taken
- calories burned
- miles walked
- weight loss
- blood pressure
- hydration levels
- heart rate
- glucose levels (potentially)
- Medication tracking with reminders
The NY Times reports Apple met with the FDA in December and multiple high-profile hires in health, fitness and most recently sleep tracking. Part of this health and fitness movement will be a sensor laden iWatch that we could see arrive near a new iPhone.
Tim Cook told investors, “The mobile payments area in general is one that we’ve been intrigued with. It was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID.”during the latest Apple earnings call, suggesting we could see Apple leverage mobile payments through Touch ID and iBeacons or some other technology with the upcoming release.
iPhone 6 Price & Carriers
The iPhone 6 price could jump this fall thanks to a larger screen according to Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group. The analyst told Investors Business Daily, “We see the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher,” eventually adding, “we think Apple could get away with a $50 to $100 premium for a larger screen size iPhone 6.”
This is the only report of a higher iPhone 6 price we’ve seen, but it would make sense, especially if Apple offers two iPhone 6 models. Apple could shift the iPhone 5s to $99, introduce a 4.5 to 4.8-inch iPhone 6 at $199 on contract and a larger than 5-inch model at $249 or $299 on contract. This model is purely speculation at this time, but Samsung does charge a $100 premium for the Galaxy Note 3.
The pricing may also vary slightly by retailer. The iPhone 5s price remains static across U.S. carriers, but retailers like Best Buy and Walmart routinely cut the price of the new iPhone by $50 to $75. We expect to see the iPhone 6 on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular as well as smaller carriers later in the year.