In recent weeks, rumors about the release of the new iPhone 6 have spread through technology and mobile circles complete with accompanying leaked images of the new device. According to Mark Gurman, a noted reporter of Apple products who gets his information from Apple insiders, the refreshed iPhone could be unveiled sometime in mid-September. Supporting this estimated period is the history of iPhone release dates as noted by PC Advisor, which reports that Apple has typically introduced their latest phenomenon between the months of June and October and more typically in the month of September.
The Apple iPhone 6 is alleged to be larger than the current iPhone 5 model, which has a 4-inch screen. Sources are reporting the likelihood that the device will come in two different screen size models, one being 4.7 inches and one with an even larger 5.5-inch display. The screen is also expected to be made from Sapphire glass manufactured by GT Advanced Technologies, instead of the current Gorilla Glass made by Corning and the substance most smart phone screens are made of today. Sapphire Glass is characteristically stronger and more scratch resistant than Gorilla Glass.
One of the latest iPhone 6 discoveries of this particular refresh is a leak that revealed logic board circuitry purported to include super-fast 802.11 ac Wi-Fi in addition to potential e-wallet capabilities with near-field communications (NFC). The case being made for the latter, however, is reported to be less reliable due to Apple’s lack of interest to include NFC technology in its previous designs.
Reports are also claiming that the Cupertino, CA company will be releasing the two-handset models at different times in an effort to maximize sales. Accounts by some critics claim that Apple erred last year when it released the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s simultaneously and that they had learned from their mistake. However, opponents of that view cite a strong 13 percent increase in sales numbers for the iPhone handset over the course of the last three months, assisted by strong sales in China.
Another enhancement a user will get right out of the box with the iPhone refresh is the launch of the iOS 8 software upgrade. Reports are surfacing that Apple is finally allowing more products developed by third parties to have access to its devices. In addition to enhanced multi-tasking functionality of just one device, the software upgrade will also permit some inter-device transfer functionality, which will enable the seamless transfer of phone calls and messages from an iPhone to an iPad. Additionally, notifications and widgets will be actionable, meaning a user will be able to respond to an email directly by accessing it through the notification bar.
One of the more advanced features of earlier iPhone versions was the development and introduction of Siri, an application that when activated, recognizes and responds to voice commands and interfaces directly with data on the device as well as with the handset’s Internet and mobile functions. The Siri application utilizes its own voice to report the results of commands back to the user. The iOS 8 upgrade will permit Siri to remain on at all times with the ability to always be at the user’s service.
Sources are reporting that a user would get price points that are similar to those of previous iPhone refresh cycles. In the case of the iPhone 6, the 4.7-inch screen will come with a choice of 16, 32 or 64 Gigabytes of storage and would sell for $199, $299 and $399 respectively with the standard 2-year mobile carrier contract. The same unlocked versions may sell for $649, $749, and $849. Preliminary estimates of the unsubsidized 5.5-inch 64 GB iPhone 6 could retail for $1,012.
By Mark Politi