Wednesday, 4 June 2014

iPhone 6 release date, news and rumours


Updated: iPhone 6 release date, news and rumors

Release date, price and display

The new iPhone could be one of the most pivotal devices in the Cupertino brand's history - with the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C simple updates to previous models, there's a lot of pressure heaped on the iPhone 6.
As per usual, the internet is awash with rumor, speculation and downright lies over this next-generation handset, which is why we spend our time trawling through each nugget of info, debating its merits and curating it into this easy-to-read hub for all things iPhone 6.
According to a survey of 4109 US consumers the iPhone 6 is the most anticipated Apple smartphone ever, with interest easily outstripping that of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5.
We've already been given a small sneak peak at what Apple may have in store for us on the iPhone 6 thanks to the announcement of iOS 8 at WWDC - from a bigger screen and camera to health monitoring and more storage.
Some of you might have been expecting the iPhone 6 to have debuted in 2013, but given the iPhone's history - from the 3G onwards, there's always been a half-step S model before the next numbered iPhone - we were never going to get the 6 until 2014. In fact, it will technically be the iPhone 8 when it finally launches... but hey, who's counting these days?
One thing is for sure, with the Samsung Galaxy S5Sony Xperia Z2 and HTC One M8 now out in wild, Apple needs to be on its game with the new iPhone - and many believe a bigger screen is simply a must.
Cut to the chase
What is it? A major revision of the iPhone including entire design
When is it out? September 2014 seems most likely
What will it cost? Expect premium pricing for a premium smartphone

iPhone 6 release date

The iPhone 6 release date will be in 2014 and it's looking increasingly likely that we'll see it in September, which would fit in nicely with the rollout of the newly announced iOS 8.
Apple has launched the last few iPhones at a special event in September, so the smart money has always been on September 2014 for the iPhone 6's arrival.
Not to mention the fact that according to ifun.de Apple is restricting holidays during September for employees at German Apple Stores, which strongly suggests a new hardware launch then.
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It's looking increasingly likely that we'll see more than one Apple handset this year though. KGI's analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has thrown his hat into the ring and seems to think a duo of new iPhones will be released, with a 4.7-inch iPhone coming out towards the end of the third quarter and a 5.5-inch iPhablet hitting the market late in the fourth quarter.
Suggestions of both sizes arriving September could also hold water, though we've also heard that Apple has had trouble finding appropriate batteries for the 5.5-inch device and that as a result it might even slip into next year.
After trawling through all the iPhone 6 rumors we kicked our render machine into gear and came up with a concept of what we'd like Apple's eighth generation flagship smartphone to look like.
Check out our creation in the video below.
FutTv : IZrksBKedN09a

iPhone 6 price

There's one thing we can be sure about when it comes to the iPhone 6 - it won't be cheap.
Apple's legacy is a long line of premium devices sporting premium price tags and you can expect that trend to continue with the iPhone 6.
One analyst even goes as far as predicting that Apple will hike up the price of the iPhone 6, possibly by as much as $100 (around £60, AU$110). With a larger screen, new glass covering the front and possibly even a new, more impressive, material used in construction, we can see the price being hiked.
We'd be surprised is the mooted 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would get such a massive price bump, as it needs to stay competitive, but the hike does make sense if Apple launches a larger, phablet sized iPhone.

Bigger screen(s)?

One of the most enduring rumors about the iPhone 6 is that it will have a bigger screen than the iPhone 5S.
Apple has even acknowledged that consumers want a larger screen after an internal slide was revealed in its court battle with Samsung entitled "Consumers want what we don't have."
According to Business Insider, of the many iPhone 6 prototypes Apple has made, one has a giant Retina+ IGZO display and a "new form factor with no home button. Gesture control is also possibly included." It will surely include Apple's new Touch ID fingerprint tech though?
The Retina+ Sharp IGZO display would have a 1080p Full HD resolution. However we're not convinced that the prototype will make it to market. Ditching the home button would be a big change and no other rumors point in that direction.
It has however been widely reported that Apple could introduce two handset sizes as it seeks to compete with the plethora of Android devices now on the market - with both being a lot thinner thanks to big improvements in LED backlight technology to reduce the thickness.
With everything we've seen so far we reckon there will almost certainly be two screen sizes and resolutions, as mentioned above.
iPhone 5S
In fact the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 has been tipped again alongside a larger 5.7-inch (or is that a QHD 5.5-inch screen?) model as part of Apple's double attack on the market following the 5S and 5C.
A Full HD display makes perfect sense for the iPhone 6, especially if it grows to a 4.7-inch screen as mooted, and the iPhablet will push things even further to preserve the Retina experience on a larger display.
While we'd love to see the Quad HD resolution adorn the iPhone 6, the fact it's such a great leap from the sub-720p Retina display on the 5S and 5C makes it seem very unlikely.
The most recent resolution rumors come from insiders who claim that Apple has been testing a pixel-tripling display which would have a resolution of 1704 x 960.
That's not quite full HD, but it would allow the phone to retain the iPhone 5S's 16x9 aspect ratio and give a 4.7 inch iPhone a pixel density of 416 pixels per inch and the rumored 5.5 inch phablet a density of 355 pixels per inch, both of which trump the 326ppi screen of the iPhone 5S.
iPod Nano 7th Generation
All that said, while a 5.5 inch iPhone is certainly looking likely we may have to wait longer than expected for it, as we're now hearing that the larger iPhone 6 has hit production problems, which may see it delayed until 2015.
The 4.7-inch version is said to still be on track with an images of a supposed iPhone 6 production mold and front plate sneaking onto the web
There's still a small possibility of the iPhone 6 sporting a flexible wraparound display after more patents were uncovered, but we reckon that's more likely to feature on the iPhone 7 or 8 instead.

An unbreakable display

Here's an interesting one: Apple looks like it's signed a big deal to use a lot of sapphire glass in its phones, with the company buying up enough to use the super-hard technology for its displays.
Sapphire is already used by the Cupertino brand for its Touch ID sensor cover and the camera glass, so extending it out makes a lot of sense. Whether it will be cost effective remains to be seen - but given iPhones are one of the top devices for broken screen repair, reducing this problem would go down nicely.
However, there's an issue here: it's really expensive, and as such seems like it would bump up the cost of the phone too much for Apple, even though its customer base expects to pay a premium.
Canonical's CEO thinks that the Cupertino firm has been buying up swathes of the material, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be used in the iPhone 6. Instead could this be for the iWatch? Seems more likely than an entire phone screen.
Apple even has a patent for an oleophobic (anti-smudge) coating that works on sapphire crystal to ensure the surface doesn't get covered in grubby fingerprints - exactly what you need if you're going to cover the front of a phone with it, but again, we're inclined to think that the equally prod-prone iWatch is a more likely candidate.
We're also hearing that it could even self heal, with Apple trying to patent a special screen coating that could heal to dramatically enhance the appearance of the iPhone 6, as well as other Apple products.
FutTv : k5C7uNPo0Lkau

Design, healthcare and power

iPhone 6 design

It's been suggested that there could be as many as three size variants of the new iPhone - check out these mocked up images by artist Peter Zigich, and that makes sense seeing as the iPhone 5C will need a sequel.
He calls the handsets iPhone 6 Mini, iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 XL (these look rather like the iPhone 5C variant though).
However, as ZDNet rightly points out, different size variants aren't exactly easy to just magic out of thin air.
One thing you probably can expect is more premium metal to come your way with the iPhone 6, and Apple patents for liquidmetal 3D printing suggest there may be a new way to form the sultry chassis on the new iPhone.
Writing in early January 2014, MacRumors quotes a batch of liquidmetal patents reportedly filed by Apple employees.
This has been doing the rounds for a while though, and apparently it's a tricky material to work with.
Liquidmetal or not, that chassis could well be the thinnest yet (thanks to that LED backlight we mentioned earlier) - with word that Apple will slim down the svelte 7.6mm 5S body for the iPhone 6, and if leaked images of the phone's case are legit the handset may well be shockingly slender.
iPhone 6 - LEAK
Apple has now been officially granted a patent for a flexible, curved handset design which sports a screen which wraps round the sides of the device.
It's highly unlikely that the iPhone 6 will bear the fruits of this patent, as we expect the technology is still a few years off coming to market - but it could just be the curve ball Apple is looking for to inject the iPhone range with.
The future of the iPhone, just not this year (credit: USPTO)
We may however be in for a more subtly curved screen, as a rumor has popped up claiming that the iPhone 6's display will curve slightly at the edges so that it sits flush with the phones chassis, which itself will apparently also be curved, perhaps along the lines of the Samsung Galaxy S3 or even Apple's own iPhone 3GS.
That's looking ever more likely as we've also now seen some images that purportedly show an iPhone 6 dummy and the screen seems ever so slightly curved.
iPhone 6 dummy
With talk of larger screens, we can expect the body of the iPhone 6 to grow and leaked schematic designs claim the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be 66mm wide and 7.0mm thick (the 5S is 58.6 x 7.6mm).
Further evidence for a super slim design comes from a video posted by Unbox Therapy, which shows a 6.1mm thick iPod touch Fifth Generation being put in a case supposedly designed for the iPhone 6 and fitting perfectly in terms of thickness if not length and width.
Not the most scientific of tests perhaps, but along with those renders it certainly looks feasible that we could be in for a roughly 6mm thick handset.
The larger 5.7-inch handset is said to be 77mm in width and a super svelte 6.7mm in depth - the Galaxy Note 3 is 79.2 x 8.3mm.
These super slim dimensions have been given a little more fire power as photos supposedly showing off the design of the iPhone 6 reveal a slender smartphone.
iPhone 6 - LEAK
A larger screen means we should see a larger battery inside the iPhone 6 as well, which will hopefully help it match the impressive battery life we've witnessed on the Samsung Galaxy S5HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2.
A larger body housing a larger screen would mean there would be some additional space which a larger power pack could accommodate, and we've even spotted an image claiming to show the iPhone 6 battery on the production line.
We've also seen what is purportedly an iPhone 6 dummy unit. The handset has been put side by side with the iPhone 5S in the pictures, showing a much larger and more rounded but similarly slim device, which is roughly along the lines of what we're expecting based on other rumors.
It takes some design cues from the likes of the iPad Air and Mini 2 - that's something we think would be a great idea, as those both have a great feel in the hand.
iPhone 6 dummy
Aside from the change in size and shape the other visible difference is that the power button has been moved to the side of the handset.
This could of course be a fake, but moving the power button to the side would make sense given the larger size of the phone and a few more images have since appeared showing a similarly designed device.
iPhone 6 dummy outdoors
Another set of dummy images has since been unearthed, this time by 9to5Mac, showing the new handset in gold, silver and grey and they more or less match the previous ones, with a rounded design and a power button on the side.
iPhone 6 dummies
With evidence mounting it looks increasingly like this could be the shape of iPhone's to come, though being a dummy unit the hardware won't be final.
In other areas, patents show that Apple has been thinking about magical morphing technology that can hide sensors and even cameras. Will it make it into the iPhone 6? Probably not.

NFC

What's this? NFC in an iPhone? About time too. Well, that's what iDownloadblog reckons, quoting Jefferies analyst Peter Misek. He's not the only analyst tossing his hat into the iPhone 6 NFC ring, with Ming-Chi Kuo also supporting the theory.
It's a theory that's looking ever more likely as it's now been revealed that Apple has partnered with China UnionPay to add its banking service to Passbook. That in itself needn't mean NFC, but apparently users will also be able to make payments on China UnionPay's QuickPass machines, which use NFC.
Many Android phones now boast NFC and Apple appears to have been happy to be left behind here, so we'd be a little surprised to see it suddenly rocking the contactless technology when it appears to be on the wane. Then again, the evidence for it is mounting.

It could save your life - with iOS 8

With iOS 7 heading out of the traps now, who's betting against the next iPhone coming with iOS 8?
Apple has already lifted the lid on iOS 8 at its WWDC 2014 conference in San Francisco and going by previous iterations of the software it'll arrive alongside a new iPhone in September.
The much rumored "HealthBook" does makes its way to iOS 8, but with the slightly altered name of "Health."
This app can pull in data from various health monitoring applications, providing you with one centralized sourced to view all your vital statistics, while the HealthKit developer tool will allow applications to make greater use of this function.
With the Health app now on the scene, reports that the iPhone 6 will apparently come with an array of sensors to monitor your health and environment begin to look far more credible.
FutTv : qF7X7injV3X6R

iPhone 6 processor and RAM

Not a huge surprise, this one: the next processor will be a quad-core A8 or an evolved A7. The big sell here is more power with better efficiency, which should help battery life.
Anyone hoping for some juicy Samsung technology hidden under the iPhone 6 body will be disappointed though, as reports suggest Apple is looking to push its Korean rival further out of the iPhone picture with its eighth-gen handset.
Apple is apparently cutting the amount of A8 processors it is having made by Samsung, although it hasn't severed ties completely just yet.
There's not been much word on how much RAM the iPhone 6 will come with, but KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons it will have 1GB, just like the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S before it.

Camera and wireless charging

The best iPhone camera yet

Apple's bought camera sensors from Sony before, and this year there's signs that we're going to see a new, 13-megapixel sensor that takes up less room without compromising image quality.
With the arrival of iOS 8 at WWDC, Apple showed off a whole host of fancy new photo editing options and what better way to take full advantage of the new features than with an upgraded camera on the iPhone 6?
But that's not what everybody thinks.
The China Post, quoting a tip from the country's Nomura Security, claims that the next iPhone won't go for a 12 or 16-megapixel sensor, instead sticking to the existing 8-megapixel unit.
With more recent rumors suggesting that Apple has signed up to use a new material that will dramatically improve the quality of light trickling into the phone, a 10MP+ sensor could be possible - but we're more inclined to believe that, as another report recently suggested, Apple will stick with the current resolution.
iPhone 6 camera
Why go for more megapixels if the pictures won't be any better? The notion that Apple will stick with an 8MP sensor might not be so good for marketing, but news states the iPhone 6 will have an f/2.0 aperture and dramatically enhanced image processing, so your snaps will look so good that most won't even care that the numbers are down.
And you shouldn't - 5MP is enough to blow up a photo to A3 size, so when are you going to need more?
Sun Chang Xu, the chief analyst at ESM-China, has also claimed on Weibo that the iPhone 6 will have 1.75 um pixels, compared to the 1.5 um pixels on the iPhone 5S. Bigger pixels let more light in and deliver better quality shots, particularly in low light, but if Apple is increasing the pixel size then that further suggests that the company won't be upping the megapixel count.
On top of that, more impressive tech will also help make your snaps stand out. A patent confirms this, saying Apple's aim is to use "voice coil motor actuators" to move the lens around the optical axis.
An Apple patent, uncovered by Apple Insider in May 2013, shows a system where an iPhone can remotely control other illuminating devices - extra flashes. It would work in a similar manner to that seen in professional photography studios. Interesting stuff, though there are dozens of Apple patents floating around and there's no reason to think this particular one will make it into a finished product.
Say Cheese to the iPhone 6
More convincingly, Sun Chang Xu reported on Weibo that the iPhone 6 will use Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS). That's a software alternative to Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). Both solutions aim to prevent images from coming out blurred, but while OIS uses moving parts to balance the camera, EIS uses software algorithms to compensate.
It doesn't work as well as OIS, but with less hardware it allows the phone to be slimmer, lighter and cheaper to produce, so it looks like Apple might be going for a slim design at all costs.

iPhone 6 wireless charging

Wireless charging still isn't mainstream. Could Apple help give it a push? CP Tech reports that Apple has filed a patent for efficient wireless charging, but then again Apple has filed patents for pretty much anything imaginable.
The tasty bit of this particular patent is that Apple's tech wouldn't just charge one device, but multiple ones. Here are more details on the iPhone 6 wireless charging patent.
Wireless charging is slowly starting to pick up steam and Apple could give it just the push it needs to really get there, but we're not convinced we'll see the tech in the iPhone 6, as it seems like something that Apple's more likely to wait on until the infrastructure is in place to make it genuinely useful.
Meanwhile, a further Apple patent seems to imply that future iPhones will be able to adjust volume as you move them away from your ear. Again, there's a big difference between a patent and a finished product and little reason to think it will make it into the iPhone 6, but it's certainly an interesting idea.