iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5: 7 Most Important Things to Know So Far

Later this year, many iPhone 5 users will be faced with a tough decision: Keep the iPhone 5 or upgrade to something newer, something potentially better than Apple’s aging flagship. Those who are thinking about an upgrade likely have the rumored Apple iPhone 6 on the mind and here, we take a look at the most important things upgraders need to know so far about the rumored, but likely, 2014 iPhone.

In 2012, Apple introduced a brand new redesigned iPhone that delivered many of the features that consumers had been campaigning for for years. The iPhone 5, as it was called, arrived with a premium industrial design that was both thin and lightweight, a larger 4-inch Retina Display that offered 16:9 aspect ratio, 4G LTE data speeds, a Lighting port, and all of the other hardware upgrades (camera, processor, etc) that consumers have come to expect every single year.

The iPhone 5 was an exciting proposition and many consumers chose Apple’s 2012 iPhone over the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2, Lumia 920 and more.That was nearly two years ago and in just a few short months, iPhone 5 users who bought the device right around its September release date will be coming off contract.

When they do come off contract, there will be plenty of devices tugging at their hearts and wallets. One of those devices will be the iPhone 6, Apple’s 2014 iPhone and a device that has surfaced numerous times in the past four and a half months.

As iPhone 6 rumors have picked up, so have the questions from iPhone 5 users. Friends, family and readers have all chimed in, asking us about the next iPhone and how it might compare to the iPhone 5. While nothing is set in stone, there are enough credible details out to warrant a quick look at how the iPhone 6 might compare to the iPhone 5.

These are not only the most credible details but the most important and those thinking about ditching their iPhone 5 later this year would be wise to absorb the information as we head closer to the inevitable iPhone 6 release later on this year.

iPhone 6 Release Date

The first question that we typically get from iPhone 5 owners is about the next iPhone’s release date. While we still don’t have a definitive iPhone 6 release date, we do have an assortment of leaks, clues and rumors to pull from. Fortunately, almost all of them point to an arrival this fall after Apple takes the stage at WWDC.

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It used to be that Apple would use the WWDC platform to announce its brand new iPhone model. The past three years though have seen Apple skip WWDC and announce the iPhone at fall events. The iPhone 4s arrived in October while the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s both debuted a month earlier in September. This year is looking like it will be more of the same.

When Apple announced WWDC, it made it clear that the event would be about OS X and iOS. Rumors suggest that the event will be the launch pad for OS X 10.10, a major update for Macs, and iOS 8 for iPhone and iPad.

A second rumor points to an iPhone 6 release date in August, earlier than many predictions.

A second rumor points to an iPhone 6 release date in August, earlier than many predictions.

So, it should come as no surprise to learn that iPhone 6 release date rumors almost exclusively point to an arrival this fall. While we initially heard murmurings about a summer release, those have subsided and given way to an avalanche of iPhone 6 rumors that point to a release sometime this fall.

Recently, iPhone 6 release rumors have firmed up around an arrival in September. We’ve also heard about a potential early release in August but a majority of rumors, at this point, point to September. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire and September at this point is the front runner for the iPhone 6 release date.

In other words, iPhone 5 owners looking to swap out their aging smartphone for a new iPhone 6 will likely have to wait at least a few more months. iPhone 6 launch date rumors typically start to firm up a few weeks before the actual event which means that we may not hear about the iPhone 6 launch date until August.

As for the actual release date, Apple tends to release its devices a couple of weeks after launch. In other words, a late September or early October release appears likely at this point.

Larger Screen

A fall release isn’t the only iPhone 6 feature that’s almost set in stone. iPhone 6 rumors also universally point to an increase in screen size. Rumors have continually pointed to a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch iPhone 6. We’ve seen these sizes leak out ad nauseam and when that happens, there is typically some truth to the rumors.

Thanks to a series of leaks, we’ve seen just how a larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could compare to some of the top devices on the market, including the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s shares a 4-inch Retina Display with the iPhone 5. While the screen size might jump, we’ve seen how Apple might be able to keep the overall size increase to a minimum.

We see a mockup of a thinner iPhone 6 below an iPhone 5s.

We see a mockup of a thinner iPhone 6 below an iPhone 5s.

In a note shared by MacRumors, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that he believes that the iPhone 6 will come with a power button on right and narrower bezels. This lines up with what we’ve seen on several leaked iPhone 6 mockups. Kuo accurately predicted many of the iPhone 5s’ features before its launch last September so his information is considered more credible than most.

The supposed iPhone 6 models that we’ve seen emerge in recent weeks are larger than the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, but it’s not an overwhelming size difference.

The iPhone 6 screen sizes come into focus as reports firm up on the size and the resolution.

The iPhone 6 screen sizes come into focus as reports firm up on the size and the resolution.

We’ve also heard that the resolution of the iPhone 6 could jump up to 1704 x 960. This would help to make Apple’s Retina Display, one of the best screens on the market, crisper and sharper than the display found on the iPhone 5.

In other words, we could potentially see a larger, and better display arrive with the iPhone 6 and that’s something that should have iPhone 5 owners excited.

Design Changes

Alleged iPhone 6 mockups show what the iPhone 6 could look like next to the iPhone 5s and other high end smartphones. In addition to the larger design, we see the changes that Apple will supposedly make to the button layout on the iPhone. That’s not all either.

iphone6mock4

iPhone 6 rumors suggest that Apple could deliver an iPhone 6 that is up to 26% thinner than the iPhone 5s. A recent leak from Ukrainian website suggests Apple is aiming for a smartphone as thin as 6mm, but Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities believes a 6.5 – 7mm thickness is easier for the company to achieve.

A recent Macotakara report shared two possible sets of iPhone 6 dimensions for both the 4.7-inch model and 5+inch model, dimensions that lineup with what we’re seeing here.

  • iPhone 6 (4.7) -140 x 70 x 7mm
  • iPhone 6 (5.7) – 160 x 80 x 7mm

Apple will also reportedly utilize sapphire for the iPhone 6 display. A Sapphire display would mean a more scratch-resistant display. If true, we could wind up seeing a iPhone 6 that not only comes with a bigger sized, higher-resolution screen but a display with improved battery efficiency and image quality. The iPhone 5 does not come with a sapphire display.

Better Camera

The iPhone 3GS camera trumped the camera on the iPhone 3G. The iPhone 4 camera bested the camera found on the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4s camera was better than the iPhone 4′s camera. The iPhone 5 camera beat out the iPhone 4s’ camera. And finally, last year’s iPhone 5s has been proven to be better than the iPhone 5′s. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that Apple is reportedly planning some changes to the camera on the iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6 camera could take photos that are sharper and ultimately much better looking than the current iPhone 5s thanks to a new image stabilization that takes multiple photos which, combined with software, could help to produce a “super-resolution” photo that is better than the limitations of the hardware would normally offer.

Apple and HTC have not joined the megapixel race.

Apple and HTC have not joined the megapixel race.

We are hearing that Apple could use a larger pixel size on the sensor and image stabilization technology. By using electronic image stabilization instead of optical image stabilization Apple should be able to make a thinner iPhone 6.

There are many iPhone 6 rumors that focus on the camera. In a report from April, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors to expect an 8MP camera with the same Aperture as the iPhone 5s, but to expect optical image stabilization. Another report from January also includes optical image stabilization and an 8MP sensor. In March a report suggested that Apple is partnering with Invensense for Optical Image Stabilization parts on the iPhone 6.

So, we should see a jump from the iPhone 5s camera, a camera that itself jumped up in quality from the one found inside of the iPhone 5.

Other Hardware Upgrades

iPhone 5 owners should know that the iPhone 6 should come with more impressive hardware. In addition to Touch ID fingerprint technology, the iPhone 6 is expected to feature a brand new A8 64-bit processor, something that will lead to better performance and perhaps, better battery efficiency.

There are also rumors that suggest that it could come with NFC on board, something that could help the iPhone 6 replace the wallet. NFC has been available inside Android smartphones for years but we finally could see Apple join the bandwagon with the iPhone 6. The iPhone 5 does not have an NFC chip on board.

Start Saving

The iPhone 6 price isn’t yet known but analysts believe that we could see a price hike from the $199.99 price that arrived with both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5.

In November, shortly after the iPhone 5s release, Chris Caso of Susquehanna Financial Group  said that he believed that the price of the iPhone 6 could jump up as much as $100 from the price of the iPhone 5s. Caso’s prediction was recently backed up by well known Jefferies analyst Peter Misek who says that he also believes that there is a potential for a $100 price jump. Others though believe that the iPhone 6 might stay at $199.99, its usual price point.

The iPhone 6 price is a hot topic, with analysts predicting different decisions by Apple.

The iPhone 6 price is a hot topic, with analysts predicting different decisions by Apple.

The point is this. The iPhone 6 probably isn’t going to be given away for free. And given that it’s likely coming with a large high resolution display and a number of other high-end features, there is certainly a chance that we could see Apple charge a premium like it did with the iPad mini with Retina Display.

iPhone 5 upgrades would be wise to start saving now, just in case.

iOS 8

The iOS 8 update should touch down at WWDC in June. Tim Cook and company are expected to take the stage on June 2nd and introduce the brand new iOS 8 update for iPhone and iPad and outline the changes that iPhone and iPad owners can expect. We’ve highlighted many of the credible iOS 8 rumors in the video below.

What’s important for iPhone 5 owners to note is that the device should get iOS 8. Apple devices are typically updates for three years before being kicked aside. The iPhone 5 has, thus far, only received one major iOS update in iOS 7. It’s a shoo-in to receive the iOS 8 update from Apple, something that will prolong its life.

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Of course, not all iOS updates are the same. Newer devices typically get a better feature set. For instance, the iPhone 5 got more iOS 7 features than the iPhone 4. We also typically see new iPhones get unique features that aren’t available to older devices. In other words, the iPhone 6 may get a better version of iOS 8.

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