iPhone 6 preview

UPDATED 17/04/14: new iPhone battery photos add more fuel to the large screen fire

If you’re an iPhone 5 owner who has yet to snap up the new iPhone 5s or 5c, chances are you’re holding out for the next iteration of the iPhone, like a sensible gadgeteer. 

The iPhone 6 remains a complete mystery so far - but that hasn't stopped the rumour mill from grinding away, and some even have a ring of truth about them.

So then, what are the web's commentators saying about the iPhone 6? Well…

Makeover time

iPhone 6 - Makeover time 2iPhone 6 - Makeover time 3iPhone 6 - Makeover time 4

It’s very likely that the iPhone 6’s design will be different enough from the iPhone 5s to earn it its all-new number.

Traditionally, ‘s’ devices have kept the same design as their predecessors, with major differences appearing on the insides.

Apple will get a lot of flak if the iPhone 6 turns out to be a 5s with faster innards, so we’re expecting an all-new aluminium design.

There’s currently no indication as to what the iPhone 6 will look like, but that hasn’t stopped artist Frederico Ciccarese from creating an iPad-inspired iPhone 6 render, which borrows the curved metal back and shiny chamfered edges from the iPad Air and iPad Mini.

The renders keep the Touch ID fingerprint sensor Home button, which we expect to see return in the iPhone 6 as well.

Update 09/01/14: A reportedly genuine metal iPhone 6 casing has been posted to Weibo by Chinese site CTech.

Apart from appearing to be ludicrously thin, it's also wider and taller, supporting rumours of a larger screen.

If true, it means the iPhone 6 will have the largest screen of any iPhone to date, letting it finally compete with its Android phablet rivals.

Designer Martin Hajek has also created some beautiful renders based on schematics leaked by previously reliable Japanese site Macotakara.

Update 17/04/14: French site Nowehereelse.fr has posted spy shots of reportedly genuine iPhone 6 batteries. Interestingly, the connector pins have shifted from the side to the top, suggesting that an internal redesign has occurred to help make way for a larger screen.

Big screen at last – and solar power?

Apple needs to bump up the screen size of the iPhone 6 if it wants to compete with the large 5in full HD screens of competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and LG G2.

Japanese tech publication MacFun believes that the iPhone 6 will have a 5in full HD display, which should go a long way towards silencing the mocking laughter of Android fans who are already strolling around with their larger pixel-packed screens.

However, Expert Reviews believes that the iPhone 6’s screen might have an even higher 2,272x1,280 resolution so that existing apps can be scaled up easily.

The screen is also expected to be a Sharp IXGO display, which means that Apple can shave off a few precious millimteres of thickness by giving the iPhone 6 a thinner, more power efficient screen.

There are also rumours that the iPhone 6 will feature a super-hard sapphire glass display, which will be produced by GT Advanced Technologies which already produces the camera lens and Touch ID home button sapphire glass.

That means that nothing short of a diamond will be able to make a mark on the iPhone 6’s screen, which will be a very welcome upgrade indeed.

Update 11/11/13: Whelp, things are about to get pretty confusing. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on 4.7in and 5.5in iPhone models. Whether or not these are experimental prototypes or final products remains to be seen, but at least we can generally agree that, whatever the final size, the iPhone 6 will arrive with the biggest screen yet seen on an Apple smartphone.

Not only that, but Bloomberg's source also states that the iPhone 6 will arrive with a curved glass display which  wraps around the edge of the device. Watch out LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Round.

Update 21/01/14 Analyst Sun Changxu backs up Bloomberg's claims of smaller and larger iPhone 6 variants, differing only in the specifics – apparently the larger iPhone will sport a 5.7in screen.

Update 23/01/14 Another day, another analyst chipping in with more claims of a big-screen iPhone. This time it's the Cowen Group’s Timothy Arcuri who's been consulting the entrails and the paths of migrating birds (or, you know, sources in the supply chain), concluding that the iPhone 6 is "locked down" with a 4.8in screen.

Oh, and finally, Apple is also reportedly tinkering away on a pressure-sensitive display which can detect how hard you're pressing it, although it's unlikely that the magical tech will be present in the next iPhone.

More megapixels

The iPhone 5s has an excellent camera with dual-tone flash for more natural colour reproduction, and we expect the same flash to remain in the iPhone 6. 

Apple iPhone 6

Given the iPhone 6’s larger screen (and therefore larger build) though, we could also see a bump in megapixels and sensor size as there’ll be more room for Apple to play around with.

Update 13/01/14: China's Nomura Security has told the China Post that the iPhone 6 won't be bumping up its megapixel count. 

Instead, it'll apparently keep the same 8MP camera that's currently nestled inside the iPhone 5s, with one major improvement – optical image stabilisation (OIS).

OIS is already present in impressive smartphone cameras like the ones found in the Nokia Lumia 1020 and LG G2, and it should provide iPhone 6 owners with sharper, more detailed shots in low-light conditions, thanks to longer shutter speeds resulting in the capture of more light.

This is supported by a recent OIS Apple patent which outlines the use of a coil and magnet assembly for driving the movement of the lens.

Coupled with improved auto-focus and the iPhone 5s' impressive camera performance, the iPhone 6's photos are unlikely to disappoint, even without an increase in megapixels.

Update 05/02/14:​ Chinese site IT168’s sources now believe that the iPhone 6 will land with a 10MP camera, contradicting previous rumours of an 8MP snapper.

Megapixels aren’t everything though, and the iPhone 6 will also apparently arrive with an f/1.8 aperture lens – an improvement over the iPhone 5s’ current f/2.2 lens.

iPhone 6 users can expect to take pictures with a shallower depth of field, keeping subjects in sharp focus while blurring the background.

The site also believes that Apple will opt for a new resin lens filter, created by Japanese manufacturer JSR.

The filter itself is found in digital cameras with CMOS image sensors and it’s lighter and thinner than existing IR filters. The benefits of the newer filter are likely to be clearer shots and more accurate colours.

READ MORE: iPhone 6 could have a 10MP camera with f/1.8 aperture and improved filter

Update 02/04/14: The iPhone 6 is reportedly so thin that its rear camera will stick out slightly like the one found on the latest-gen iPod Touch. Coupled with an Apple patent which outlines how a protruding lens could be surrounded by a bayonet mount for interchangeable lenses, this could be big news for smartphone snappers.

The patent describes how the different lenses like wide-angle or fisheye offerings can be securely screwed over a camera lens. The system is much more secure than magnetic attachment, and if if true, the iPhone 6 will be even more of a formidable pocket camera than the iPhone 5s already is.

READ MORE: Is this the iPhone 6?

Beefier insides

Apple’s 64-bit A7 processor is already blazing fast, but if previous generations of iPhones are anything to go by, we could see a souped-up A7x processor beating within the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 could also be the first iPhone to sport 2GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though we imagine the latter will bump up the price by a considerable amount.

Update 23/01/14: Analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company reckons that the new iPhone will play nice with the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, as found in the 2013 line of Macs and Apple's AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule routers.

Update 23/01/14:  ESM-China's chief analyst Sun Chang Xu believes that Apple will include pressure, temperature and humidity senors in the iPhone 6.

The pressure sensor will measure atmospheric pressure as opposed to blood pressure, which is instead a skill that's expected to be a part of the iWatch's sensory arsenal for iOS 8's Healthbook app.

READ MORE: Apple iWatch: price, specs, release date - everything we think we know

The environmental sensors are expected to be managed by the iPhone 6's M7 motion co-processor, which'll leave iPhone 6's main processor (expected to be the A7x) free to run more demanding apps and games.

While weather apps already take care of temperature and humidity information for your general area, there is one overlooked bonus - GPS accuracy. When a GPS reading is combined with barometer data, devices can more accurately pinpoint your position, orientation and velocity, cutting down on the number of calculations required to get a GPS lock.

More after the break...

Bigger tank

The extra space created by the iPhone 6’s larger body should result in a bigger battery, which will be a crucial requirement if Apple wants to retain the iPhone 5s’ battery life despite a larger, more pixel-packed display on offer.

Update 28/01/14 The iPhone 6 could feature solar charging tech built into the screen, according to a report by Seeking Alpha's Matt Margolis. He's pieced together evidence from different sources – including Apple job postings for "thin films engineers" with solar experience and expenditure on sapphire materials and cutting-edge lasers – to reach his conclusion. Forbes notes that solar charging technology would enable Apple to keep battery weight down, allowing for a lighter, thinner device. And the technology isn't that far-fetched; Alcatel demoed its own solar charging screen technology at CES 2014.

iOS 8

While we don’t yet know what iOS 8 will bring to the iPhone 6, we can’t imagine Apple will change any aesthetic elements too drastically, seeing as the all-new redesigned iOS 7 was only released this year.

Update 23/01/14: According to Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri, Apple is planning "key software innovations" for its next iOS release – which include enhanced iBeacon, Touch ID and Passbook functions. Could Apple finally be making a move into mobile payments?

Update 03/02/14: iOS 8 is expected to have a built-in Healthbook app which will be able to track steps taken, calories burned and distance travelled, in addition to keeping a tally on your weight loss. 

Healthbook will go deeper than this however, and it'll be able to track your blood pressure, heart rate and hydration levels, in addition to glucose levels. With the right accessories of course. An iWatch or other wearable could potentially tick that box, and the Healthbook app's interface itself is reportedly based on Apple's existing Passbook app and will offer extra functionality including medication reminders.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about iOS 8
READ MORE: iOS 8 could track your fitness with new Healthbook app

Price and release date

We expect the iPhone 6 models to be labelled with the same price tags as their iPhone 5s counterparts. 

Update 21/01/14 Analyst Sun Changxu and blogger Eldar Murtazin both claim that the iPhone 6 will launch in June 2014, pointing to "shorter cycles for the whole industry." A launch so soon after the September 2013 debut of the iPhone 5s would mark a break from the norm, but it would make for a big announcement at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference.

Update 23/01/14 Analyst Timothy Arcuri may agree with his fellow financial wizards on the iPhone 6's boosted screen size, but he differs in his opinion of when it's going to launch. Citing sources within the supply chain, he claims that the iPhone 6 will launch in September, as its predecessors have.

Update 27/03/14 Digitimes reports that Apple has only just placed orders with two smartphone battery suppliers in the Far East. That suggests that the iPhone 6 is not yet in mass production, which in turn points to a release this autumn (September, most likely) rather than June.

READ MORE: Apple unveils cheaper 8GB iPhone 5c

Update 16/04/14: A reportedly genuine leak of an iPhone 6 manufacturing mould once again points to at least one larger iPhone in the works. French site Nowhereelse.fr has scaled up the image using the iPhone 4s for comparison, and it believes that we could be looking at around a 4.7in screen size, which fits in with all the rumours we've heard so far.

iPhone 6 preview

READ MORE: iPhone 6 leak points to a larger 4.7in screen

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