iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 5: What Buyers Can Expect

With an iPhone 6 release date said to be getting closer, prospective iPhone 6 buyers are starting to weigh their options. Here, we take a look at how we expect the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5 match up to look when the new iPhone release arrives this fall.

Back in 2012, the iPhone 5 was the best iPhone that money could buy. Apple’s iPhone 5 arrived on the scene with a new 4-inch Retina Display, a sleek industrial design that was and still is a step up from the iPhone 4s design, an improved camera, a new processor, the new Lightning dock standard, 4G LTE data speeds, and more. The device was immediately scooped up by consumers around the world, many of whom will be coming off contract later this year.

Even now, almost two years after its release, the iPhone 5 remains an option to consumers around the world. With a cheaper price tag and an upcoming iOS 8 update, it’s hard to blame people for looking at Apple’s former flagship. It’s also hard to blame folks for wanting to ditch the iPhone 5 for something new after two years.

Current and prospective iPhone 5 users likely have their eye on one device in particular, the rumored iPhone 6 that’s expected to be delivered on stage this fall. iPhone 6 rumors point to a significant upgrade from the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5 and they also suggest that the iPhone 6 release date is right there on the horizon. Needless to say, anticipation for the iPhone 6 is at all time high.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen iPhone 6 rumors become more and more concrete. We’ve made some early comparisons to several devices including the iPhone 5. Here, we want to go a little further as we explore those rumors and offer up some predictions of our own. Here’s how we expect the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5 match up to look in key areas for buyers and upgraders.

iPhone 6 Release Date + Price

Apple still hasn’t confirmed the iPhone 6 but it’s become increasingly clear that the company has something up its sleeve for September. The iPhone 6 launch has been repeatedly rumored for September and it now looks like it will take place on September 9th at an undisclosed location.

While the date itself isn’t confirmed, Recode’s John Paczkowski is a solid source and we expect Apple to confirm that date sometime between now and early September. We would not be surprised if Apple tried to take some steam out of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 4 launch on September 3rd with some news of its own.

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The iPhone 6 release date could arrive almost two-years from the iPhone 5 release.

The iPhone 6 release date could arrive almost two-years from the iPhone 5 release.

An Apple iPhone 6 release date is still out of reach and there’s a good chance that it will stay in the shadows until Apple takes the stage on September 9th. That said, we’re expecting an iPhone 6 release date that takes place in the same iPhone launch window that Apple always uses.

Apple is well known for releasing its iPhones in and around two weeks after launch. It’s also known for releasing new iPhones on Friday. September 19th fits the criteria perfectly and unsurprisingly, the date is rumored to actually be the first of what could be two iPhone 6 release dates.

iPhone 6 release date rumors have continued to point to two separate release dates for Apple’s new iPhone. The latest rumor comes from VentureBeat who claims that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 release date will happen in September while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 release date could arrive up to a month after the initial release. This lines up with early iPhone 6 rumors including details from respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

iPhone 6 clone showing off iPhone 6 rumors.

iPhone 6 clone showing off iPhone 6 rumors.

If Apple does have two iPhones up its sleeve, we expect the company to debut both on September 9th. If the company holds back, it could potentially cut into initial iPhone sales as consumers take a wait a see approach into the month of October.

In summary, here’s Apple’s potential iPhone 6 release timeline:

  • iPhone 6 announcement on September 9th.
  • iPhone 6 release date on September 19th. (Or September 26th, another Friday in late September.)
  • iOS 8 release somewhere between September 9th and September 26th.

So what does this mean for the iPhone 5?

For those looking to upgrade from the iPhone 5, it means that you should expect the iPhone 6 release to be just weeks away. That means that you should start preparing for the iPhone 6 right now.

For those thinking about buying the iPhone 5 over the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s, it means that we could potentially see an iPhone 5 price cut in just a few short weeks. Older iPhones typically see their price tags go into rapid decline after the arrival of a new iPhone. And while the iPhone 5 is no longer sold on the Apple Store, we could see remaining retailers offer deals to attract those on the fence.

That’s as good of a reason as any to hold off on buying the iPhone 5s right now.

New & Improved Design

iPhone 6 rumors have continually pointed to a redesign and we’ve seen rumors, leaks, and speculation from analysts align around some very specific iPhone 6 design details. Nothing is set in stone but when there’s a ton of smoke, there’s usually a ton of fire, so prospective buyers should expect a new look from the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5 -  3

We fully expect Apple’s new iPhone design to come with a marked improvement. Specifically, we should see the iPhone 6 design come with more metal than the iPhone 5, ditching the glass top and bottom parts on the back of the phone for a full metal back cover.

Apple’s new design is also rumored to be thin, perhaps as thin as 7mm, and feature a taller and wider footprint to accommodate a larger display. The display itself is rumored to be made out of sapphire material to protect the front of the design from harm. So, we’re expecting a thinner, more durable iPhone 6 design. The iPhone 5 design is thin but its durability was called into question almost immediately after launch.

The new iPhone release is rumored to have a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a feature that is on the iPhone 5s. VentureBeat claims that Apple will introduce improvements that will speed up read times and improve accuracy. We expect both. The iPhone 5, of course, comes with your standard home button for navigation.

The iPhone 6 will offer Touch ID, like the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 6 will offer Touch ID, like the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 6 itself has yet to leak out and there’s a good chance that Apple will clamp down on full blown leaks until its announcement. Fortunately, we’ve been able to go hands on with Spigen’s upcoming iPhone 6 case and the video below will give you a pretty good idea about what to expect from the iPhone 6 design. The mockup is based on rumors but there is a chance that Spigen is armed with inside info.

For a comparison between the iPhone 5 design and the alleged iPhone 6, have a look at the video below.

If you want a little more realism, take a look at these iPhone 6 concept photo below. These photos, from our friend Martin Hajek, bring the latest iPhone 6 design rumors to life and offer a glimpse at what the real iPhone 6 could look like when it arrives.

iPhone 6 renders

Bigger Display

At this point, we’re expecting the iPhone 6 to feature a larger display than the iPhone 5. iPhone 6 rumors continue to point to a brand new higher-resolution Retina Display that measures both 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. Apple’s iPhone 6 will reportedly deliver a 4.7-inch screen with a 1704 x 960 resolution that delivers a 416 ppi experience. The best part is that it looks like the company might be able to accomplish that without blowing up the size of the iPhone.

The iPhone screen size will boost from 4-inch on the iPhone 5 to 4.7-inch on the iPhone 6.

The iPhone screen size will boost from 4-inch on the iPhone 5 to 4.7-inch on the iPhone 6.

One of the nice things about the iPhone 5 is that its 4-inch Retina Display not only looks good but it allows for easy one-hand use. The iPhone 6 is likely going to be larger than the iPhone 5 but as you can see, the 4.7-inch model may not be that much bigger than the iPhone 5. One-handed use with our 4.7-inch model isn’t a burden. It feels comfortable.

Expect a bigger screen on the iPhone 6, but not incredibly big.

Expect a bigger screen on the iPhone 6, but not incredibly big.

The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could be much larger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and thus, much larger than the iPhone 5. We’ve only seen that device leak out a few times though in each photo, it’s been noticeably larger. The photo below shows a 4.7-inch iPhone next to a larger 5.5-inch model.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 - Apple reportedly preps a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch iPhone.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 – Apple reportedly preps a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch iPhone.

We’re expecting the iPhone 6 to deliver the best of both worlds. A larger screen that’s better for gaming, watching movies and surfing the web and a design that allows for users to still get that great one-handed use they’ve come to expect from the iPhone year after year.

Supercharged Specs

Here’s a breakdown of the latest iPhone 6 specs:

The A8 processor has been rumored several times and it appears to be a lock for the new iPhone. Rumors suggest that the 5.5-inch model could be faster than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. In other words, we’re expecting the iPhone 6 to perform better than last year’s iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s, with its 64-bit processor, outperforms the iPhone 5.

We’re expecting the usual upgrade to the iPhone camera though rumors are still a bit blurry. Rumors point to a better iPhone 6 camera in 2014, but it isn’t clear what Apple plans to do. Rumors currently focus on several upgrade options including;

  • 8MP sensor with bigger pixels
  • 13MP sensor from Sony
  • Optical Image Stabilization or Electronic Image Stabilization.

Expect an iPhone 6 that takes better looking photos than the iPhone 5.

Expect an iPhone 6 that takes better looking photos than the iPhone 5.

We’re still not sold on the 128GB iPhone or NFC, the rumors are more flimsy than the camera and processor upgrades, so prospective users will want to temper expectations. NFC, or Near-Field Communication, would allow iPhone 6 users to use their phone like a mobile wallet. It’s a feature that was incorporated into Android smartphones years ago but still hasn’t made it onto the iPhone.

Expect processor and camera upgrades (to go along with the larger display and redesign) with a chance for some other bells and whistles as well.

Software

Both of these devices will run iOS 8 come September. We haven’t heard about any significant software differences between the two but we can point out one thing that prospective iPhone 6 and iPhone 5 buyers will want to be aware of.

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 Walkthrough - Spotlight

Apple tends to update iPhones for three years before kicking them to the curb. iOS 8 represents the iPhone 5’s second major update which means that it should get iOS 9 down the road. The iPhone 6 on the other hand will come stock with iOS 8 which means that it should have three years or more left in the tank.

As we’ve pointed out, this is just one reason to avoid buying the iPhone 5 right now. It might also be wise to consider buying it off-contract if you choose to skip the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s and go with Apple’s aging former flagship.

Same Carriers

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We haven’t seen any iPhone 6 carrier rumors emerge though we expect the same from this year’s model. That means the usual suspects AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon along with U.S. Cellular and an assortment of pre-paid and smaller regional U.S. carriers. We would also not be surprised if U.S. Cellular released the iPhone 6 alongside the big boys this year.

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