It’s been seven years since the iPhone first launched and the excitement around this year’s iPhone 6 release is high as ever. Rumour has it this year is going to see the release of something mould breaking – something very big indeed. In this article we will take a look at the potential iPhone 6 release date as well as some of the rumoured features and specs.
The last few updates to the iPhone have been relatively small – apart from the increase in size of the iPhone 5 – so there is already a huge expectation on Apple to produce something special with the iPhone 6. Whether or not the iPhone 6 will reshape the personal devices market in the way the original iPhone did remains to be seen.
The best place to start when trying to predict the iPhone 6’s release date is by taking a look at what Apple has done with previous smartphone launches. Apple, like all tech manufacturers, works toward deadlines and yearly budgets, so it should be no surprise to discover that Apple has launched at least one new iPhone once a year for the last seven years.
When you take closer look at the exact release dates, it is interesting to note that there was a definite shift back in 2011 from summer to winter iPhone launches. The last three iPhones have been launched in October, September and September, respectively. Therefor it is reasonable to predict that Apple will follow this recent trend and set the iPhone 6 release date for just before Christmas.
Apple to launch iPhone 6 at WWDC? This is a question that is more hopeful than anything else. WWDC (Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference) is not really focused on hardware announcements. Apple much prefers to makes a song and dance about big product launches, such as the iPhone 6, and we really can’t see this changing for the iPhone 6.
The iPhablet’s release date is a little sketchier at the moment, with some saying it could be released in September as well, while others suggest it could be more like Christmas or even the beginning of 2015.
One very persistent rumour is that, like last year, Apple will be launching not just one but two devices this time round.
However, unlike last year, we are looking not at two phones but an iPhone and an “iPhablet” (possibly the iPhone Air) – a device that has apparently been in the works since 2012.
Multiple sources say the iPhone 6 will have 4.5in-4.7in screen, while the phablet’s screen will be 5.5in. We can also apparently expect a stylus to come with the large-screen device, but beyond that any real difference between the iPhablet and the iPhone (and, indeed, the iPad) is unclear.
Size isn’t the only thing that’s going to be different about the iPhone 6’s screen, it would appear.
Curved glass (think infinity-pool edges, rather than bananas), sapphire glass and a hyper-efficient micro-LED display are all on the menu.
Well known (and often correct) leaker, Sonny Dickson, tweeted a photo of what he claimed is the front of an iPhone 6 dummy.
The curvature of the glass is most apparent in the bottom left corner of the device.
According to Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy the iPhone 6 could be as thin as the current generation iPod Touch – a mere 6.1mm.
However, others have pinned the handset’s depth at approximately 7mm, which is closer to the iPhone 5s.
It is also expected the devices will come in a range of colours. Quite how many colours there will be to choose from is unclear, with reports ranging from two – black and silver – to seven, like the iPod Nano.
Frank Hill of BrightWire has claimed the iPhone 6 will feature NFC payment technology.
Apparently, this will complement, rather than replace, Apple’s own iBeacon wireless tech, but it could still be seen as an admission that NFC has taken off in a way iBeacon simply hasn’t.
Apple is also reportedly looking into developing a mobile payment technology tied to the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that will apparently be carried over from the iPhone 5s into the iPhone 6.
Following rumours that Apple is about to acquire Dr. Dre’s Beats, it would be reasonable to assume the iPhone 6 could include Beats technology.
Until recently, Beats Audio had been a feature of HTC smartphones only, as the Taiwanese manufacturer owned a controlling stake in the company. However, it divested completely by the end of 2013.
If Apple does acquire Beats, it could mean the new iPhone shipping with Beats headphones. While it’s unlikely this would be the immediately-recognisable over-hear headgear Beats is known for – although we’re prepared to be surprised – smaller in-ear headphones like the Lady Gaga range could be included or offered as an optional extra.
Beats isn’t the only headphone-related technology that could be included with the iPhone 6.
Early in May, it was reported Apple is working on EarPods that will monitor the wearer’s heart rate and blood pressure. Given the rumours surrounding iOS 8’s Healthbook app – Apple’s first play in the world of health and fitness – and other patents filed by the company around health monitoring, as well as prototype designs from Intel debuted at CES in January, this also seems a fairly credible rumour.
The iPhone 6’s camera could be something pretty special, if the company’s recent investments in the technology are anything to go by.
Earlier this year, Apple filed a whole hoard of patents around the technology, such as an optical image-stabilisation technique, triple sensors and lenses, and smaller autofocus components.
Most recently, the company hired Ari Partinen, Nokia’s head of photography and “camera expert”, who helped develop the widely acclaimed PureView imaging system, which has featured on all Nokia Lumia handsets since 2012.
While there are plenty of solid rumours out there, there are also some myths. It had been rumoured the iPhone 6 would feature a seamless glass chassis, which led to some exciting concept designs, most leaks (sadly) point to this being false.
It is highly unlikely that the iPhone 6 will feature a built-in projector either, despite what certain YouTube videos and concept images suggest.