Apple is working on a new iPhone for 2014 called the iPhone 6 or iPhone Air, depending on who you ask. After releasing the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in late 2013 as minor updates to the iPhone 5, consumers are already looking towards fall for a new iPhone 6 release to replace aging iPhones.
The iPhone 5s is a fast phone, but it looks just like the iPhone 5 and the screen is small compared to the rest of the best smartphones on the market. Simply put there is a lot of hype from iPhone 6 rumors and a lot of consumer expectation for a new iPhone that delivers the wow factor with a new design, bigger screen and exciting new features.
After a secret Apple document revealed it knows consumers want an iPhone with a bigger screen and a survey showed unprecedented demand for an iPhone 6 with a bigger display and a new design it is pretty clear that a bigger screen is an inevitable iPhone 6 feature.
Apple normally announces a new iPhone X model after an iPhone ‘s’ release, which means 2014 is the year of the iPhone 6. There is a chance Apple might change the name if the new iPhone is thin enough to earn a iPhone Air name, but in the minds of most consumers this is the iPhone 6.
Updated on June 11, 2014
Samsung and HTC did not take a year off, and are already selling their iPhone 6 competitors on all major carriers. The Samsung Galaxy S5 delivers a 5.1-inch display, a dramatically better camera and is water-resistant. The HTC One M8 uses more metal, offers the best sounding smartphone speakers and motion gesture controls. While we may finally see a iPhone with a phablet size display, Samsung isn’t slacking off with plans for a Galaxy Note 4 near an iPhone release date.
What Buyers Can Expect
Until Apple holds an official event there are no confirmed iPhone 6 facts, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a good idea of what iPhone 6 buyers can expect this fall. Thanks to reliable analysts, leaks from trusted sources and our knowledge of the wireless industry and Apple’s history we can share what we expect from a new iPhone, or iPhones, in 2014.
Read: 50 iPhone 6 Expectations
The list below shows the most likely iPhone 6 details based on the most current rumors. This picture of an iPhone 6 will change as new information arrives and will solidify as the iPhone 6 release approaches, but right now this is what to expect.
- iPhone 6 Screen Size – 4.7-inch iPhone and a 5.5-inch iPhone with 1704 x 960 resolution.
- iPhone 6 Release Date – September for the 4.7-inch, October or November a 5.5-inch iPhone.
- iPhone 6 Design – A new thinner iPhone 6 design with more metal, power button on the right.
- iPhone 6 Specs – Apple A8 processor, 1GB RAM, 8MP Camera, Touch ID.
- iPhone 6 Price – Possible price jump of $50 to $100, Expect a higher price for a 5.5-inch iPhone.
For more details on each of these, check out the sections below that go into more detail about the iPhone 6 rumors. If you only need to know the latest information about the iPhone 6, congratulations you know what we expect from Apple in 2014.
iPhone 6 Release Date
There is no doubt that the iPhone 6 release date is in 2014, but nailing down a specific date isn’t likely until late summer and even then we will not know until Apple sends out invitations to a fall event. That doesn’t mean we don’t have an idea when the iPhone 6 release date will arrive.
The best bet is an iPhone 6 release date in September. This is the month that many analysts point to when telling investors what to expect from Apple in 2014. A german carrier told apfelpage that the iPhone 6 release date is set for September 19th.
Apple announced iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 on June 2nd, telling developers to prepare for a fall release. Typically the new iOS update comes days ahead of a new iPhone, so this is nearly confirmation that the iPhone 6 ids coming this fall. Check out what iOS 8 tells us about the iPhone 6.
At least one iPhone 6 release date should come within three months of this event. Apple announced and released three of the last four iPhones in the fall. The last two iPhone release dates arrived in September right before Apple closes out its fiscal year. This lets Apple book the first weekend of sales before switching over to a new year. If Apple sticks to this schedule you should be able to buy the iPhone 6 by September 27th, in time for the close of the fiscal year on September 29th, 2014.
iPhone release dates typically arrive a week and a half after an Apple event, and normally take place on a Friday. The iPhone 5 arrived on Friday September 21st and the iPhone 5s arrived on Friday September 20th. If analysts are right about an iPhone 6 release date in September, the 19th is a good guess.
While recent reports suggest Apple may be planning an iPhone 6 release date for August, more evidence suggests the company is indeed planning for September. A report from iFun claims German Apple Store employee vacations are limited starting in the middle of the month.
Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is planning a release in September, as does KDB Daewoo Securities. Kuo is a secretive analyst with KGI Securities who accurately predicted many of the iPhone 5s features before its release and recently shared key iPhone 6 details alongside a complete Apple product roadmap for 2014. Steve Milunovich of UBS and Andy Hargreaves at Pacific Crest recently told publications the iPhone 6 release date is on track for September. News reports from Nikkei and ZDNet Korea also point to a fall iPhone 6 release that could come as early as September.
An Apple partner that many suspect is working on a strong Sapphire display cover for the iPhone 6 told investors to expect a return to profitability in the second half of 2014.
But the iPhone 6 release date is not so simple with two models reportedly in the works. The latest reports suggest issues with batteries or display technology will push the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 release date beyond September, but Kuo still believes it will arrive in 2014. Recent reports suggest Apple will deliver the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 in October near an iWatch event.
iPhone 6 Price & Carriers
Apple is negotiating a higher iPhone 6 price according to a recent report and several analyst notes point to the possibility of a higher iPhone 6 price in 2014.
Apple currently charges $199 on contract for a 16GB iPhone 5s and $649 off contract. It is possible that the iPhone 6 price will increase $50-$100 from this as Apple introduces a larger screen, but there is a very good chance that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 price will stay at $199 on contract.
If the larger iPhone 6 with a 5.5-inch display arrives as rumored there will certainly be a higher price. Apple loves to price upgrades in screen size or storage at a $100 premium so a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could easily cost $299 on contract like the Galaxy Note 3. This would also likely result in a $749 off contract price.
Expect to see the iPhone 6 release arrive on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon in the U.S. and on major carriers in the UK, China, Australia, France, Germany and Japan on the same day. Other carriers will likely include US Cellular, Boost Mobile, Straight Talk and regional carriers in the U.S. after weeks or months on the biggest carriers. Apple will also likely expand to additional countries a month or so after the initial release date.
iPhone 6 Display
It looks like Apple is finally ready to jump into 2014 with a bigger iPhone screen, marking the second time the company will upgrade to a bigger display and the first time it will match the size of the top Android competition.
Originally iPhone 6 display rumors ranged from 4.5-inches to 6-inches, but leaks and analyst reports are focused on two specific sizes that Apple is reportedly narrowed in on. Buyers could see a 4.7-inch model and a 5.5-inch model. This would copy the strategy Samsung uses with the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3, with a big and bigger approach. If Apple brings these rumored devices to market expect to see the iPhone 5s remain available as a small iPhone.
In addition to an increase in size we expect a higher resolution to keep the quality of the display up to Apple standards. Kuo speculates that Apple will use a 1334 x 750 resolution, 325 pixel -per-inch (ppi) display and NPD DisplaySearch suggests a 1600 x 900 resolution, 386 ppi display on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. All reliable sources point to a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 401 ppi. The iPhone 5s Retina display uses a 1136 x 640 resolution with 326 ppi.
A report from 9to5Mac outlines a potential iPhone 6 resolution of 1704 x 960 for the 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch model that would deliver a higher pixel per inch count and simplify the transition from a current 4-inch display.
In general a higher resolution is better and Apple delivers the same 326 pixels-per-inch on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s as part of the Retina branding. The more pixels in an inch the harder it is to see pixels, which means pictures, text and video look smoother. A new resolution for an iPhone 6 would force app developers to update apps for the larger display, similar to the 0.5-inch upgrade in 2012.
An Apple patent shows a wrap-around display and an amazing looking iPhone 6 concept shows what a curved or flexible display could look like, but don’t expect anything more than a size increase in 2014.
iPhone 6 Design
Design is a major part of the Apple experience. From the iPhone and iPad to the MacBook Air and Mac Pro the company places a premium on the look and feel of products. In addition to knowing that Apple likes to sell good looking products, we also know that the company normally switches to a new iPhone design every two years. After using the same look for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, we expect a completely new look in 2014.
It appears that Apple is working on a new design that borrows from the iPod and iPad with a slimmer design and curved edges instead of the current chamfered edges and straight sides of iPhone 5s. A recent video shows a mockup of what could be the iPhone 6 design, based on recent rumors.
This iPhone 6 dummy unit, is not something that we believe came from Apple, but instead from a case maker that is acting on the recent rumors and leaks. In the video we see a new look complete with slimmer volume buttons and a power button that is on the right side.
There is no good size comparison in this video, but thanks to a collection of concepts and mock ups we have an idea of how big an iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display may be next to the iPhone 5s, Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8. The photo below from a deuxani shows the size of a possible iPhone 6 next to the top Android phones of 2014.
While a recent report from a Ukranian blog and an early case prototype suggest the iPhone 6 may be as thin as 6mm, Ming-Chi Kuo suggests a thickness of 6.5mm to 7mm. Kuo’s estimate is easier to believe due to his long track record with Apple supply chain rumors and predictions that come true.
One additional design aspect we continue to see is an iPhone with more metal. The iPhone 5s back includes small areas of glass to allow the iPhone to communicate easily, but we could see more aluminum in those areas.
iPhone 6 photo leaks continue to show parts, like the alleged back of an iPhone 6 with a design similar to the iPhone 6 mockups and a hole in the back for the Apple logo. It is possible this opening will help antenna communication which is typically tough with an all metal phone.
Recent case leaks show how the size of the two iPhone 6 models may compare, with a case for the 4.7-inch model and a case for the 5.5-inch model. We also see another leak showing the iPhone 6 mock up with what appears to be a screen inside a iPhone body, but the display is not on.
There are no shortage of leaked photos that might show a part of the new iPhone design, but it is still tough to determine if this design is what we will see this fall.
iPhone 6 Features & Specs
Apple is not likely to focus on the 2014 iPhone specs to sell the device. Instead Apple will talk about iPhone 6 features that the specs enable.
Multiple sources agree Apple is planning a new Apple A8 processor for the iPhone 6. This update from the A7 processor found on the iPhone 5s will also likely include a motion co processor like the M7, but that is not as clear as an A8 upgrade. It looks like Apple may use 1GB of RAM in the iPhone, but it could be a new faster type of RAM that could deliver better performance and battery life.
Apple supports headphones over a lightning connection, which will not be an exclusive iPhone 6 feature, but it is one that we expect to see talked about on stage during an iPhone 6 announcement.
We continue to hear that Apple will include NFC in the iPhone 6 to facilitate mobile payments, even though the company skipped this feature for the last several years.
iPhone 6 Camera
With each iPhone release Apple delivers a slightly improved camera that can take better looking photos. For the iPhone 6 camera we could see the same 8MP rating on spec sheets and still see improvements.
Recent reports suggest Apple will increase the size of the pixels, similar to the move HTC made for the HTC One, to deliver more light and hopefully better looking photos. Sun Chang Xu of ESM-China believes Apple will use a 1.75 um pixel on the iPhone 6, compared to a 1.5 um pixel on the iPhone 5s.
There are also conflicting rumors about plans to include optical image stabilization (OIS). This technology could help users take better looking photos, but a recent report suggests Apple may choose to use an electronic version of image stabilization. Xu is the source of this EIS rumor as well. Electronic Image Stabilization would allow Apple to avoid moving parts and it could also allow Apple to make a thinner iPhone without a protruding camera.
Apple announced iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 with over 51 exciting features that consumers will actually use. Along with this new software Apple delivered an update to a tool developers use that allows them to develop for a bigger iPhone, without actually calling it a bigger iPhone.
iOS 8 arrives this fall and will offer better connectivity between the iPhone, iPad and Macs running OS X Yosemite. This includes a handoff feature to easily switch between devices and work on the same email or app, receive phone calls and texts on the iPad or Mac when your iPhone is near and an Instant Hotspot for faster connectivity.
Apple includes HealthKit and a Health app in iOS 8 that allows the device to connect to accessories and to use the motion sensors built into the iPhone to track important information in one place. This will also likely play a role in a wearable like the iWatch.
Apple also announced a home automation initiative that will allow users to control their home with smart accessories, the iPhone and Siri.
Many of the iOS 8 features are clearly designed to tempt Android users like a better keyboard with support for third-party keyboards, interactive notifications, fast access to favorite contacts and more.
For all that Apple announced there is still a lot about iOS 8 that we don’t know. Talented individuals continue to look through the iOS 8 beta code to discover new features that Apple may announce this fall.
iOS 8 is compatible with the following devices, and will likely ship as the first version of iOS on the iPhone 6 this fall.