With an iPhone 6 launch date all but confirmed for September 9th and an iPhone 6 release date expected to arrive just a few short weeks after its announcement, it’s time to take a look at what we expect from Apple’s new iPhone release and more specifically, the iPhone 6 specs.
For months, iPhone 6 rumors have swirled, teasing prospective smartphone buyers with tales of alleged iPhone 6 specs, the iPhone 6 launch date and even the iPhone 6 release date itself. As we’ve closer to the fall and Apple’s usual iPhone release window, we’ve started to see those iPhone 6 rumors firm up before Apple’s inevitable on stage announcement.
Earlier this month, a pair of reports from Recode and The Wall Street Journal pegged the iPhone 6 launch date for September 9th. That date is not confirmed but the sources are credible and have proven accurate before. What this means is that we’re likely just a few short weeks away from hearing about the iPhone 6 release date and the iPhone 6 specs.
iPhone 6 specs have leaked out numerous times in the past eight months as reports and rumors have attempted to out the device’s key features ahead of time. On paper, the iPhone 6 looks like it will be a solid addition to the iPhone family and a step up from the iPhone 5s that launched in September last year. Nothing is confirmed until Apple takes the stage but many iPhone 6 specs are looking like solid bets ahead of the iPhone 6 release this fall.
Here, we take a look at what we think are those solid bets, iPhone 6 specs that are likely to be listed on Apple’s official spec sheet later this year. These are educated predictions based on incessant iPhone 6 rumors, on gut feelings, and on years of covering Apple products like hawks. This is what we expect the iPhone 6 specs sheet to look like.
The iPhone 6 specs sheet will almost certainly be filled with powerful specifications, many of which will be changed from the specs found on the iPhone 5s. Apple is well known for upgrading its specs year-after-year. It’s also well known for introducing massive upgrades every two years. The iPhone 6 should deliver both.
One of the features that Apple always updates is the camera. Typically, the upgrades come in the form of hardware bumps and additions to the company’s stock camera application. We already know that iOS 8 is bringing some big changes to the camera application and we’re expecting the iPhone 6 camera to feature some new hardware to match it.
iPhone 6 rumors point to a better 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
There hasn’t been a ton of chatter concerning the camera, rumors have primarily been focused on the look of the lens on the back, but the rumors and Apple’s history are enough to convince us that Apple has something new up its sleeve. After all, this is a phone that needs to compete for the next year.
It’s clear to us that Apple isn’t going to join the megapixel race any time soon so we don’t expect the company to unveil anything crazy. And with image stabilization becoming more common place (it’s on the LG G3, Nexus 5 and is heavily rumored for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4), we see Apple making that jump this year.
Look for the iPhone 6 to include a new sensor and some type of image stabilization technology to help cut down on shakiness during photos and videos.
Another feature that Apple tends to swap out every year is the processor. Last year, we saw the company make a big jump with the arrival of the A7 64-bit chip and the M7 co-processor and this year, the company is expected to release another processor that improves on the hardware from last year.
Apple’s new A8 64-bit processor has been rumored many times throughout the year and it appears to be a lock for the new iPhone. Rumors also suggest that the 5.5-inch model could actually be clocker faster than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. In addition, we’ve heard that the A8 will pair with a new M8 co-processor that could include a barometer and air pressure sensors, something that could tie into Apple’s fitness push.
At this point, prospective iPhone 6 owners should be expecting a new processor that delivers enhanced performance in key areas like battery life and multitasking.
New Display Sizes
All year we’ve been hearing about Apple’s plans for the iPhone 6 display and just about every single iPhone 6 rumor and leak points to a much larger display than the 4-inch Retina Display on the iPhone 5s.
iPhone 6 rumors continue to point to a brand new Retina Display that measures both 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. While the increase in size appears to be significant, we don’t expect it to make a huge impact on the size of the 4.7-inch iPhone. Thanks to thinner bezels and design tweaks, that model may not be too much larger than the 4-inch iPhone 5s.
As for the 5.5-inch model, it could be much larger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. We’ve only seen that device leak out a few times and in each photo, it’s been noticeably larger than the 4.7-inch model. The photo below shows a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 next to a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6.
At this point, given the excessive nature of the iPhone 6 display rumors, we’re expecting Apple to finally deliver larger screen sizes. Apple rumors have been wrong in the past but the sheer amount of rumors out right now have helped to set consumer expectations. It would be extremely strange if all of them were wrong. We’re confident that the 4.7-inch model will be out next month. We also expect the 5.5-inch model to be announced on September 9th.
New Screen Resolution
The increase in size will mean a change in screen resolution. Early iPhone 6 display rumors pointed to a 4.7-inch screen with a 1704 x 960 resolution with 416 pixels-per-inch for sharper, crisper content.
9to5Mac reports that a new screen resolution, discovered inside iOS 8’s code, could actually be the real resolution found on the iPhone 6. The publication claims that the code points to a possible 828 x 1472 resolution with Retina quality looks and a 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen content. Either way, it’s looking like there will be a change with the larger displays all but confirmed for arrival.
At this point, we’re expecting new resolution but we doubt that the iPhone 6’s Retina Display will be able to match the Quad HD resolution found on top Android smartphones like the LG G3. The benefits of QHD, which can be seen in the video below, are real and the resolution trumps the Retina Display found on the current iPhone 5s.
We still expect the iPhone 6 display to be extremely competitive just like how the Retina Display has remained competitive over the years even as Android smartphones have upped their screen resolutions from 720p to 1080p to 2560 x 1440.
Multiple Storage Options
iPhones have never come with a microSD card slot for expanded storage and iPhone 6 design leaks all point to a lack of a microSD card slot on Apple’s redesign. What this means is that we’re still expecting the iPhone 6 to have multiple storage options at different price points.
Recently, we saw a 128GB model emerge without the presence of a 32GB model. While 128GB evidence continues to mount, we’re still skeptical about the prospects. We’ve seen 128GB rumors emerge several times in recent years only for Apple to crush consumer dreams and keep the iPhone at 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.
We’re not confident about the exact storage options though we could see a 128GB model emerging now that we have the larger screen sizes that are built for content consumption and gaming. At the very least, expect Apple to come through with an assortment of storage options that suit most needs.
iPhone 6 rumors continue to point to a new Wi-Fi standard, specifically, the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard that arrived on Apple’s new MacBooks many months ago. If true, the feature would bring increased Wi-Fi performance in both speeds and power efficiency.
802.11ac is the standard for top flight Android smartphones and we would not be surprised if Apple, after harassing the technology on its MacBooks, finally brings it to the iPhone with the iPhone 6.
If Apple’s iPhone 6 does come with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, expect the device to come equipped with a Broadcom chip. Apple uses Broadcom’s chips inside of its new MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro models.
Touch ID, the fingerprint reader that Apple introduced on last year’s iPhone 5s, will almost certainly be on board the iPhone 6 this year. It would be insane for Apple to kill off the technology just a year after it’s release and evidence suggests that Apple isn’t insane.
iOS 8 will bring new extensions for Touch ID that allow developers to better make use of the fingerprint sensor with their own applications. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you that Apple is keeping the technology around, consider the various iPhone 6 rumors and leaks that have all pointed to the inclusion of Touch ID inside the iPhone 6’s home button.
iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 rumors also point to the arrival of Touch ID so we’re expecting Apple to unify its products in 2014, much like it did when it introduced the Lightning dock port standard with the iPhone 5.
There’s no reason to believe that Apple will be ditching its Lightning dock standard with this year’s iPhone 6. In fact, alleged iPhone 6 models point to the same standard that we’ve seen emerge on all of Apple’s products in recent years.
The switch from 30-pin to Lightning was a huge deal back in 2012 and something that was rumored extensively in the buildup to the iPhone 5 release. We’re not seeing the same here and thus, we expect the Lightning dock to live on.
We expect the iPhone 6 to retain the company’s nano-SIM standard. Like the Lightning port, the change from micro to nano SIM was a huge deal for Apple and the iPhone. If the iPhone 6 was making a move, we’d have heard about it by now.
We haven’t seen any iPhone 6 carrier rumors emerge though we expect the same deal from this year’s model. That means the usual suspects AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon along with 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.