iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5: What We Know So Far

Apple no longer sells the iPhone 5 but it remains relevant because it’s still sold through third-party avenues and because it’s still in the hands of millions of consumers around the world. And because it’s still relevant, it remains a topic of conversation amongst those combing through iPhone 6 rumors.

Since 2007, Apple has released a brand new iPhone to the market. And each and every year, the new iPhone model ranks among the best smartphones available to consumers. So, it’s not surprising to learn that people are interested in the follow up to last year’s iPhones, the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.

One group in particular that is likely very interested in the iPhone 6 are iPhone 5 users. iPhone 5 users who signed two year contracts will be coming off-contract this fall and will likely be looking for something new. And we have to imagine that the new iPhone 6 will be amongst the candidates that these users will consider.

In fact, we know that it will be. We’ve heard from friends, family and iPhone 5 users themselves, all of whom are curious about the iPhone 6, what it might entail and how it might compare to the iPhone 5. We’ve even heard from some people who are thinking about buying the iPhone 5 instead of the iPhone 5s due to its price tag but want details on this year’s iPhone model before making a purchase.

The iPhone 6 is still a rumored device, shrouded in a ton of mystery. iPhones that are months away from launch have a tendency to be shells of themselves. However, there are still a number rumors, credible rumors, that are worth examining next to the iPhone 5. While we can’t answer every single question, we can provide prospective buyers with a look at how the iPhone 6 currently stacks up with the iPhone 5.

Release Date

Maybe the most sought after piece of information pertaining to the iPhone 6 is its release date. Current iPhone 5 owners want to know when they can buy the next iPhone, prospective iPhone 5 buyers want to know how long they might have to wait to compare the two devices before deciding on one. While the answer isn’t entirely clear, rumors and Apple’s history point to two different iPhone 6 release windows.

iPhone 6 release date rumors haven’t agreed on a specific date but they do point to two very well known windows for a launch and release. Apple is well known for launching its iPhones in the summer or the fall with a release taking place just a few weeks after the announcement.

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So, it’s no surprise that iPhone 6 rumors point to a launch and release either in the summer or the fall of this year. Rumors across the board have pointed to an iPhone 6 release this summer or this fall with a majority of rumors hinting at an arrival in the fall, just like the iPhone 5 back in September of 2012. Apple hasn’t released an iPhone in the summer since the iPhone 4 was announced at WWDC in June of 2010.

The Wall Street Journal claims Apple is preparing two iPhone 6 models with larger screens and that the smaller one is, “further along in development, and is being prepared for mass production,” while the larger iPhone 6 is in, “preliminary development,” according to the sources. Some rumors have pointed to two separate iPhone launch dates and this could explain why.

While summer and the fall appear to be the most likely release windows, the iPhone 6 release date is likely still very much a moving target as Apple works with its suppliers. This means that while the company likely has a broad target, it may not have a specific date in mind at the moment. Specific iPhone release dates typically don’t arrive until much closer to the actual launch.

At the moment, it looks like at the very worst, we’ll see the iPhone 6 arrive in the fall. Even if a new iPhone does arrive this summer, it still means that potential buyers have a long wait ahead of them.

Design

Apple’s iPhone 5 design ushered in a brand new era. The company ditched the plastic, metal and glass combination found on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s for an industrial look punctuated by the iPhone 5′s anodized aluminum that gives it a premium look and a premium feel. Even after all of this time, the iPhone 5′s design remains one of the best on the market.

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More impressive is the fact that the iPhone 5′s form factor is still among the lightest and slimmest. It measures a mere 7.6mm thin and weighs just 112 grams. It’s something that makes wielding it in one hand or storing it on a tight jean pocket manageable.

Exactly how the iPhone 6 will look next to the iPhone 5 is unclear though there are rumors and Apple’s well documented patterns to draw from.

iPhone 6 concepts showing what larger displays could look like.

iPhone 6 concepts showing what larger displays could look like.

Apple historically has kept a design around for two years before ditching it for something new. It happened with the jump from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 and it happened with the jump from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5s uses the same design as the iPhone 5 which means that a design change with this year’s iPhone is not only possible but is likely.

Here’s what we know so far. The Wall Street Journal claims that the iPhone 6 will use the same anodized aluminum material found on the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. However, there will reportedly be some differences.

A 9to5Mac report recently revealed that Apple is fast tracking the output from a Sapphire factory that it invested in during 2013. This points to the possible use of Sapphire with this year’s iPhone. For those unaware, Sapphire is a strong material that could be used with the iPhone 6′s display, making it nearly impossible to break.

There are also numerous reports out that point to a larger display. This would be something that would obviously increase the size of the iPhone 6 from the iPhone 5, a device that utilizes a small 4-inch Retina display.

If that’s the case, we could see the new design come with thinner bezels, similar to what Apple did with the iPad Air. In doing this, Apple could keep the overall size of the iPhone down, even with the larger display. A recent iPhone 6 concept shows what a larger iPhone could look like next to the iPhone 5s.

This iPhone 6 concept shows small, medium and large iPhone 6 models.

This iPhone 6 concept shows small, medium and large iPhone 6 models.

A new report from LEDInside of TrendForce claims that the iPhone 6 will be thinner than Apple’s previous iPhone models thanks to a shift from 0.6 mm thick LED backlights to backlights that are just 0.4 mm thick. A precise difference isn’t clear but if true, it would allow Apple to trim the design down.

For now, an exact comparison is impossible to muster. However, as of right now, it’s looking like the iPhone 6 could pack similar materials into a larger, but thinner frame.

Display

Like the iPhone 4s and iPhone 4, the iPhone 5 brought with it a Retina Display. However, unlike those phones, the iPhone 5 delivered a larger 4-inch Retina Display to consumers complete with widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. As the years have gone by, the Retina Display has held its own but that still hasn’t quieted the calls for better resolution and a bigger iPhone screen.

The iPhone 6 could feature a Sapphire display that is stronger, thinner and ready for a larger iPhone.

The iPhone 6 could feature a Sapphire display that is stronger, thinner and ready for a larger iPhone.

The loudest iPhone 6 rumors have been display rumors and the consensus at this point is that the iPhone 6 will deliver exactly what consumers have been clamoring for. A larger display with better resolution.

The Wall Street Journal believes the company will deliver both a 4.5-inch and a 5+-inch iPhone 6. NPD DisplaySearch believes that two iPhone 6 models with higher resolution displays will be coming in 2014. A KDB Daewoo Securities report uncovered by OLED-Display includes two iPhone 6 display sizes. And Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, who accurately predicted many of the iPhone 5s features ahead of time, thinks Apple is planning an iPhone 6 with a screen between 4.5-inches and 5-inches. For those keeping score, here is how that breaks down:

  • 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

A sketchy report from Economic Daily News claims that the iPhone 6 will indeed come in two sizes, 4.7-inches and 5.6-inches. The report goes even further than that and says that the 4.7-inch iPhone will come with Corning glass instead of Sapphire. It says that the larger iPhone will be the one that comes with a Sapphire display. The report also claims that the larger iPhone will not come with the name ‘iPhone’.

The video below shows what iOS 7 looks like on larger screens from 4.5-inches all the way up to 5.7-inches and will give iPhone 5 users an idea about the size difference.

Specs

iPhones, like all smartphones, are made up of many working parts. The display and design are important to most buyers but the stuff underneath the surface should be important as well.

A recent research note from KDB Daewoo Securities claims a great number of possible iPhone 6 specifications. Drawing from that note and from other reports, we have drawn up a list of features currently rumored to be aboard the new iPhone.

  • 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

Here is how the iPhone 5 would match up from a spec standpoint:

  • Apple A6
  • iOS 7
  • 4-inch Retina Display
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB / 32GB / 64GB storage options
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1440 mAh battery
  • 802.11 a, b, g, n Wi-Fi
  • Regular Home Button

Year after year, Apple works to improve the hardware aboard its iPhone so it’s no surprise to see early iPhone 6 rumors boasting of powerful specification upgrades. The most significant of the bunch include the inclusion of a 64-bit A8 processor, an improved camera, faster Wi-Fi, and Touch ID.

The latest Apple iPhone 6 rumors suggest an improved camera with a f1.8 aperture.

The latest Apple iPhone 6 rumors suggest an improved camera with a f1.8 aperture.

Starting with the home button, the iPhone 5 does not have the Touch ID fingerprint reader found inside the iPhone 5s’ home button. A recent report citing supply chain sources claims that Apple will keep the feature on the iPhone 6.

Apple always improves the camera inside of its iPhone in an effort to keep up with the times and ward off competition. It has been extremely successful in doing so and the iPhone camera is consistently rated among the best available. This year’s iPhone 6 camera will supposedly be an improved 8MP camera or a 10MP camera.

The company will almost certainly attach a 64-bit processor to the iPhone 6, the iPhone 5s utilizes one after all, and that and a possible boost in RAM would provide increased performance in areas like multitasking and gaming. Apple has made it clear that 64-bit is the future of its mobile devices as it built iOS 7 with 64-bit in mind.

One other big change could be the inclusion of 802.11ac Wi-Fi support. Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company claims that the iPhone 6 specs are “locked in” and that 802.11ac will be on board. This is a feature, found on Apple’s new MacBook line, enables faster Wi-Fi speeds that blow the current ones away. The iPhone 5 uses Apple’s current standard.

Software

Currently, the iPhone 5 uses iOS 7. Soon, it will be upgraded to iOS 7.1 before it receives whatever Apple has up its sleeve for this year. Like the iPhone, Apple also releases an annual iOS update for its older devices, an update that historically has been released alongside a brand new iPhone model.

Rumors point to the arrival of iOS 8. According to 9to5Mac, the iOS 8 update will not bring a lot of visual changes. Instead, it will pave the way for health and fitness tracking.

This iOS 8 concept shows what Healthbook might look like.

This iOS 8 concept shows what Healthbook might look like.

Apple is also reportedly working on an app that is code named Healthbook which may connect with sensors in an iPhone 6 or iWatch to help users track and manage a number of things including steps taken and calories burned.

The iPhone 5 will almost certainly get the next major iOS update because Apple tends to keep its devices updated for three years before ending support. The iPhone 5 debuted with iOS 6 and iOS 7 represented its first major update. That’s something that prospective iPhone 5 buyers need to keep in mind.

iPhone 6 Price

iPhone 6 price rumors are scarce but we have seen one analyst predict a price hike. Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group thinks the price of the iPhone 6 could jump up from the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 6 price could jump according to one analyst.

The iPhone 6 price could jump according to one analyst.

Caso says that his firm sees ”the potential for the iPhone 6 price point to move higher,” adding, “we think Apple could get away with a $50 to $100 premium for a larger screen size iPhone 6.” Apple’s iPhone 5s starts at $199.99 on-contract, the same price that the iPhone 5 started at when it was released in 2012.

Because the iPhone 5 is out of the Apple Store and going on two years old, it doesn’t have a static price. Still, we expect that the device will still be cheaper than the iPhone 6 once it arrives on shelves.

Comments

  1. Christian C. says

    The iPhone 5 has 1016MB of RAM. A full Gigabyte of RAM consists of 1024MB, therefor the iPhone 5 does NOT have a full 1GB of RAM. Your info is incorrect.

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