It used to be that we’d hear in advance of the next-generation of hardware to launch; then we started hearing about it just before the launch of whatever the current-gen was going to be (hearing about the iPhone 6 before the iPhone 5S was out the gate, for example). Now it’s even more advanced; we’ve been hearing about the iPhone 6S for months, but also about the follow-on device which will launch in late 2016 as the iPhone 7, and there’s even talk of the iPhone 8 in 2018! There is pretty much nowhere now for phone makers to run and hide their top secret plans to prevent them spilling fully into the public space many months in advance of a device’s arrival, and it’s as true for Apple and its iPhones as anyone else.
The iPhone 5c, because it was largely based on the iPhone 5, save for the inclusion of LTE and improved battery life, had a significantly lower BOM (bill of materials) cost than Apple’s iPhone 5. Plastic is cheaper, easy to use, and the numbers Apple shifted made for excellent profit margins. In this respect the iPhone 5c was the iPhone 5 repackaged and sold onto consumers, with a few additional bells and whistles, as a new phone.
However, the jury’s still very much out on this one. Yes, the idea of a cheaper iPhone makes a lot of sense. But — and this is the clincher — it doesn’t gel with Apple’s current business model and how it retails its iPhones. A cheaper iPhone 7c model would, essentially, eat up reduced-cost sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2016/17, something Apple clearly doesn’t want.
Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri claims Apple, after much soul searching, has canned ideas for an iPhone 6c. Apple wants to avoid cannibalization of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus by the cheaper device. He told Business Insider: “I think one of the reasons is because the iPhone 6 has sold so well and they said, ‘Look, why would we want to cannibalize? If we came out with an iPhone 6C, we could essentially cannibalize a price-reduced iPhone 6.’”
Nevertheless, the rumour of a rebooted iPhone 5c RAGES on, and this week there is talk of the handset being a 5in phone — not a 4in setup, as previously reported.
The case for an updated iPhone 5c is rather compelling. A lot of people really didn’t like Apple’s slightly cheaper iPhone, but having said that there were plenty of people –– we’re talking millions here –– who really dug the firm’s plastic-fantastic iPhone. Many consider the iPhone 5c a failure, but this is complete BUNK; the handset sold in excess of 25 million units. Now, I appreciate this isn’t a big figure for Apple but compared to similar handsets shipped by Samsung and HTC and Sony, the iPhone 5c was a HUGE success –– could you imagine if HTC sold 25 million HTC One M8 Mini handsets!? No, neither can I… which is why writing the iPhone 5c off as a misfire by Apple is not only stupid, it’s actually just wrong!
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are slated to launch on September 9. Apple will introduce at least two new smartphones — the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus — and, if some reports are to be believed, a bunch of new iPads, including the iPad Pro. We’re taking the latter statement with a pinch of salt and we suggest you do the same; Apple does not like cluttered launches, it mixes the message, so the idea of iPhones and iPads launching on the same date makes very little sense for this reason.
As for a release date, it is likely the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in store and online in the days after September 10, starting with pre-orders and then going fully on sale a week or so later. Apple’s iOS 9 update is also expected to get its release date around this time as well, meaning Apple — and us lot — have a busy couple of weeks coming up.
In a new twist to the never-ending iPhone saga it now appears as if the iPhone 6c is NOT dead after all. According to leaked information obtained by The Telegraph, the iPhone 6c will launch at a separate event in November — so a good month after the iPhone 6s.
More word comes via reputable Twitter tipster Evan Blass, aka @evleaks. The purveyor of internet tech truths took to the social networking platform with a message that the “iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and 6c will all arrive concurrently”.
iPhone 6c is just an assumed title for now. We haven’t seen a “C” category device since the iPhone 5c and its plastic charms. However, rumour mongers have suggested the iPhone 6c won’t be a plastic fantastic device like its predecessor and will instead sport a metal build just like its stable-mates.
The only other scraps and whispers claim a larger 1,715mAh battery cell and a FinFET produced processor on either Samsung 14nm semiconductors or TSMC 16nm. The display, however, is said to be 4in, so it’s possible that with a powerful chipset, big battery, metal build, and a small display the iPhone 6c will be less a “cheap” iPhone like the iPhone 5c and more a nod to those nostalgic folk who don’t like the new, bigger iPhones and want the old screen size back – a compact model, essentially. The handset will also feature TouchID, enabling full support for Apple Pay.
How Apple will update the model remains to be seen, however. The design will likely be different to 2013’s iPhone 5c and some updates to its imaging capabilities would be nice as well. As for RAM, storage and connectivity — your guess is as good as mine.
The handset will be cheaper than the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. That much is a given. Nevertheless, the iPhone 5s wasn’t exactly cheap when it first came out, so it will be interesting to see how Apple markets its successor — and what colour schemes it uses this time around.
Interestingly, this new rumour comes direct from a source within Apple’s Foxconn manufacturing wing in China, though it is still probably worth talking it with the usual serving of salt.
According to the Foxconn insider who shared the sketch below, via the Apple portal known as “Feng”, the 5-incher will apparently rock an 8 MP camera, a dual-LED flash, and what seems to be a rather conservative design,’ notes G For Games.
“What we have here is a sketch depicting the alleged 5-inch iPhone 6s model. The Foxconn insider who revealed this data was not able to provide a live photo of the device (they are not allowed with smartphones or cameras inside Foxconn’s premises), so instead he made a representative sketch showing some of the handset’s design cues. Accordingly, the smartphone will pack an 8 MP camera complemented by a dual-LED flash, and will rock a full HD 5-inch display, powered by an A9 processor,” the report added.
The iPhone 6s will look quite a bit like the iPhone 6. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Apple has, for the longest time, preferred incremental updates to its iPhones — and while many hoped 2015/16 would be different it now looks increasingly likely we’ll have to wait until 2016/17 for the next big design update.
Here’s what 9to5Mac expects to see inside Apple’s next A9 chipset:
“It’s possible that the next iPhone’s chip will fall below last year’s flagship iPad in performance, but Apple’s chipmaking history suggests that’s unlikely. As a result, we’d expect to see the iPhone 6S sporting some major performance gains over the iPhone 6. The extra power could be used for even more impressive games, processing 4K video, and running apps that are even closer to OS X-class. If the A9 matches or comes close to the numbers above, it will be in the same league as 2009 iMacs, 2010 MacBook Pros and 2011 MacBook Airs, all of which are still viable computers. Yet the iPhone will be profoundly more power-efficient, and unlike any of those Macs, capable of fitting in your pocket without any cooling fans.”
In addition to this a bunch of benchmarks, said to be taken from the iPhone 6s’ A9 processor, has now also shown up online. Sadly, the source of this leak cannot be verified but it still makes for some rather interesting reading, especially if it turns out to be correct:
“Apple’s A9 chimes in with a single-core score of 2090 and a multi-core tally of 3569, compared to the respective averages of 1611 and 2892 shown by the A8 found in the iPhone 6 series. The A9X chalks up 2109 and 5101 in the same benchmarks, compared to 1808 and 4526 for the iPad Air 2’s A8X,” reports Apple Insider. “Samsung’s Exynos 7420 — which powers the flagship S6, S6 Edge, Note 5, and S6 Edge+ — bests Apple’s A9 on multi-core workloads with a score of 5048, but falls behind on single-core tasks by posting a 1486. Huawei’s Kirin 950 and LG’s Nuclun 2 also beat out Samsung’s entry.”
There have been plenty of iPhone 6s leaks thus far, but this week’s is a real doozy — comes from inside one of Apple’s manufacturing plants in China. The images show the front panel of the upcoming iPhone 6s, complete with home button and a very similar design to last year’s models, as you can see below:
Apple is apparently prepping something BIG for the iPhone 7. The company is said to be very keen on striking while the iron is hot –– and the iron is very hot at the moment, with record iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales. What this rethink will entail remains to be seen, but sources are now claiming it is going to be very special indeed.
“Along with a slight shrinkage in size of the iPhone 6S’s logic board, Apple also appears to be aggressively reducing the number of chips it’s using. One section of the board that previously had in excess of 10 components has been pared down to 3 main chips, simultaneously cutting the number of parts and increasing the power efficiency of the ones that remain. Other necessary and remaining chips, such as the flash memory and CPU, notably benefit from smaller manufacturing processes that enable the iPhone 6S to offer the same or faster functionality with smaller, less power-hungry parts,” reports Apple Insider.
According to a report dating September 2 Apple may seek to shrink the screen bezels of the iPhone 7 to create and edge-to-edge display. It’s alleged this may be achieved by abandoning in-cell touch panels, or at least this is what’s claimed by DigiTimes’ supply chain sources.
Instead it is believed Apple will swtich to what’s called G/G touch technology.
“Makers have already begun sending samples of fully laminated G/G technology to Apple and Corning along with Asahi Glass have also reportedly sent glass samples,” claims the report.
Apple has now begun production of 2015’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus handsets. The devices will look similar to last year’s model, save for a few key updates to the display, which you can read more about below, the internals – CPU, Memory, Connectivity – and the imaging technology (both the front and back shooters will receive updates, apparently).
Apple has orders for 85-90 million iPhone 6s units with its suppliers ahead of the handset’s release date later on this year, according to the WSJ. There will be two iPhones released, just as there was last year – the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Apple isn’t changing the display size either, keeping 4.7in and 5.5in for both models.
In addition to a more powerful chipset with faster LTE chip, iPhone 6s is also expected to pack a display with Force Touch, and 12MP camera with 4K video capture. Apple is expected to launch and release the new iPhones during September 2015, meaning they’ll be here in just shy of two months.
“Apple Inc. has started early production of new iPhone models with a feature called Force Touch, which senses how hard users are pressing down on a screen,” people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
According to Apple, ‘In addition to recognizing touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface.
“Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls.
“With Force Touch, pressing firmly on the screen brings up additional controls in apps like Messages, Music, and Calendar.
“It also lets you select different watch faces, pause or end a workout, search an address in Maps, and more. Force Touch is the most significant new sensing capability since Multi‑Touch.”
The iOS 9 update will bring with a bunch of new features, but the most notable of which is likely to be its reportedly insane power management system, which would double the battery performance of Apple’s iPhones –– if true this is a HUGE deal.
The other big talking about about 2016’s iPhone lineup is the return of Apple’s iPhone Xc class of devices. Multiple reports have now claimed Apple will bring back its C range either in 2015 or later, alongside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in 2016.
A trio of devices would be a HUGE deal for the market, especially when one takes into account just how destructive two have been in 2014/15. Whats’ more, should Apple retails the C class iPhone at a far lower price point than previous iterations, then it could very successfully attack the mid-tier segment of the smartphone space, a place more or less completely untouched by Apple products, unless you factor in older models
“Apple has a few tricks up its sleeve for 2016,” says Yahoo news. “The company has plans to launch a new, completely redesigned iPhone next year — and it won’t be the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus we’re all expecting.”
Jefferies reckons the design of the iPhone 6C will be consistent with Apple’s previous iPhones, as you can see in the quote below:
“Although iPhone6C is designed as an extended version, it still uses metal casing based on Apple style. We believe that Apple remains consistent in its design. As we have discussed previously, Apple continues to develop increased hardness for the iPhone metal casing, which requires a more complicated CNC and anodized process.”
Just how Apple can change the overall design, look and feel of the iPhone remains to be seen. There’s only so much you can do with a phone’s design, save for making it thinner and removing bezels. One area where Apple could innovate is to do with the Home button. The inclusion of force touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus would get users accustomed to using gesture-based taps for different functions, so it is within the realms of possibility that Apple could remove the home button in favour of some kind of touch-responsive panel that sits flush to the chassis.
“The next iPhone could offer a flash on its front facing camera, according to code found buried in early releases of the operating system that will run on it,” reports The Independent. “The feature, which will allow people to take selfies in the dark, was found in early releases of iOS 9. The same code seems to indicate that the phone will receive an update to a 1080p camera, from the existing 720p one, and support for panoramic selfies and slow motion video.”
A new patent filed by Apple reveals the company is looking to get rid of those unsightly plastic antenna bands that flank the back of the handset. The patent, which was filed recently, details how materials such as metal oxides could be used to create a new composite metal material that looks and feels like metal, but will still allow radio frequencies to pass through.
Here’s how Apple explains it in its patent:
Many computing devices have outer housings and coverings that include metallic surfaces giving the devices an aesthetically pleasing and durable look and feel. Computing devices can also include any of a number of complex functional components. For example, many laptops include capacitive touch pads that allow a user to control movement of a cursor. Mobile phones and tables have radio frequency antennas that allow communication via radio frequency transmission.
One design challenge associated with computing devices is maintaining a sleek and consistent appearance of a metallic outer enclosure for housing the various complex internal components. Since metal is not radio frequency transparent, metal is generally a poor choice of material when the devices utilize electromagnetic wave transmission, such as radio frequency transmission for communication. In addition, metal is generally a high capacitive material, and as a result, not used to cover capacitive touch pads, touch screens and other capacitive sensors. Accordingly, portions of the housings that cover antennas and touch sensors are made of a non-metallic material such as plastic or glass. Unfortunately, plastic surfaces and glass surfaces have different visual qualities than metallic surfaces, which result in a visible break in the metallic surface of the housing. This visible break can detract from the smooth and continuous look of the metallic housing.
The patent wouldn’t just apply to iPhones, either. Macs and iPads would likely benefit from the technology too, as well as future Apple Watch designs. How long it will take Apple to get this technology implemented inside its products remains to be seen; patents take a good long while to appear inside technology if at all.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, otherwise known as the most well-connected Apple analyst in the world, has issued a new note to investors about what he believes will be the hardware specs of the next iPhone. Before getting to those specs, it’s important to note that Kuo is more often right than wrong–making him a rare source of knowledge in the field of iPhone rumors. It doesn’t appear Kuo has any inside contacts at Apple feeding him tips, rather he has deep sources within Asia’s supply chain which allows him to predict with great certainty what future Apple products will be made of.
He’s done it with great accuracy many times before and is often referred to as the most switched on Apple analyst on the planet. Obviously, though, predicting something as secretive as the next iPhone is tricky and we’ve already heard plenty of theories about what Apple’s 2015 iPhone –– or iPhones –– will entail. Nevertheless, Kuo makes a compelling argument for his claims. His work inside Apple’s supply chain gives him access to protected contacts and information, which in turn are turned into reports about what investors should expect from Apple’s forthcoming iPhone.
So, what does Kuo know (or thinks he knows) about the next iPhone?
Kuo says “Force Touch will be the biggest upgraded selling point, but also one of the main bottlenecks of the supply chain. Force Touch can enhance user experience due to more input methods and support of handwritten signatures, which is beneficial for expanding in the commercial market.”
Force Touch is of course the driving input method on the Apple Watch. It allows the screen to detect how hard and long a touch is applied. This enables greater input methods. It seems like a given for the iPhone and opens up an entirely new array of input possibilities–which are much more useful on a bigger display than the one found on the Apple Watch.
Kuo says “Screen will remain at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with resolution the same as existing models. There will be no new 4-inch model.”
No surprise here given Apple just introduced two new screen sizes last year. One thing that some people will find disappointing is Kuo says there won’t be a new 4-inch model, which while though small by today’s standards, some people still love. This makes sense too; Apple isn’t going to go back on something it took the best part of five years to change. The old days are done and smartphones with 4in displays are, quite literally, going the way of the Dodo (or BlackBerry, if you prefer that analogy).
Kuo says “There will be an additional casing color, rose gold, matching the rose gold Apple Watch Edition.”
This is actually somewhat of a surprise considering we already have a gold iPhone. The key phrase in Kuo’s prediction is “color”, however. I find it hard to believe that Apple will make a rose gold iPhone that is made of actual gold. It would cost a fortune–or well over the Rose gold Apple Watch’s $17,000.
Kuo says “The camera will have a pixel upgrade, likely to 12 MP.”
iPhone, welcome to 2013!! But seriously, we all know Apple has the camera tech to eek out the best pics even though it uses lower megapixel sensors, but a 12MP sensor addition is much welcome and long overdue. I for one would rather have built-in optical image stabilization across the line, though. Here’s hoping the next iPhone has that too.
Kuo says “One microphone will be added near the speaker to enhance voice quality.”
Not exactly groundbreaking, but nice nonetheless. Not only will this help with calls, it could signal Apple has bigger plans for Siri in iOS 9, as an extra mic would make it easier for Siri to accurately pick up what you are saying.
Kuo says “The A9 processor with upgraded 2GB LPDDR4 will be adopted.”
A9? No shock. More RAM? About freaking time! Even though Kuo is predicting 2GB LPDDR4 RAM–double the iPhone’s current RAM, it’s still well behind most Android phones that have 3GB or more of RAM. Still, this will be a nice little boost that is going to make the next iPhone a monster powerhouse.
Kuo says “The bending issue will be improved by using different casing materials and internal mechanical design changes.”
Look, “bendgate” with the iPhone 6 was overblown. Though it got a crazy amount of media attention, hardly anyone’s iPhone actually bent. Regardless, it’s nice to hear Apple is taking any flaw, no matter how rare, seriously.
Kuo says “If drop test issues can be resolved, the 5.5-inch model will have a limited number of units with sapphire cover lens.”
This is an interesting assertion. First, Kuo clearly isn’t sure of this. Second, if he is right and Apple is going to add a sapphire covering lens to the iPhone 6s Plus it will further distinguish between the Plus and the regular model. Those 4.7-inch fans might feel like Apple is treating them as second class citizens–never a good thing. We shall see. Currently Apple does use sapphire on both iPhones via the Touch ID and camera lens coverings.
Kuo says “The recognition rate of Touch ID will be improved further in a bid to promote Apple Pay.”
This is good news for two reasons. First, the Touch ID is one of the best features on the iPhone. When it works, it’s flawless. The bad thing about it however is that if your hands are moist or have dust on them, the Touch ID won’t recognize your fingerprint. Anything that makes sure the Touch ID works all the time is a good thing in my book. The second reason this is exciting is because Apple Pay is awesome–it just needs bigger adoption. Apple wants to make it easier for people to use Apple Pay so an improve Touch ID experience makes sense.
Kuo says “Gesture control support.”
Very brief. So, what is gesture control support? It’s the ability to move the device in a gesture pattern to do something on the device itself. For example, a tilt gesture would allow you to tilt the iPhone to scroll through a web page without needing to touch the screen.
Everything Kuo is predicting sounds good in our book. Though he didn’t give a timeline for the next iPhone’s launch, he did say mass production of the device will start in mid-to-late August. That puts a late September launch (as usual) likely. Kuo also says Apple will ship 80-90 million iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus’ in 2015 with a 2:1 ratio of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models.
A lot has already been said about Apple potentially rekindling its iPhone 5c range either in 2015 or 2016. A lot of people said the iPhone 5c was a failure, but this couldn’t be further from the truth; Apple sold in excess of 25 million iPhone 5c units –– a huge number compared to what HTC, BlackBerry, LG and Sony sold in the past 12 months.
Whatever you think about Apple and the iPhone 5c, you have to admit the handset was, compared to a lot of BIG Android and Windows Phone releases, was a success. You see iPhone 5c handsets everywhere. People liked the colour options, seemingly, so the idea of a reboot isn’t completely stupid –– and now there’s actual evidence that something is cooking.
This is the image in question:
Now, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the iPhone 5c, as it looks pretty much identical. But here’s the rub: this sucker has TouchID and Apple’s iPhone 5c did not…
Here’s an extract from our iPhone 5c Review which was published WAY back in 2013. As part of our coverage we’ve added a new aspect to the review, which you’ll find on Page One whereby we re-review the handset from the perspective of 2014/15’s market. Below is our original verdict on the iPhone 5c:
“Yes, it is plastic. Yes, it doesn’t have the same updated specs of the iPhone 5S. And, yes, it is basically the iPhone 5 encased in a new plastic unibody chassis. But none of these facts are necessarily a bad thing. The iPhone 5 was a great handset, and the iPhone 5C is too, even more so when you factor in its improved battery life and jazzy new outer-casing.
“But for me what’s most interesting about the iPhone 5C is what it says about the changing culture within Apple under the stewardship of Tim Cook. It is becoming more egalitarian and seems to be actively looking for a new breeds of disciples to add to its growing flock.
“The iPhone 5C, whether you like the handset or not, represents a significant shift in Apple’s business philosophy. Apple is no longer just a premium handset maker, operating at the heady heights of the mobile space. Previously Apple went after the snobs and it had one phone. Now it’s still chasing the snobs, but the 5C shows that it is also very interested in everybody else now too.”
“Many have surmised that Apple is planning to bring back the “C” moniker that it dropped last year when it launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” reports The Mirror. “In fact, it’s been widely suggested that the company will launch three models this year and update each of its handsets.”
However, things may not be quite as they seem; what we may be looking at here is not an iPhone 6c for 2015, but an iPhone 7c for early 2016. According to a report from the Economic Daily News, display manufacturer AUO has recently inked an agreement with Apple to supply the iPhone maker with 4in touchscreens destined for use on an alleged “iPhone 7c”.
Now this isn’t a confirmation that Apple is producing another 4in iPhone but it certainly adds weight to the body of information already surrounding the handset. Plus, the case for an iPhone 7c is pretty strong, as noted earlier; a lot of Apple’s fanbase really did like the 4in form factor as well as the colour options and the slightly lower cost associated with a “c” brand handset. Hell, you even see celebs rocking the iPhone 5c these days, proving that even when someone can afford a top of the line iPhone they still opt for the cheaper, more colourful option.
The report details an expected shipping date for these panels as Q1 2016, which would mean we can’t expect production to begin until later in the year. Essentially it’s shaping up that this iPhone 7c may be announced in about a year’s time alongside the iPhone 7 and potentially an iPhone 7 Plus, meaning three Apple iPhone launches in one year for the first time ever.