iPhone 6 Release Date: Summer Launch for ‘Blockbuster’ Smartphone: Report; Rumors, Specs, Features

Oct 26, 2013 04:30 PM EDT    Michael Briggs

iPhone 5S.

(Photo : REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone could get a release date next summer, according toPiper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.

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In a research note published Friday, Munster added that the iPhone 6 will be a “blockbuster” and will include a “large screen option.” Munster believes Apple will push the smartphone’s release up from fall, which would mean there would be less than a year between iPhone releases. Previous reports have suggested either a Q1-Q2 release or a September launch.

Munster also believes Apple is working on acomputerized wristwatch, dubbed the “iWatch,” and a television set.

New reports suggest that the sixth-generation iPhone is going to pack some serious specs changes, with a large IGZO display likely coming from Sharp and a 16MP camera sensor via Sony. Citing Asian publication reports, Patently Apple claims that while other suppliers are still in the running, Sharp has begun to pull away from the pack. The components manufacturer is strengthening its relationship with Apple just in time, as Samsung is also being gently pushed out of the picture.

Sharp is offering a competitive advantage, according to the Patently Apple report: “Sharp will be the first company in the world to achieve commercial production of high-definition LCD panels for smartphones. The highly efficient production levels achievable with 8G glass substrates will be made possible by an optimized production process as well as by IGZO technology’s ability to enable smaller thin-film transistors and increased light transmittance.”

Apple is also looking to double the next iPhone’s camera from an 8MP to a 16MP that will revolve around “the 16 million pixel complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor,” technology, according to another Patently Apple report. Sony and Samsung are the current front-runners, but the feature could go to Sony.

“Sony is likely to supply Apple with the new sensors for next year’s iPhone 6, though final testing has yet to be completed,” the Apple tech site said.

The iPhone 6 may not be the only ‘phablet-sized’ smartphone Apple is prepping for 2014, however.

Analyst David Hsieh of NPD DisplaySearch claims that Apple will release a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and another iPhone at 5.7 inches in Q1-Q2 of 2014. The reports suggest Apple will be pushing innovative displays that will also result in a 12.9-inch iPad with higher resolution, a MacBook Air with a Retina Display, an Apple TV and the iWatch.

According to Gotta Be Mobile, Hsieh’s report isn’t coming out of left field, as it “‘fills in the blanks’ left from Tim Cook’s summer brag. During Apple’s earnings call in July Tim Cook told investors and customers to look forward to, ‘amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014.'”

NPD DisplaySearch has a solid track record with displays, having accuratelypredicted the iPad 3’s Retina Display a few months before its release, so this report can’t be treated like it’s any other rumor. Still, these iPhone claims are a bit surprsing considering the most recent rumors suggested that Apple had settled on a 4.8 to 5-inch display screen, which lead some to believe the company was still reluctant to release an iPhone with a display over 5 inches at full ‘phablet’ mode. However, an iPhone at 5.7 inches would put the smartphone in the same boat as the Galaxy Note 3, helping the company reach multiple levels of the smartphone market. A Q1-Q2 release date also goes against a recent claim from Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek, who suggested a September 2014 release date was in the cards for the sixth-generation iPhone.

Here are the full specs for the iPhone 6 and unnamed iPhone from the NPD DisplaySearch report:

-4.7-inch display with 1280×720 resolution, 312 ppi
-5.7-inch display with 1920×1080 resolution, 386 ppi

The iPhone 6 is expected to be the next great smartphone unveiled by Apple, with features more on par with the groundbreaking thinking that was synonymous with the Apple name when Steve Jobs headed the Cupertino-based company. While the iPhone 5S includes some new specs that will hold consumers over, the next-generation 6 will be a better indication of Apple’s progress since Jobs than any other recent or upcoming release—other than the rumored iWatch.

Below are five features rumored for the iPhone 6 that could very well become a reality.

1.) Solar Panels

A recent patent for solar charging has a lot of people excited. An iPhone 6 with solar charging would change the future of smartphones forever.

2.) Bigger screen

The iPhone 6 has been rumored for better and bigger display screens. With size ranges reportedly being tested between 4.5 and 5 inches, a 4.8-inch screen would be a nice upgrade without going into full ‘phablet’ mode.

3.) Digital signature

A new feature that should get people buzzing is with the debut of a digital signature. The tech would allow a celebrity or author to sign an e-Book electronically, where it could be sent to the cloud for authentication and then to the fan. The feature would certainly benefit the tired arms of writers at book signings as one signature could be sent to an entire group and help reduce the number of fans duped by counterfeit signatures.

4.) 128 GB variant

More storage space isn’t neccessary with iCloud, but for the users who like to keep data on-hand, a 128GB model would certainly do the trick for the iPhone 6.

5.) Quad core processor

Apple has yet to release a CPU in the quad core class, as the A7X chip debuted on dual-core. Time to step up to the next-level.

What do you think of these rumored specs for the iPhone 6? Do you like the direction Apple is going post-Jobs? Let us in on your thinking with a relevant comment. Be sure to check out more iPhone 6 release date and specs rumors below.

More on the iPhone 6: Recent Release Date Rumors, Specs, Render Designs

Apple really is switching things up with the next-gen iPhone 6.

The Cupertino-based company will reduce its reliance on Samsung as a component supplier for the upcoming flagship smartphone, according to a new report by Korea’sHankyung.

Citing industry sources, the report claims the majority of the manufacturing will go to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC)—approximately 60 to 70 percent—with Samsung handling the rest. Samsung has been the trusted manufacturer for Apple for the past several chips, most recently the A5, A6 and A7.

Apple reportedly only wanted TSMC as its’ A8 chip supplier, but they still needed Samsung’s services for the mass quantity of the chips.

On-going patent disputes between the companies and Samsung’s standing as a rival in the smartphone and tablet business has given Apple an excuse to cut ties with the Galaxy S4 maker to reduce their reliance on a single manufacturer, as well.

With the iPhone 5C and 5S behind us—and resting safely in the palms of over nine million users—its time to start looking ahead to the release of the iPhone 6.

A new iPhone 6 render design shows the upcoming Apple smartphone with a 5-inch screen and an iPad-esque design.

The concept images, picked up by DevianArt, highly resemble Apple’s original iPad.

The iPad 5 and Mini 2 are rumored for release dates just in time for the holiday season, and with the iPhone 6 rumored for a Q1 2014 debut of its own, the specs rumors are heating up for these next-gen Apple devices. The concept depicts a slim iPhone running iOS 7 and is honestly one of the better-looking while still realistic concept designs you will see for the iPhone.

“For a long time I have been thinking how the next iPhone could be different from the 5, so people won’t be complaining, and then I figured that the iPad (2010) offered a great design, which would also fit a phone. So, taking heavy inspiration from the first iPad, this is a concept for an iPhone with a bigger 5″ screen,” posted by the creator, iNasko, of the iPhone 6 concept.

The only thing that seems to be missing from the render design’s layout is the missing fingerprint reader in the home button, which is likely to be featured on future iPhones after its welcomed debut on the iPhone 5S.

One rumor that may hold some weight is the expectation that Apple will take the use of sapphire crysal—which was laser cut into the home button of the iPhone 5S for fingerprint scanning—to a new level with their upcoming devices. A recent report with Taiwanese sapphire maker sources not only suggests that iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 could feature the sapphire crystals for fingerprint sensors, but also says that Apple is planning on using the sapphire crystals for the iPhone 6 home button and touch screen.

The DigiTimes report seems to fall in line with a recent Apple patent that regards a process that would add sapphire laminate over a device’s touch screen glass. This could be used on future iPhones, iPads and the rumored iWatch, as well. The patent explains that two sapphire sheets would be laminated together-creating structure only 1mm thick or less.

Some other new iPhone 6 rumors suggest that Apple could offer some impressive new technology in the new flagship smartphone—solar technology.

Back in February, Apple secured a patent for the use of solar panels in portable devices. “This ‘integrated touch sensor and solar assembly’ would involve integrating social cells into a touch screen by using electrodes that can pull double duty as a solar cell and a touch sensor,” says CNET. The integration, according to the patent, would also help save surface area on the device.

Other rumors suggest that Apple is looking to hire a someone with expertise in “thin film deposition technology” and in solar industry. Apple has has applied for four other solar-power-related patents in the past several years.

The iPhone 6 could also debut with a curved, wraparound screen, according to a recent Apple patent filing. The iPhone, in this case the 6, would feature a wraparound AMOLED screen that appears to feature similar dimensions to the iPod Nano 4. The patent adds that the screen can be “unrolled” or “unfolded” thanks to a unfolding hinge that allows the screen to double in size when desired. Facial recognition, gesture control and the layering of screens to create a 3D screen were also discussed in the patent.

Another feature rumor for the iPhone 6 entails the use of sonar instead of infrared sensors, according to a report by Apple Insider. The report claims that the technology could “detect slight changes in ambient sound and send corresponding signals to a processor which then compares the two to determine whether an object is in close proximity to either of the mics.”

A “smart bezel” feature that would display information around the screen has also been rumored as a possibility for the iPhone 6 in another Apple patent filing released.

“The primary display could be used to convey visual content to a user, and the secondary display could be used to guide a user providing inputs to the device. For example, the secondary display could be selectively illuminated to provide one or more indicators that represent where or how a user can provide inputs to the device,” the patent reads.

Below are some more iPhone 6 features Apple didn’t put into the 5S that they should put in the 6.


Rumors suggested the iPhone 5S could use NFC, but the tech didn’t show up in the device. A recent Apple patent outlined the use of near-field communication with fingerprint technology, so it seems likely that the iPhone 6 could feature NFC. The technology would be extremely useful for mobile payments.

Higher-pixel camera

Apple’s iPhone 5S still sits at 8 megapixels, with Apple resisting full change with its 5S camera. The iPhone 6, however, should be tricked out even more than the 5S. More megapixels will help lure customers away from the competitors.

Apple will also be pushing the iPhone 6 as a legitimate competitor to the next Samsung Galaxy, Sony Xperia and HTC smartphones. The iPhone 6 will likely boast iOS 7 and an A7 chip for better efficiency and battery power, but what other exciting features could we expect from the 6?

Some rumors suggest that the iPhone 6 will come with a 13-megapixel sensor that will offer high-quality photos, but also take up less room. There are also reports that the 6 specs’ include eye-tracking and fingerprint sensors, better 4G LTE, Wi-Fi with a super-quick 802.11ac, and even a 4.8-inch screen (similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One) with full HD (1,920×1,080).

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